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Tyson Smith (born October 16, 1983) is a Canadian-born Japanese professional wrestler better known by the ring name Kenny Omega. He is an executive vice president of All Elite Wrestling, where he also serves as an in-ring talent.

Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.jpg
Omega in November 2017 as the IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion
Birth nameTyson Smith
Born (1983-10-16) October 16, 1983 (age 35)
Transcona, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
ResidenceKatsushika, Tokyo, Japan[1][2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Kenny Omega
Scott Carpenter[3]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[4][5]
Billed weight229 lb (104 kg)[4][5]
Billed fromWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada[6]
Trained byBobby Jay[7]
Dave Taylor[8][7]
DebutFebruary 2000[5]

Omega is known for his tenure in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where he was a one-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, one-time and inaugural IWGP United States Champion, and one-time IWGP Intercontinental Champion among other championships. He was a member of the stable Bullet Club, later serving as its fourth leader. He became the first and only non-Japanese professional wrestler to win the G1 Climax, the promotion's premier tournament, when he defeated Hirooki Goto in the 2016 finals. Omega has also performed as part of both American and Japanese independent promotions, such as DDT Pro-Wrestling, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.

In 2017, Omega was named Sports Illustrated's Wrestler of the Year. The following year, he topped Pro Wrestling Illustrated's list of top 500 male wrestlers. He has also attained the publication's Match of the Year distinction twice. One of those matches, in which Omega battled Kazuchika Okada in a two out of three falls match at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall in June 2018, received a seven-star rating from combat sports journalist Dave Meltzer, the highest of any rating ever given to a professional wrestling match by Meltzer.

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Tyson Smith was born in Transcona, Winnipeg, Manitoba on October 16, 1983.[4][1] He has a younger sister.[9] His mother works in family services while his father works for the Canadian government as a transport officer.[9] Smith's affinity toward professional wrestling began during childhood when he watched tapes of WWE's Saturday Night's Main Event, which became his favorite program.[9] Growing up, Smith played ice hockey as a goalie.[1] He also worked at branches of retailers IGA and Costco.[10]

Smith first became interested in a career in professional wrestling after one of his friends from Transcona Collegiate Institute (TCI) began training with Top Rope Championship Wrestling (TRCW) in Winnipeg.[1] Smith ended his ice hockey career plans and also began training under TRCW promoter Bobby Jay,[1] whom he met while he was stacking shelves at an IGA store.[7] After training with Jay for a year, 16-year-old Smith began wrestling as part of for TRCW for two years, where he developed the gimmick of a Hawaiian surfer named "Kenny Omega".[7][11] The surfer aspect was later dropped and replaced with an otaku gamer gimmick, which Smith further accentuated by using the Hadouken from Street Fighter.[7] In 2001, he graduated from TCI and enrolled in university, but dropped out during his first year in order to fully pursue professional wrestling.[1]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Premier Championship Wrestling and WWE (2001–2006)Edit

In 2001, Omega debuted in the Winnipeg-based promotion Premier Championship Wrestling (PCW).[12][13] Omega went on to defeat Adam Knight for the PCW Heavyweight Championship on September 18, 2003.[14] He dropped the title to Rawskillz on November 26.[15] He regained the title from Rawskillz in January 2004, however, he was forced to vacate the title on March 18, 2004, due to an injury.[16] In August, he teamed with his former rival Rawskillz and defeated the team of Shawn Houston and Chris Raine for the PCW Tag Team Championship, only to lose the title back to Houston and Raine the following month.[17][18][19] On October 17, Omega appeared at the National Wrestling Alliance's 56th Anniversary Show, where he unsuccessfully challenged Petey Williams for the TNA X Division Championship.[20] In March 2005, Omega lost to Tommy Knoxville at Millennium Wrestling Federation's ULTRA card.[21] He later won an eight-man tournament, defeating Nate Hardy, Chris Sabin, and Amazing Red, to win the Premier Cup and the NWA Canada X-Division Championship on June 2.[22] Omega lost the title to Rawskillz on September 15.[23] Nine days later, Omega made an appearance for Harley Race's World League Wrestling promotion in Eldon, Missouri, losing to Keith Walker in a match.[24] After the match, he was invited to a week-long tryout by WWE.[1]

