With the clock past midnight and February 2, 2019 officially upon us, Kenny Omega’s contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling is now complete and he will be recognized as a free agent.
How long this status as a free agent lasts and where Omega chooses to go next, there’s no way of telling. According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, Omega has already turned down a deal from WWE and is expected to sign with All Elite Wrestling. Many have supported this theory for the sole reason that Omega is close friends and wrestling stable-mates with AEW Vice Presidents, Cody Rhodes & The Young Bucks.
Rhodes is well aware of how in-demand Omega is to the pro wrestling world, and he recently mentioned such on the Breaking Kayfabe podcast.
“Kenny’s a free agent and not arguably, genuinely, he’s the hottest free agent in the world,” Rhodes admitted. “One thing I really like about the group of friends and The Elite group is, no matter what he decides to do, if he decides to go to WWE, if he decides to go to AEW, if he continues to only do New Japan Pro Wrestling, he’s still part of The Elite. And everyone supports whatever decision that he makes. I obviously want him to be a part of what’s happening because, who am I kidding, I’m late to the party that is The Elite. I got added in phase 2, he’s an original Power Ranger, if that makes any sense. And I’d really like him to join us but time, and what’s most important to him, will kinda be the factors there. Money is one thing, creative freedom is another.”
One possible hint of Omega’s next move may have been included in the latest edition of the Being The Elite YouTube series. Episode 136 of Being The Elite ended with Matt Jackson talking to an unidentified person on the phone. It’s teased that this person is actually Kenny Omega, as Matt says that it was funny that people thought he would be “there,” before saying he’s happy that this person found their phone (Omega lost his phone in the last episode). The image cuts to a red phone, where the timer is actively counting down. The timer says nine days, nineteen hours and five minutes, which is presumably the Double or Nothing ticket announcement party on February 7 at the MGM Grand Hotel.
A press release sent out earlier this week by AEW management confirmed that there will indeed be new members of AEW’s roster announced at the Double Or Nothing Ticket Announcement Party. An excerpt from that release reads, “Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks and Brandi Rhodes will reveal spectacular new signings, exciting new partnerships, ticket on-sale information and a surprise special guest.”
Whether or not Omega is this special guest AEW is advertising for the event, time will only tell. In a recent discussion with The Warmup, Omega admitted that he needed quality time away from wrestling in order to refocus himself. He’s in no rush to return to the ring but claims that he will be back very soon.
“I kind of went a little dark, I went off the grid,” Omega said. “I really need to take some time off both just to relax physically and mentally. … There are other personal projects that I’m working on that are barely related to wrestling. So, I can take my mind off of what I do in the ring and focus on those things. Everybody is wondering what my next move may or may not be, I really need this time to step away and not worry about when my next match will be. … I am in no rush, really, to get back to the ring, but, of course, I will very soon. There will be developments and announcements soon I’m sure.”