Amidst rumors about his future, Kenny Omega said he’s taking ‘time away’ from New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
In an interview with Tokyo Sports, Omega said he needs ‘time away’ after losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi last Friday at Wrestle Kingdom 13.
According to a translation from NJPW announcer Chris Charlton, Omega said, “There is no real place for me to fit, so it’s best for me not to be in (NJPW). I can’t be there working under Tanahashi. I don’t think he’s surpassed me, don’t think he’s better. If we can, I want to face him again. But I need time away, and not just from New Japan.”
In regards to his future, Omega said that he could go to WWE or All Elite Wrestling, the upstart promotion being launched by Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks.
“If I go to WWE, the fans there will be pleased, and the fans there will be pleased if I go to AEW,” Omega said. “I want to be in a place where Kenny is going to be happy.”
His departure comes as most of The Elite is parting ways with NJPW to start All Elite Wrestling. Rhodes, The Young Bucks, and Hangman Page all lost their respective matches at Wrestle Kingdom and did not appear at NJPW’s New Year’s Dash event on Saturday. Page is joining AEW. Marty Scurll, however, remains under contract to Ring of Honor.
Dave Meltzer reported a year ago this week in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Omega’s contract with NJPW expires on January 31, 2019. Meltzer made note of this in an attempt to squash rumors of Omega joining WWE.
“As far as Omega goes, on 1/9, he signed his new contract so it is official he’s with New Japan through January 31, 2019, so he won’t be in the Royal Rumble this year (or next year), or WrestleMania, which no doubt won’t keep people from speculating on his role in those shows daily,” Meltzer wrote.