In October 2005, Smith was sent to Deep South Wrestling (DSW), WWE's then-developmental territory for a tryout, after which he was offered a developmental contract and assigned to DSW full-time.[11] He made his debut on October 27, 2005, losing to Mack Johnson.[25] In August 2006, he requested his immediate release from his contract to return to Premier Championship Wrestling.[26] Omega later stated that his time in DSW was poor, particularly criticizing promoters Bill DeMott and Jody Hamilton,[27] and trainer Bob Holly.[28] Nevertheless, he also expressed praise for trainer Dave Taylor.[8] Omega has claimed that WWE has since approached him several times with a contract, including in the spring of 2014, three times in 2015, and in early 2019, but he has turned them all down.[29][30][31]

Return to PCW (2006–2019)Edit

After his release from WWE, Omega tried to find a career in mixed martial arts and entered a few Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments before deciding to return to professional wrestling.[1] Omega then reinvented his wrestling persona and developed a new move set, which he felt could not be duplicated.[1] On September 14, 2006, Omega made his return to PCW, defeating Rawskillz to earn a match with A.J. Styles, whom he also defeated in the main event the following week.[32][33] In June 2007, he defeated Petey Williams in the finals of the Premier Cup to win the tournament for the second time.[34] In September, Omega made his pay-per-view debut in Starting Point, the first pay-per-view for Wrestling Fan Xperience, battling Último Dragón in a match that lasted 25 minutes.[35]

On January 31, 2008, Omega defeated Mike Angels to win the PCW Heavyweight Championship for the third time.[36][37] On March 6, Omega dropped the title back to Angels in a three-way match, which also included Jon Cutler.[36][38] However, Omega defeated Angels to regain the PCW Heavyweight Championship for the fourth time just two weeks later.[36][39] Omega would lose the championship to Will Damon on March 10, 2011, ending his reign at 1,085 days.[40] Since losing the championship, Omega continued to appear sporadically for PCW and since has become a two-time PCW Tag Team Champion.[41]

Jersey All Pro Wrestling (2007–2009, 2010–2012)Edit

 
Omega in November 2008

Omega made his debut for Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) on September 8, 2007, where he was defeated by Danny Demanto in a match.[42] On March 8, 2008, Omega captured the JAPW Heavyweight Championship by defeating Low Ki in Jersey City, New Jersey.[43] That same day, he was in attendance at WSU's first-anniversary show in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey.[44][45] Omega's defended the JAPW Heavyweight for the first time on April 19, 2009, where he retained his title against Frankie Kazarian in a Champions Challenge at Spring Massacre.[46][47] He later defended his title against Grim Reefer.[46] During their match, Reefer was injured at the start of the match and was nearly stopped by the referee twice when he had difficulty breathing.[46][48] On July 10, Omega successfully defended his title against Jon Cutler in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.[49] On February 28, 2009, at Jersey City Rumble Omega lost the Heavyweight Title to Jay Lethal, after his associate Dan Maff turned on him, ending his reign at 357 days.[50]

Omega's next JAPW appearance took place on December 10, 2010, when he competed in a six-way elimination match for the JAPW Light Heavyweight Championship. Omega was eliminated from the match by the eventual winner, Jushin Thunder Liger.[51] On May 15, 2011, Omega defeated Liger in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during New Japan Pro-Wrestling's inaugural United States tour to win the JAPW Light Heavyweight Championship.[52] In a July 2013 interview, Omega said that although JAPW had not held a show since April 14, 2012, he would be interested in returning to the company, citing he still held the JAPW Light Heavyweight Championship.[53] After returning from a hiatus on November 15, 2014, JAPW stripped Omega of the Light Heavyweight Championship.[54]

