After nine years in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), Kenny Omega announced this week that he would be looking for new opportunities. The megastar who’s garnered the nickname "The Best Bout Machine" due to his in-ring technical and storytelling abilities, dropped the IWGP Heavyweight Champion at WrestleKingdom 13. Shortly after, he officially announced that he was leaving NJPW. "There is no real place for me to fit, so it's best for me not to be in (NJPW)," said the former champion and Bullet Club leader.
So, what’s next? Whatever it is, as long as it’s in wrestling, Omega will surely come toe-to-toe with some of the best in the business. In or out of WWE, here are 10 of our top feuds Omega could have in his post-NJPW career.
10 AJ Styles
This is the match that Omega has vocalized wanting the most. It’s not surprising, Omega was a henchman under AJ Styles' leadership in the Bullet Club. That is, of course, before usurping him with the Young Bucks and taking the crown for himself. That story was to write Styles off NJPW so he could go to WWE, and as such was left unresolved.
If Omega goes to the WWE, it would be the perfect opportunity to pick it back up again and let Styles get some retribution. These are two of the most talented wrestlers in the world today and they have quite a bit of chemistry. This would be a guaranteed show-stealing match.
9 Seth Rollins
For such a company guy, Seth Rollins has always been a bit of a rebel. The rules are different for the King Slayer, who still feels very “indie” despite years in the WWE. That includes how vocal he’s been about wanting to fight Kenny Omega.
At the ACE Comic-Con in Chicago, Rollins was asked who he would like to fight outside of the WWE and named Omega, describing how much respect he holds for him. Omega responded by alluding to WrestleMania on Twitter, which would be a highly popular main event match. Given Rollins stock in WWE and how much WWE seems to want to sign Omega, chances are they would book this as soon as possible.
8 Finn Bálor
Another former Bullet Club leader, Finn Bálor has the additional clout of being the founder as well. Kenny did not directly usurp Bálor, but he was a crucial part of Bullet Club's meteoric success while Bálor was heading up Bálor Club over on WWE. The two have history and while WWE may not be able to directly mention it, fans will understand that their feud comes down to who was the better leader of the OG BC.
Bálor is incredibly over with the crowd but hasn’t really had the chance to take things to the next level. A program with the hottest signing would do wonders for his position on the card.
7 Johnny Impact
Should Omega not sign with WWE, he’s likely going to All Elite Wrestling (AEW). That would open doors for so many dream matches, especially if AEW is able to sign deals with big-name talents like Johnny Impact.
The Impact star has had a long, decorated career and is probably one of the most charismatic wrestlers in the industry today. He would be able to match Omega’s technical abilities and comes with a flair all his own. Omega would be the man around AEW, their ultimate signing, and the narcissistic Jonny Impact would take great offense to literally anything not being about him.
Above all, this match is as fresh as it comes.
6 Pete Dunne
There are few wrestlers who have the same special quality that Pete Dunne exhibits. It’s not just that he’s great in the ring, or that he’s a perfectly defined character, or that he carries himself like a seasoned veteran at 25 years old (though all these things are true). There’s some unidentifiable “it” factor that sets him apart. It’s the same quality that Omega shows, the same reason why he became such a star in Japan. The energy that would be captured in a ring shared by the two would be unstoppable.
Dunne appears to be making his way to the WWE main roster and his path may just cross with Omega's if we’re so lucky.
5 Tessa Blanchard
One of the advantages of signing with AEW is that it won’t be held to the same restrictions that WWE puts in place to maintain their status as a family-friendly product. Right or wrong, that includes intergender wrestling. AEW very well could incorporate this into their product, as Jordynne Grace was in the Over Budget Battle Royal at All In. In that case, Omega could get a few intergender matches under his belt, something he hasn’t been able to do in NJPW.
The best woman for the job? Tessa Blanchard. She just dropped the Impact Knockouts Championship, and if she signs with AEW, she’ll be the standard bearer. Blanchard is as tough as they come and would not look small in stature or in presence against Omega.
4 Brock Lesnar
When Brock Lesnar won back the Universal Championship, there were concerns. Namely, that it was so hard to get the belt off him last time, how were they going to pull it off this time? Not easily, that’s for sure, but Omega could be the solution.
This is the hottest free-agent wrestling has seen in a very long time, and if WWE signs him, he’ll instantly be in the Universal Title picture.
At 35, WWE will have limited time to make the most of their investment. Putting him over Lesnar and giving him the Universal Title is exactly the way to go here. They’ve struggled with previous hot signings like Shinsuke Nakamura, but don’t forget this exact strategy was working perfectly with Bálor before he was injured. Follow through is so important in these cases and they absolutely need to strike while the iron’s hot.
3 Joey Ryan
Joey Ryan is probably the most popular wrestler who will never go to WWE, at least with his current gimmick of 1980s porn star. It seems like a foregone conclusion that he will go to AEW and be a major player in the new promotion. Perhaps even major enough to get the rub of feuding with Omega. This program would largely be a clean slate, Ryan had a role on Being the Elite centered around Hangman Page murdering him (it’s a long story) but there’s no real history between him and Omega. That opens up the door for the two of them to do something new and different. The wrestling industry desperately needs that right now.
2 Xavier Woods
If you ask Omega what career other than his own he would most like to have, he would undoubtedly say celebrity gamer. His love of video games is well documented and according to rumors, he's WWE’s resident celebrity gamer. Xavier Woods could be the key to getting him in WWE. The two are good friends and have gone back and forth on social media for years now.
The New Day went head-to-head with the Elite in an exclusive UpUp DownDown video that was massive publicity for both and they must be itching to take it into the ring. It feels like they would fall so easily into a program with each other, their nerdy personalities meshing perfectly. This would be a dream come true for both Woods and Omega.
1 John Cena
This is it. It's THE match.
This is the match that no one realized we needed, but now that it’s possible, we absolutely do. John Cena is more than just another champion, he embodies the WWE franchise. For many fans, Omega has come to mean the same for the very concept of indie wrestling (though NJPW is not technically indie).
In every way possible, they’re worlds apart, and even the two standing toe-to-toe in the ring would strike quite the image. WWE always seems to be fighting two conflicting goals: making the hardcore fans happy and getting casual eyes on the product. This match accomplishes both by pitting the Bullet Club darling against the crossover star. It’s one side of wrestling versus the other but the beauty of it is that it would show that there’s room for both. Wrestling is wide enough for both the John Cena and Kenny Omega.