For the first time in years, Kenny Omega will head into the new year not needing to prepare for NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom show and he admits it’s a strange feeling.
Omega was one of NJPW’s top stars up until his departure from this year’s Wrestle Kingdom event in January, eventually signing with AEW. But now, Omega will not spend New Year’s prepping for Wrestle Kingdom and instead will be prepping for AEW Dynamite in Jacksonville, Florida on January 1, 2020.
During an interview with Sports Illustrated, Omega admitted that it will be strange not being in Japan for the end of the year because it's been something that he's been doing for years.
“It’s strange. That was always a very special time of the year. You’d spend time at home during the holidays with family, you’d do the New Year’s thing, which in my case, I’d do the New Year’s thing in Japan. The next big thing, of course, would be the Tokyo Dome. That was the process, that’s what we would do. For me to approach the end of the year, now that the holidays are coming up, it does feel like there is a bit of a hole there–like I should be doing something, but I won’t be. It’s to be expected, it’s the first year I won’t be there after all my years in New Japan. As time goes by, if I don’t appear next year, maybe I’ll feel less of the emptiness that I feel now. But it’s to be expected,” Omega said.
Although he won’t be present at Wrestle Kingdom next month, Omega did say he wishes everyone in the company the best and will be watching in some capacity. Next month’s Wrestle Kingdom will buck tradition as it will be a two-day event on January 4 and 5 instead of just taking place on January 4.
“I never really had any other largescale show that was always on the same day up until the New Japan Wrestle Kingdom shows. We would do big shows in DDT when I was a mainstay there, but the date always changed. It was never the same day. With Wrestle Kingdom, it’s always January 4. It was even strange for me to watch the G1 via computer and not be there at the arena. That was something I’d always expected myself to be a part of. I’ll be watching in some capacity, and I wish everyone the best. They’re attempting two days this year, and I hope it goes well,” Omega said.
The full interview can be read at this link.