Ring of Honor (2008–2010, 2016–2017)Edit

On July 25, 2008, Omega made his Ring of Honor (ROH) debut, losing to Delirious in Toronto, Ontario.[55] The following night, Omega made his Detroit debut at ROH New Horizons, losing to Silas Young.[56] After a losing streak, Omega gained his first victories in December and during his first year in ROH, scored two pinfall victories over the ROH World Champion Austin Aries.[57][58] On November 14, 2009, Omega received a shot at Aries' title, but was unable to defeat him for the title.[59] At Final Battle 2009, Omega competed in a Four-Corner Survival match, which was won by Claudio Castagnoli.[60] Omega only made six appearances for ROH in 2010 due to his working more regularly in Japan, with his match against Christopher Daniels on June 19 at Death Before Dishonor VIII being his final appearance for the promotion for nearly six years.[61]

In February 2016, it was reported that Omega had signed to become a regular competitor for ROH.[62] He wrestled his return match on February 26 at the 14th Anniversary Show, where he and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) successfully defended the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship against ACH, Kushida and Matt Sydal.[61] Months later it was reported that Omega was having issues with his visa.[63] His next ROH appearance took place in May at the NJPW and ROH co-produced War of the Worlds event in Toronto.[64] Towards the end of the year, he had the opportunity to return to ROH, but was asked by NJPW not to take any outside bookings heading into Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome, thus Omega did not appear for ROH for the rest of 2016.[65] He returned to ROH after an 18-month break in October 2017.[66]

Dramatic Dream Team/DDT Pro-Wrestling (2008–2014)Edit

 
Omega in 2010

In 2006, Omega became captivated by Japanese wrestler Kota Ibushi after watching him perform as part of Japanese promotion Dramatic Dream Team (DDT), so he filmed himself having a DDT-style match outside the confines of a wrestling ring as well as a video challenge to Ibushi and then uploaded them on YouTube in hopes of working with him.[2] After seeing the videos, DDT invited Omega to Japan to wrestle Ibushi, which Omega accepted, making his first appearance for the promotion in August 2008.[2][67] Omega stated that wrestling in Japan had been one of his dreams, as the local scene appealed to his creative side, feeling that he was able to show his personality and express himself.[1][2] He and Ibushi later formed a tag team named the Golden☆Lovers, winning the KO-D Tag Team Championship on January 21, 2009.[68][69] Omega and Ibushi dropped the championship to Francis Togo and Taka Michinoku in May.[70]

In 2011, Omega competed in a match against a nine-year-old girl named Haruka. A video of the match went viral, made international news, and led to Omega receiving numerous death threats. The video was also seen by Mick Foley, who praised Omega's work as a heel, while asking why he was not on national television.[71][72] The same year, Omega represented DDT in All Japan Pro Wrestling's 2011 Junior League, making his debut for the promotion on September 11.[73] After three wins and two losses, Omega finished second in his block and did not advance to the finals.[74] On October 23, Omega defeated Kai to become the new World Junior Heavyweight Champion.[75][76] Omega lost the title back to Kai on May 27, 2012, in his sixth title defense, ending his reign at 217 days.[77] On July 8, Omega defeated Danshoku Dino to win the 2012 King of DDT tournament, earning a shot at his tag team partner Ibushi's KO-D Openweight Championship.[78] Omega failed to obtain the title in the main event of DDT's 15th Anniversary event in Nippon Budokan on August 18.[79] He received another title opportunity on December 23, defeating El Generico to win the KO-D Openweight Championship for the first time.[80]

On January 27, 2013, Omega defeated Isami Kodaka in a title vs. title match to retain the KO-D Openweight Championship and win the DDT Extreme Division Championship.[81] After three successful title defenses, Omega lost the KO-D Openweight Championship to Shigehiro Irie on March 20, 2013.[82] On May 26, Omega once again became a double champion when he, Ibushi, and Gota Ihashi defeated the Monster Army (Antonio Honda, Daisuke Sasaki and Yuji Hino) for the KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[83] After a reign of only 28 days, Omega, Ibushi and Ihashi lost the title to Antonio Honda, Hoshitango and Yuji Hino on June 23.[84] On August 25, Omega lost the DDT Extreme Division Championship to Danshoku Dino.[85] On January 26, 2014, Omega and Ibushi defeated Yankee Nichokenju (Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto) and Konosuke Takeshita and Tetsuya Endo in a three-way match to win the KO-D Tag Team Championship.[86] On April 12, Omega and Ibushi became double tag team champions when they teamed with Daisuke Sasaki to defeat Team Drift (Keisuke Ishii, Shigehiro Irie and Soma Takao) for the KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[87] Their reign, however, lasted only 22 days, before they lost the title to Shuten-dōji (Kudo, Masa Takanashi and Yukio Sakaguchi) on May 4.[88] On September 28, Omega and Ibushi lost the KO-D Tag Team Championship to Konosuke Takeshita and Tetsuya Endo.[89] On October 26, Omega wrestled his final DDT match, where he and Ibushi defeated Danshoku Dino and Konosuke Takeshita.[90]

