Kenny Omega returned to AEW last Saturday full gear.
Accompanied by a full house singing along to Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son,” Omega and the Young Bucks stormed back onto the stage in a clear manner. This performance was followed by a spectacular trio match against the extremely talented triumvirate of Pac, Fénix and Penta. It ended just over 18 minutes later, with Fénix finally accepting Pac’s desperate plea to win by any means necessary, escaping the One-Winged Angel and pinning Omega after hitting him in the head with a hammer.
The match marked a homecoming for Omega and the Bucks, and AEW felt whole again with three of the company’s founding fathers.
“We knew we had to make it special for the fans,” says Omega. “It felt like we left people in limbo so we had to come back emphatically. Our goal is to make wrestling feel like a rock concert. We wanted people to be totally focused on the game, and whether they’re firing for us or against us, we wanted people to enjoy it. Once the music started we wanted it to be a spectacle. We wanted people to know they were going. Hope everyone enjoyed the performance.”
In a story lacking concrete, confirmed details, Omega and the Bucks’ Nick and Matt Jackson were suspended for a post-show altercation with a number of others, most notably CM Punk All out Pay-per-view on September 4th.
There is wild speculation about the details of what allegedly happened, but none of those involved have commented publicly. Omega was asked for his insight into what had happened.
“There are things that no one can talk about, so I would encourage people to let it go,” says Omega. “It doesn’t change the fact that we want teamwork at AEW. I don’t even mean me and my opponent by implication. That includes the referee, the fans, the people who set up the ring, everyone – even a technical error can ruin the memory of a game. I have access to the exploding barbed wire Deathmatch. So I encourage people to move away from it because there is no information to release. While I can’t speak about it, I want fans to know that I still want what’s best for pro wrestling.”
Omega is one of the most passionate and dedicated artists in the entire industry. Yet for all the pride he has in pro wrestling, he shared that last Sunday’s events were a heartbreaking reminder that his goal in wrestling is to unite, not divide.
“The day after the pay-per-view, I was absolutely devastated by the loss of Jason David Frank,” says Omega of the actor who passed away over the weekend. “He’s one of my childhood heroes. That evening, a mass shooting broke out at an LGBTQ club, killing five people. It’s absolutely awful. After such a tragedy, it all puts into perspective.
“This isn’t Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks vs. CM Punk. They are people trying to show their craft. You can boo Kenny Omega or the Young Bucks or CM Punk, but I hope people don’t forget that we are people struggling to show our art.”
Prior to Saturday, it had been more than two months since Omega had wrestled in an AEW ring. He had played just three games after returning from an injury that stretched back to last November. Omega looked healthier than ever full gearalthough he nearly put himself back on the injured list during that stretch.
“I find that to make change, I have to push myself really hard,” says Omega. “Sometimes that means I try too hard. I was able to get in better shape during the break because I had a goal and a vision. But it almost stopped when I tore a tendon in my knee from pushing too hard.
“The break was not a time to rest. That was time for me to get to work. It was time to train two or three times a day and increase the intensity of those sessions. I wanted to take something positive from that time.”
The strenuous preparation paid off. Omega and the Bucks put together the game of the night full gear against Pac, Fénix and Penta of the Death Triangle. The fight also improved Death Triangle’s current story as they retained the Trios Championship. And those wanting more trios are in luck – the pay-per-view served as the start of a best-of-seven series between the two teams, with the next game taking place tonight dynamite.
“We are six individuals with a unique vision for professional wrestling,” says Omega. “Our minds are never closed to one idea or another, so there’s a chance every match will look unique. The Lucha Brothers are known for Lucha Libre, but Penta and Fénix aren’t limited to one style. Pac is the same – he came through the UK indies and then moved to Dragongate in Japan, which is a completely different style and includes lucha libre. He wrestled at WWE, which is sports entertainment, and now AEW, a hybrid alternative sports entertainment brand. Death Triangle has such a wide range and this is a platform, in potentially seven matches, that’s a lot of matches to show a lot of people your craft. If people don’t know Death Triangle, they will by the end of this series.
“We are very proud to show what trio wrestling can be. It might be a daunting task to have these incredibly challenging matches every week, but it really is a chance for us to show that trios wrestling has a place. That’s our goal – to show what wrestling can be.”
In addition to the return at full gearOmega’s weekend also included a surprise video package that aired on NJPW/Stardom Historical X Over Show. In Japanese, Omega challenged Will Ospreay to a match on January 4th wrestling kingdom 17.
“I’m returning to New Japan as an ambassador for AEW,” says Omega. “I return to New Japan as an ambassador for pro wrestling. I’m also returning home. I left to start this new exciting opportunity but it’s still my home. Well, the things Will can do are things I can’t. He’s a sporting phenomenon. But as fine as he is physically, he still doesn’t have the knowledge or experience. I pushed my own physical limits in All Japan and DDT, but I’m not known for that. My mind is my greatest asset, not my athleticism. That is allowed [Hiroshi] Tanahashi for having such a long and successful career.
“I needed someone to take my place in New Japan, I wanted someone to take my place – and it was Will, Jay [White]and [Kota] Ibushi. Will’s the only one who has a problem with that.”
The match marks Omega’s first trip to the Tokyo Dome since 2019. His promo challenge against Ospreay was executed perfectly. It was also rich in symbolism, with Omega speaking primarily in Japanese while Ospreay responded in English.
“I had to speak Japanese to remind him that he doesn’t have home field advantage. This is still my home.”
Another project for Omega that remains one of AEW’s EVPs is the company’s first video game. fight forever, which is ready to launch. The new trailer for the game appeared and offered many reasons to be optimistic.
“It’s a lot of fun,” says Omega. “For people looking for an accurate representation of AEW and our characters, wrestling style and feel, this will be the game for them. If you played the old one Smash! vs. raw game, it has this weirdness, some of the same control schemes as No mercyand times have changed since 2000 – so there are sequences and moves that have never been part of a wrestling match before.”
After more than two months of waiting, Omega is back. His matches are must-sees once again, and his behind-the-scenes passion has returned to AEW as well. His immediate future with the company revolves around his work with the Bucks, and he’s also looking forward to enjoying the ride with an extremely devoted fan base.
“There’s a bond, a connection with the fans that is unbreakable,” says Omega. “We all felt that on Saturday. And we still have many goals to show the possibilities of wrestling. We look forward to doing that with our fans.”
More wrestling coverage: