Kenny Omega References Kota Ibushi In First Comments On NJPW Return

Kenny Omega Kota Ibushi

Kenny Omega missed much of 2022 after firstly taking a hiatus from wrestling to recover from a number of injuries and then serving a suspension from AEW following the infamous ‘All Out Brawl’. But Omega is now back in the thick of things in AEW and has also announced an upcoming return to New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Mere hours after his AEW return at Full Gear, it was announced that Kenny Omega will return to NJPW at Wrestle Kingdom 17 to challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.

In a pre-taped video that aired after Ospreay’s successful title defence over Shota Umino at NJPW x STARDOM Historic X-Over, ‘The Cleaner’ vowed to save the Japanese promotion and change the World at the Wrestle Kingdom event.

Kenny Omega Name-Drops Multiple NJPW Stars, Including Kota Ibushi

During an interview with Sports Illustrated, Kenny Omega spoke about his imminent return to NJPW and his upcoming match against Will Ospreay:

“I’m returning to New Japan as an ambassador of AEW. I’m returning to New Japan as an ambassador of pro wrestling. I’m also returning home. I left to start this new, exciting opportunity, but it’s still home. Now, the things Will can do are things I cannot. He’s an athletic phenom. But, as finely tuned as he is physically, he still doesn’t have the knowledge or experience. I pushed my own physical boundaries in All Japan and DDT, but that’s not what I’m known for. My mind is my greatest asset, not my athleticism. That’s what’s allowed [Hiroshi] Tanahashi to have such a long and flavourful career.”

The ‘Best Bout Machine’ then name-dropped the wrestlers he wanted to step up and replace him following his departure from NJPW almost four years ago, which is when he mentioned his former Golden Lovers partner:

“I needed someone to take my place in New Japan, I wanted someone to take my place–and it was Will, Jay [White], and [Kota] Ibushi. Will is the only one to have a problem with that.”

Omega’s return match in NJPW will take place inside the fabled Tokyo Dome on January 4th 2023 at Wrestle Kingdom 17.