I would like to wish a happy 36th birthday today to Kenny Omega. ‘The best bout machine’ has seen his career take off over the last five years and is currently a performer/executive vice president of AEW.
Before playing a part in founding AEW, after wrestling professionally for over a decade all over the world, Kenny Omega signed a contract to wrestle in New Japan Pro Wrestling on Oct. 3rd, 2014. Previously, Omega had bounced around the globe. Kenny wrestled in DDT, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as well as New Japan for six years.
This time, for NJPW, he was introduced as the newest member of the Bullet Club. Nicknamed ‘The Cleaner,’ Omega vowed to clean out the Junior Heavyweight division. He did just that, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight championship twice before moving up to the heavyweight division in January of 2016.
After kicking AJ Styles out of the Bullet Club, Kenny Omega pronounced himself the leader of the new Bullet Club. From this point forward, Omega began his march through the New Japan heavyweight division. Becoming one of the best wrestlers on planet earth along the way.
Having watched nearly every singles match of his New Japan run, I had the enviable task of putting together a list of Kenny Omega’s 10 greatest matches ever. Believe me when I say this, it was one of the most difficult lists I’ve ever had to put together. From 2014 to the present, Kenny Omega has wrestled in 48, 4 star plus matches according to The Wrestling Observer. This doesn’t include his previous work in various promotions.
I did the best I could to give you what I felt were the 10 greatest Kenny Omega matches in his storied career. I have included one tag team match in my list, which is astonishing considering his tremendous singles career. My opinions are subjective, but you will likely nod your head in approval with some of the selections.
Without a further ado, here are the top 10 best Kenny Omega matches of all time. Roll the footage Daily DDT!
But first, some honorable mentions:
Kenny Omega vs Hiroshi Tanahashi-New Beginning 2016
Kenny Omega vs Hirooki Goto-G1 Climax Final 2016
Kenny Omega vs KUSHIDA-Dominion 2015
These three matches were near misses on the top 10 list. All of these bouts could be justified to make most top five match lists for nearly anyone else worldwide. That’s how good Kenny Omega is.
After taking the reigns of Bullet Club, Omega would pack on 10 pounds of muscle and ascend to the heavyweight division. Kenny Omega’s first bout as a heavyweight in New Japan took place at the New Beginning card in Niigata, Japan. His opponent on this night was ‘The Ace’ of New Japan, Hiroshi Tanahashi in a match contested for the vacated IWGP Intercontinental championship.
A near half hour battle ensued between the best wrestler in New Japan at the time vs the young upstart from the hottest faction in the promotion. The masterpiece that took place between these 2 men was sensational. Kenny hit his signature ‘One Winged Angel’ for a three count and his first heavyweight singles title in New Japan. An absolute classic between 2 of the current best wrestlers alive.
Omega burst onto the worldwide wrestling scale with his G1 Climax tournament run in 2016. After 9 round robin bouts, Kenny would win the B Block and find himself across the ring with New Japan veteran Hirooki Goto in the G1 Climax final.
A back and forth Donnybrook ensued between these two Block winners. When all was said and done, history was made. It ended with Kenny becoming the first Canadian born wrestler to win the G1 Climax. He defeated Goto in the G1 final to earn the right at the opportunity at the IWGP Heavyweight championship.
Finally, Kenny Omega had one Junior heavyweight bout in New Japan that stood out above the rest. He walked into the Dominion event as the IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion. His opponent was New Japan’s residential fan favorite of the junior division, KUSHIDA.
Both men stood toe to toe and exchanged amazing wrestling maneuvers. Often times, Junior heavyweight title matches steal shows and this match was no exception. While Omega was the champion before Dominion started, KUSHIDA would be the one with his hand raised in victory on this night.At the time it was a classic between of the best Juniors in the world, both men are now considered to be among the best heavyweight’s on the Planet. A must watch for fans of both men.