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (2008–2010, 2012, 2014, 2017)Edit

 
Omega after winning the 2009 Battle of Los Angeles to become the new PWG World Champion

On November 1, 2008, Omega made his Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) debut as a heel at the 2008 Battle of Los Angeles, where he was defeated in the first round of the tournament by local talent Brandon Bonham.[91] The next night, during a three-way tag team match in which Omega competed, he was Irish whipped into the ropes by Davey Richards, only for the force to snap the middle and bottom ropes, throwing Omega out of the ring.[92] Three months later, Omega returned to the company at Express Written Consent, where he was defeated by El Generico,[93] after senior referee Rick Knox grew tired of Omega abusing him and hit him with a leaping clothesline.[94] On April 11, 2009 at Ninety-Nine, Omega picked up his first victory in PWG by defeating Davey Richards after a Croyt's Wrath.[95] The following day at PWG's hundredth show, Omega was defeated by Bryan Danielson.[96]

On November 20, 2009, one year after making his debut for the company, Omega entered his second Battle of Los Angeles, which was contested for the vacant PWG World Championship. Omega defeated Kevin Steen, Scott Lost, and Joey Ryan in the first, quarter, and semifinal rounds, respectively.[97] Omega defeated Roderick Strong in the final round to win both the 2009 Battle of Los Angeles and the PWG World Championship.[98] Following his title victory, Omega was attacked by Brian Kendrick and The Young Bucks, who became villains in the process while also turning Omega into a fan favorite, before being saved by his old foes El Generico, Colt Cabana, and Rick Knox.[99] On February 27, 2010, at As the Worm Turns Omega lost the championship to Richards in his first defense.[100]

On October 27, 2012, Omega made his first appearance for PWG in over two and a half years at Failure to Communicate when he teamed with El Generico in a tag team match, where they defeated The Young Bucks.[101] Omega returned to PWG on August 29, 2014, to compete in the 2014 Battle of Los Angeles weekend,[102] advancing all the way to the semifinals until he was eliminated by the eventual winner of the tournament, Ricochet.[103][104] Omega returned to PWG on September 2, 2017, during the 2017 Battle of Los Angeles weekend,[105] teaming with The Young Bucks in a six-man tag team main event, where they defeated Flamita, Penta 0M and Rey Fenix.[106]

New Japan Pro-WrestlingEdit

Golden☆Lovers (2010–2014)Edit

On January 31, 2010, Omega made his debut for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) in a tag team match, where he and Kota Ibushi defeated Gedo and Jado via disqualification, during which Jado suffered a legitimate neck injury from a suicide dive from Omega.[107] On September, Omega battled Prince Devitt for Devitt's IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, where Omega was defeated.[108][109] On October 11 at Destruction '10, Omega and Ibushi defeated Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi, collectively as Apollo 55, to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.[110] On November 14, the Golden☆Lovers retained the title over Devitt and Taguchi.[111] On December 26, Omega and Ibushi once again successfully defended the title against Gedo and Jado.[112] On January 23, 2011, at Fantastica Mania 2011, a New Japan and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre co–promoted event in Tokyo, Omega and Ibushi lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship back to Devitt and Taguchi.[113][114] On May 26, Omega entered the 2011 Best of the Super Juniors and opened his tournament with a five match win streak, only to lose his last three matches and finish third in his block, narrowly missing the semifinals of the tournament.[115][116] On August 14, the Golden☆Lovers received a rematch for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, but were again defeated by Devitt and Taguchi.[117]

