Kenny Omega takes fans behind the scenes of his free agency period.
At Thursday's AEW Double or Nothing Ticket Announcement Party, Kenny Omega made it official, announcing that he had joined All Elite Wrestling. Omega was the hottest free agent on the market after his contract with NJPW expired in January. Omega had offers on the table from NJPW, WWE, and AEW, but ultimately decided to join his friends in AEW.
Appearing on Wrestling Observer Radio, Omega discussed his thought process behind joining AEW and how negotiations with the other two companies went.
"I look back at my career in New Japan and there wasn't much left for me to do there. I still felt there was more Ibushi and I could do as a tag team. I had been gunning for a Tokyo Sports MVP award but that's just an accolade. Nowadays, a lot of awards, especially ones controlled by the media, are used as broomstick engine devices for angles," said Omega. "So, do I need to win a fake award? Ibushi and I doing well as a tag team is important to me. But I felt like I needed to go to a place where I can do more. Japan will always be a home to me. But AEW, or even WWE, seemed like the next step. Potential dream matches and using a new platform to reach new people. To use my voice and unique way of telling stories. I wanted to change the stage that I have been performing on."
Omega continued, talking more about NJPW's offer to him, "I look at all of the options and one option I almost went with was to stay full-time with New Japan but be a 'lender talent' for AEW. It's hard to say good bye to something that you've given everything to. I gave kind of my soul to New Japan. In the end, for various reasons, it wasn't the best option. It was actually the worst option. It wasn't the best of the three options. The other two companies were more excited to have me."
Omega then got into the offer made to him by WWE and why he has nothing but kind things to say about the top promotion in wrestling.
"WWE's offer was fantastic," he stated. "They went about it in a very professional and courteous way. They are nothing but consummate professionals in the way they dealt with me.....Every offer, there was no clear cut winner because there is always positives and negatives to every scenario. The most surprising thing to me was how cool it was to discuss my future with WWE. I was like, 'Yeah, I'll hear you guys out' but I didn't think it would be good because everyone was telling me what to expect. I have nothing but great things to say about them."
The Young Bucks expressed a similar sentiment earlier this year when discussing their negotiations with WWE. In the end, Omega signed with AEW, taking on a role as Executive Vice President along with being an active in-ring competitor.
"At the end of the day, AEW presented something that couldn't be beat. I'm with my best friends in the business and have a little bit of control with my creative, which is of course very important. I feel it's the platform for me to have my voice be heard. I like challenges and I like the prospect of this being a blundering failure," said Omega. "AEW was the best thing for me and the most exciting choice of my career. Now with AEW, I'm signing four years. It's the largest contract I've signed but I didn't feel like I was making the wrong choice. The contract leaves me very open with a ton of crossover potential. I want to be able to crossover to different kinds of media."
If you missed anything from the AEW Double or Nothing Ticket Announcement Party, check out Fightful's full recap and post-show podcast on the event. You can view Omega officially joining AEW in the video above.