New wrestling promotion AEW has secured one of the biggest names in the business, having tied former New Japan Pro Wrestling star Kenny Omega to a four year contract this week.
Omega spent about a week dangling in free agency before it was confirmed that he'd signed with the new company. The performer appeared outside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to make the announcement at the Double or Nothing Rally on Thursday and wasted no time finding a rival as Chris Jericho would interrupt his speech.
The pair ended up in a scuffle before members of a security team intervened.
The ex-NJPW performer was courted by the WWE, while his former employers made him several offers to return. However, he opted to forge a fresh path with AEW and has since explained his reasoning.
“WWE’s offer was, of course, fantastic as you reported and a lot of people know just common knowledge and they went about it in a very professional, courteous way and those guys are nothing but consummate professionals in how they dealt with me but at the end of the day, AEW presented something that just couldn’t be beat,” he revealed, via the Wrestling Observer podcast (h/t Sescoops.com).
“I’m with my best friends in the business and I have a little bit of control over my own creative, which is always important and I really feel that it’s the true platform for me to let my voice be heard. I always like challenges. I like the prospect of this being a blundering failure.”
The 35-year-old admitted that he did consider the ease of not having to be creative and letting others come up with his storylines, but he also wanted to do more.
“[WWE] is absolutely not a risk,” he continued. “Part of me was like do I want to shut my brain off and have people write for me and tell me what to do? It sounds kind of cool actually.
“I felt I needed to go to a place where I could do more,” Omega explained. “Japan will always be a home to me and I’m always going to be back. AEW for me, or WWE, kind of seemed like the next step, potential dream matches and all that and using the new platform, not necessarily a better one or a bigger one or whatever. I just wanted a new platform to reach new people.”
What This Means
Omega's decision hardly came as a surprise, given that his close friends, The Young Bucks, are helping run the promotion.
Joining the WWE was always going to be an option, but AEW offered the opportunity to have way more control over his career and his presence is sure to help the brand as they look to rival Vince McMahon and his giant company.