Kenny Omega appeared at AEW’s Double or Nothing Ticket Party last night in Las Vegas and announced that he has officially signed with AEW to be a full time member of their roster. An on-screen graphic also called him an “Executive Vice President” of AEW.
Omega was interviewed by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio (subscription needed) and answered a few questions about his AEW contract, negotiations with WWE and NJPW, and being able to return to NJPW whenever he wants.
Omega revealed that he has signed a four year deal with AEW, and specifically had it written in his contract that he would be able to wrestle in New Japan at any time. But he said that it goes both ways and doesn’t mean that NJPW will want to use him.
Here’s the audio, and a transcript of what Omega said is below:
His negotiations with NJPW:
It was twisting and turning and sleepless nights. I was going back and forth with New Japan. I met at the office on a number of occasions and finally when they were dealing less with me and more with my agent, that’s when things kind of took a turn because we were starting to talk more like dollar figures and dates and creative and all that.
Every offer… there was no clear cut winner in the negotiation phase. It was never like, “oh, this is easy, I gotta go with this.” Because there’s always gonna be positives and negatives to every scenario.
His negotiations with WWE:
I guess I thought the most surprising to me was just how accommodating and how cool it was to discuss future with WWE. I didn’t think they would ever be in the running. I was like yeah I’ll hear you guys out, but I didn’t think it would be good cause everyone was telling me what to expect. And it wasn’t that whatsoever. I have nothing but great things to say about them. Just in the end, AEW was the best thing for me and it’s the most exciting choice that I’ve made in my career.
His AEW contract length:
I remember signing my first contract with New Japan and I was nervous. I was like, ‘wow, a two year contract. That’s a lot of time. A lot can change.’ And now with AEW, I’m signing four years and it just felt natural, like I didn’t feel nervous. It’s a large contract for me, the largest one that I’ve signed. But I didn’t feel that I was making the wrong choice, so it was cool to feel that way.
Wanting to crossover into other media:
And the cool part too is that it leaves me very open for a ton of crossover potential, which is always the most important thing for me because I don’t necessarily want to be remembered for what I do in the ring. I want to be able to crossover into different types of media. So I’m gonna be able to do my stuff with e-sports and ESPN and all that. Some acting stuff and the documentary even. It’s like, these opportunities now, there’s no red tape. It’s in my contract where I can freely do those and pursue them, which is great.
He’s free to wrestle for NJPW any time:
I have it specifically written in my contract – and again, this is something that I couldn’t have done on the WWE end of things – but I have it specifically written in my contract that I can go anytime I want and appear for New Japan Pro Wrestling. It’s a question of – I mean, it goes both ways, right? I can’t just yell at a woman or a man on the street, hey, I love you, wanna marry me? It doesn’t mean they will, right?
But this is a case where I’ve made sure that has been written in. And I do have the freedom to appear there. I just hope that my last match in Japan wasn’t the match against Tanahashi. If so, it was a great way to go out. I was really proud of the match. But I feel like there’s still a little more for me to do there. And I think if after coming back, doing the AEW thing after a little while, I think maybe it could even be better for me.
Wanting NJPW wrestlers to work in AEW:
And of course, the door’s always open not only for New Japan, but for everybody. We want to work with all the best talent in the world. And of course, first and foremost, we have ties to New Japan. Myself, I’ve worked there for a number of years. The Bucks worked there for a number of years, and we don’t just forget about where we came from. We’ll always have a place for the guys that do want to come down and help us have fun.