Kenny Omega has been inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. The number one contender to the AEW Championship becomes one of five inductees for 2020.
The Best Bout Machine received 61% of the vote in the Japan category, recognising his achievements with promotions such as New Japan Pro Wrestling and DDT Pro-wrestling. In the same category, Japanese legend Jun Akiyama has also been inducted after missing out by only 1% last year. Akiyama is a major figure in the history of both All Japan Pro-Wrestling and Pro Wrestling NOAH.
Two inductees came from the Mexico category: Karloff Lagarde and Medico Asesino. Lagarde held the NWA World Welterweight Championship for a record 4,802 days across his three reigns as champion. Asesino was a major star of Lucha Libre in the 1950s and starred in the first wrestling film, El Enmascarado de Plata.
The final inductee, Dan Koloff, was not voted for but was inducted for his historical contributions. Perhaps unknown to younger fans, Koloff was a star of the 1930s, with Meltzer describing him as second in drawing power only to Jim Londos.
Perhaps Omega’s most famous rival, Kazuchika Okada, is on the ballot for the 2021 Hall of Fame. Dave Meltzer himself has stated that he expects him to be a first ballot inductee, a feat accomplished by the likes of Kenta Kobashi.
The WON Hall of Fame is voted for by historians, reporters, wrestlers (both retired and active) and office staff. Voters are allowed to vote for up to ten wrestlers and five non-wrestlers. To be inducted, a candidate must receive at least 60% of the vote in their category.
As a result of this, stars such as Edge were not inducted despite receiving more votes than Omega. Omega’s popularity was strongest amongst wrestling reporters, as a breakdown of the votes showed he was their most backed candidate.
Kenny Omega, in addition to his Hall of Fame induction, is the current number one contender to the AEW World Heavyweight Championship. His match with Jon Moxley has been confirmed for the December 2nd edition of AEW Dynamite.