How a match with AJ Styles changed the life of Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega is one of the greatest wrestlers in the world. And in 2019 he could take a step forward in his career if he signs with WWE. It is still early to confirm anything, although The Elite continues to play with that possibility. In a recent episode of his YouTube series, they included Triple H among his cast.
But the wrestling race of the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion could have been very different. Moreover, there came a time when he was very close to changing the strings of the MMA. During a recent interview in Talk Is Jericho, the fighter told how a match against AJ Styles convinced him not to do it.
“We had many fights together, tag teams and individuals. In 2006 I was at a crossroads. I did not know whether to start my career in MMA or continue in wrestling. I was competing in jiu-jitsu all over the country and I was training to fight MMA and I liked it. But I discovered that my performance in the ring was suffering. Because there is an aesthetic aspect that must be maintained in the professional fight. If I’m reducing 20 pounds for a tournament or a fight and then I have to go to the ring, I’ll look like I came out of a dryer and it just did not work. So I could not continue doing both.
“I made the decision to wait for my fight against AJ in Winnipeg and choose one of the two. Am I going to fight or will I do wrestling? And after that fight with AJ, I thought: ‘Oh, my God, there’s a guy who’s much better than me, and we have so much chemistry together.’ He showed me my true potential, something I had not seen yet. It really made me look in the mirror and tell myself: ‘when I have a jiu-jitsu competition, all I want is to win.’ So I discovered that he was really an artist. I decided to give the fight a new chance. After my first tour, which was going to be the farewell, things really took off. So, during a tour with PWG, I met the Young Bucks, half of them at least. Soon I was in Japan. “