Omega returned to New Japan in May 2013 to take part in the 2013 Best of the Super Juniors, where he managed to win five out of his eight round-robin matches, advancing to the semifinals of the tournament.[118] On June 9, Omega was defeated in his semifinal match by Devitt, following interference from Devitt's Bullet Club stable.[119] A year later, Omega returned to take part in New Japan's 2014 Best of the Super Juniors tournament from May 30 to June 6, finishing with a record of three wins and four losses, with a loss against Taichi on the final day costing him a spot in the semifinals.[120][121]

Bullet Club and The Elite (2014–2017)Edit

 
Omega (far right) as a member of Bullet Club in early 2015

On October 3, 2014, NJPW held a press conference to announce that Omega had decided to sign with the promotion once his DDT contract expired on October 26.[122] Omega, dubbing himself the "Cleaner", made his debut under contract on November 8 at Power Struggle, where he was revealed as the newest member of Bullet Club, despite having previously dismissed the idea of joining the villainous foreigner stable, claiming that he did not consider himself a gaijin.[122][123][124]

At Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2015, Omega wrestled his first match as a member of Bullet Club, defeating Ryusuke Taguchi to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the first time.[125][126] He retained the title over Taguchi in a rematch on February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka.[127][128] In the following months, he also successfully defended the title against Máscara Dorada at Invasion Attack 2015 and Alex Shelley at Wrestling Dontaku 2015.[129][130][131] On July 5 at Dominion 7.5 in Osaka-jo Hall, Omega dropped the title to Kushida.[132][133] On September 23 at Destruction in Okayama, Omega regained the title back from Kushida, following an interference from his Bullet Club stablemate Karl Anderson.[134] On January 4, 2016, Omega once again lost the title to Kushida at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Tokyo Dome.[135]

The following day, Omega teamed with Bullet Club leader A.J. Styles to defeat Shinsuke Nakamura and Yoshi-Hashi in a tag team match.[136] After the match, Bullet Club turned on Styles, with Omega taking over the leadership of the stable.[137] On February 14 at The New Beginning in Niigata, Omega defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the vacant IWGP Intercontinental Champion.[138][139] Six days later at Honor Rising: Japan 2016, Omega became a double champion when he and The Young Bucks–the Bullet Club subgroup known as The Elite–defeated Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe, and Toru Yano for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[140] They lost the title to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Yoshitatsu on April 10 at Invasion Attack 2016.[141] This led to Omega's first defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship on April 27, where he defeated Elgin,[142] which marked the first time two Canadians main evented an NJPW event.[143] On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2016, The Elite regained the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship from Elgin, Tanahashi, and Yoshitatsu.[144] On June 19 at Dominion 6.19 in Osaka-jo Hall, Omega lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Elgin in NJPW's inaugural ladder match.[145] On July 3, The Elite lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship to Matt Sydal, Ricochet and Satoshi Kojima.[146]

From July 22 to August 13, Omega took part in the round-robin portion of the 2016 G1 Climax, where he won his block with a record of six wins and three losses, advancing to the finals.[147] On August 14, Omega defeated Hirooki Goto in the finals to win the 2016 G1 Climax and earn a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2017.[148] Omega not only won the tournament in his first attempt, but also became the first non-Japanese G1 Climax winner in history.[149][150] Omega was defeated by IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome.[151] At 46 minutes and 45 seconds, the match was the longest in the history of the January 4 Tokyo Dome Show.[152] Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer gave the match a six-star rating in his Wrestling Observer Newsletter, adding that Omega and Okada "may have put on the greatest match in pro wrestling history" and that it was the best match he had ever seen.[153] The match was also praised by Daniel Bryan, Mick Foley and Stone Cold Steve Austin.[154][155]

