ByJosh Molina, writer at
Covers mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and the convergence of the two industries.
Josh Molina

Kenny Omega is arguably the hottest act going in professional wrestling. Many people are calling his encounter with Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11 on Jan. 4 one of the greatest matches of all time. The match followed an epic 2016 for Omega, one of the biggest stars of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Now, the internet world is speculating that Omega might jump to the at the Royal Rumble on Jan. 29 or soon after. Even is jumping on the Omega hype train, posting photos of him on his Instagram account.

But a question remains: Who exactly is ? How is it that a guy who wrestles full-time in Japan has captured the imagination of the American wrestling fan?

Who is Kenny Omega?

He was born Tyson Smith on Oct. 16, 1983 in Canada. As a kid he enjoyed ice hockey, but gave up the sport to follow his pro wrestling passion. He began training as a pro wrestler at the age of 15. His character morphed into Kenny Omega the Hawaiian surfer, which then evolved into a video gamer gimmick. Omega attended the Transcona Collegiate Institute, before dropping out to pursue pro wrestling full time. Now, he's called "The Cleaner," a guy who cleans up crime scenes. Omega, 33, began his career when he was 18 years old.

Where Has He wrestled?

Omega is well-known in professional wrestling circles because of his performances around the world. He has wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Dramatic Dream Team Pro Wrestling and a several other small independent promotions. He began his career in Canada, wrestling for Premiere Championship Wrestling. He also worked for Pro Wrestling Syndicate and Jersey All-Pro Wrestling. In 2005, Omega also tried out for the , in its developmental organization, Deep South Wrestling. Omega didn't like the direction of his push in DSW, and quickly asked for a release from the organization.

Kenny Omega's Alliances

Omega is a member of the international "Bullet Club," a villainous heel organization. Among the more notable members of the popular group over the years include Omega, The Young Bucks, , Karl Anderson , Luke Gallows, Finn Balor (as Prince Devitt) and Adam Cole. The Bullet Club members use the former nWo's "Too Sweet" hand gesture as an homage to the group. Omega is the leader of the The Bullet Club. He kicked Styles out and took over for him at the beginning of 2016.

Why is Kenny Omega So Popular?

Quite simply, Omega is a phenomenal professional wrestler. He consistently puts on great matches. At 6 feet tall and 205 pounds, Omega moves like both a heavyweight and a cruiserweight. He flies through the air with stunning acrobatics, but also lays down stiff kicks and suplexes inside the ring. Omega's Jan. 4 match with Okada set the wrestling world on fire. Let's take a look at some of his amazing moves:

One of Omega's strengths is that he is an innovator of moves. The following video showcases his thrilling skill-set, including my favorites, the Springboard Double Foot Stomp and the Cross-Legged Fisherman Neck breaker.

Here are some highlights from his thriller with Okada from Wrestle Kingdom 11.

Can Kenny Omega Talk on the Microphone?

Omega is also one of the industry's best talkers. He can captivate a crowd in English or Japanese. (Yes, he's fluent in both).

A year ago, Omega turned on AJ Styles, and fired him from The Bullet Club (Styles had signed with the WWE). Here's the epic turn, and then the promo afterward.

Below, Omega insults the media and other wrestlers, in this hilarious, but brilliant promo.

Why is Everyone Talking About Omega Now?

Omega has sort of a Hulk Hogan late 1983 buzz behind him. Like Hogan at the time was in the AWA, Omega is the hottest thing going in New Japan Pro Wrestling. And the appears interested in him. Will the WWE poach this superstar and bring him to the biggest wrestling show on Earth?

Omega has sent mixed messages recently. First, before Wrestle Kingdom 11, he insulted the WWE, and made it sound like he was not interested in jumping ship like others before him.

However, John Cena, the biggest star in pro wrestling, started talking about him on his Instagram.

It was just a picture, but intriguing nonetheless. Why would Cena do this for a guy who wrestles for a competing company. Cena's teases didn't stop there:

Then Cena took the teasing to a new level: He got creative, posting about Omega in two parts.

First the "O," then the image of "Mega Man."

Will Kenny Omega Jump to the WWE?

Omega's contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly doesn't expire until Jan. 31, two days after the Jan. 29 Royal Rumble. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that Omega would convince his bosses in Japan to let him out of the contract early. We're talking two days here. If he doesn't get out early, Omega could still make an incredible impact on Monday Night Raw the following week. The question remains, is Omega even interested? He has openly criticized the WWE, but then he made the following statement on Twitter after his match with Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11.

The WWE's Triple H has said in published reports that he is interested in Omega. Will Omega-Mania run wild in the WWE? We'll all know soon.


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