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January 16, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The conundrum of Kenny Omega, 2016 in retrospect, more


Tweets by Kenny Omega and an Instagram post by John Cena created a major stir coming off the New Japan Wrestle Kingdom show at the Tokyo Dome.

Omega wrote on Twitter that “I will be stepping away from Japan to reassess my future. The path of my journey may change, but my goals will not.”

Later he wrote, “There is no plan. My schedule is cleared and I’m weighing all options. I’ve got a lot to consider.”

The impression we were given is that Omega would be off the next New Japan tour and return for the New Japan Cup, and the feeling he was just trying to get people talking.

But what made the situation more interesting was John Cena posting an Instagram photo of Omega, in the exact same way he posted one of A.J. Styles just days before last year’s Royal Rumble. The situation was different. It was well known that Styles had given notice and was WWE bound at the time, and we’d reported his plan to debut at the Rumble even though everyone had denied it because they wanted it to be secretive. For Omega, a number of our contacts with New Japan all stated they believed he was staying with the company but taking one tour off and would be returning for the New Japan Cup tournament. He is very much at this moment in significant booking plans within New Japan going forward. But Cena is savvy enough and a total company man and it’s hard to believe he’d be helping Omega in an angle for New Japan, which is the closest thing to competition in the pro wrestling sector that WWE has at this time. In addition, a number of WWE stars tweeted about how great the match was, and it was a landmark match, clearly the most attention a modern non-WWE match has ever gotten on the inside in the U.S., and more than all but a few WWE matches in history. But still, when the Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay match from Tokyo on 5/27 was the talk of the insider world and got some mainstream pub around the world, you hardly saw WWE stars publicly congratulating them for it, or even jumping on the negative bandwagon on it. It’s not exactly a secret that in WWE you aren’t supposed to put over the rival product..

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