Takes one to know one.
On a recent edition of his podcast, Stone Cold Steve Austin spoke very highly of New Japan Pro Wrestling's Kenny Omega, saying he could be "the next big thing" if he came to WWE.
In a conversation with guest Jim Ross, Austin said this:
“Hands down, he is one of the best in the world, if not the best in the world, in my opinion. If he came to the WWE, if he had any interest in doing so, I think that guy could be the next big thing. I don’t know if it’s going to happen. I said he has the potential to be, if he was given the platform, just not be put in a box. He may never go to New York, but just when I look out there, Jim, and I ask, who could be the next big draw, he’s at the top of my list. May it happen or will it happen? Maybe it will and maybe it won’t, but that’s what I think his potential is. I see so much in this kid and that’s why I’m so high on him.”
“I was watching an interview Triple H did where he was asked, ‘What’s the one thing you’re looking for most in a person that he’s interviewing with to bring into the company?’ The number one thing he said was ‘charisma,’ and, man, when I’ve seen this kid, and I’ve never met him, but I saw some of his interviews over there in Japan. He speaks fluent Japanese. All of a sudden, he started lighting up in the Japanese language. Then he’s speaking in English. He was like a lightning bolt on that microphone. A lot of charisma, a lot of presence, and bigger than life personality.
"He can go like a son of a bitch in the ring, so he has got all that. He's been in the business 15 years or better, so he knows all that. He knows how to get over. He can get over if the company’s really behind him and given that platform. I think he’s a guy that’s hungry enough to be on board and say, ‘Hey, I want to be number one.'”
Jim Ross agreed, and even predicted a WWE debut for Omega sometime next year.
“When his deal is up in early 2018, as I understand it, that I think he will be in WWE sometime in 2018.
"If you’re a pro wrestler and you don’t have the chance, or you take yourself out of a chance to go to WWE at some point in your career, in your productive years, you might be cheating yourself in my opinion money-wise.”
You can listen to the entire podcast at this link.