On January 6, 2017, Omega announced on his official Twitter account that he would be "stepping away from Japan to reassess [his] future", adding that he had no plan and was "weighing all options".[156] On January 26, Omega appeared on Wrestling Observer Radio, announcing he had made a decision regarding his future and that he would be flying back to Japan in mid-February to negotiate a new deal with NJPW for "at least one more year".[157] On February 3, NJPW announced that Omega would return to the promotion during the Honor Rising: Japan 2017 events.[158] On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2017, after Omega defeated Tomohiro Ishii in the main event of the show, Omega was nominated by Kazuchika Okada as his next challenger for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.[159] The title match between Omega and Okada on June 11 at Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall ended in a 60-minute time limit draw.[160] This match was rated 6¼ stars by Dave Meltzer, higher than their previous match, making it the highest rated match by Meltzer at that time.[161]

Dissension within Bullet Club (2017–2019)Edit

 
Omega as a member of The Elite alongside The Young Bucks, with whom he twice won the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship

On the first night of G1 Special in USA in July 2017, signs of dissension began to show between new Bullet Club member Cody and Omega. During the two-day event, Omega went on to defeat Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal, and finally Tomohiro Ishii in the special's eight-man tournament to become the inaugural IWGP United States Champion.[162] On August 12, Omega defeated Okada to win his block in the 2017 G1 Climax with a record of seven wins and two losses, advancing to the finals of the tournament.[163][164] The next day, Omega was defeated by Tetsuya Naito in the finals of the tournament.[165] On September 24 at Destruction in Kobe, Omega successfully defended the IWGP United States Championship for the first time against Juice Robinson.[166] His second title defense took place on October 15 at the NJPW and ROH co-produced Global Wars: Chicago event, where he defeated Yoshi-Hashi.[167] His next title defense took place on November 5 at Power Struggle, where he defeated Beretta. Post-match, Omega accepted a challenge from Chris Jericho for a match at Wrestle Kingdom 12.[168] At the event on January 4, 2018, Omega defeated Jericho in a no disqualification match to retain the IWGP United States Championship.[169]

On January 28, 2018, Omega dropped the title to Jay White at The New Beginning in Sapporo.[170] After the match, Bullet Club member Hangman Page confronted White but was stopped by Omega, who accepted defeat, which brought out Cody. After months of tension between Omega and Cody, the two faced off, resulting in Cody hitting Omega with his finishing move. When Page attempted to assist Cody to further attack Omega, Kota Ibushi returned to the ring after having competed earlier in the night to save his former partner, leading to an embrace between Omega and Ibushi, thus turning Omega face for the first time since 2014 and reuniting the Golden☆Lovers tag team.[171]

On June 9, Omega defeated Okada in a two out of three falls match with no time limit for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall, becoming the first Canadian wrestler to win the title in the process.[172] The match received a seven-star rating from Meltzer, which remains the highest rating ever given toward a match.[173] Omega then defeated Cody at NJPW's G1 Special in San Francisco on July 7, retaining his title as well as reaffirming his leadership of Bullet Club.[174] However, during Omega's post-match celebration with the Young Bucks, the three were attacked stablemates Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and King Haku, who targeted them as well as every single member of the stable who tried to make the save and then declared themselves the "BC Firing Squad" as well as the "real Bullet Club".[175] Omega then successfully defended his title against Ishii at Destruction, and later at King of Pro-Wrestling, where he defeated Cody and Ibushi in a three-way match.[176][177]

On the October 30 episode of the Talk is Jericho podcast, Matt Jackson confirmed that Cody, Scurll, and Page have joined the Elite and that the Elite have left Bullet Club, ending the rivalry between the Bullet Club OGs and the Elite.[178] On January 4, 2019, Omega lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13, ending his reign at 209 days.[179] He departed NJPW after his contract expired at the end of January.[180]

All Elite Wrestling (2019–present)Edit

On February 7, 2019, Omega signed a four-year contract with All Elite Wrestling (AEW).[181] Along with Cody and Matt and Nick Jackson, Omega will serve as both an in-ring talent and an executive vice president of the promotion.[182] He made his debut for the promotion at its inaugural pay-per-view, Double or Nothing, where he lost to Chris Jericho in the main event, after which both men were attacked by the debuting Jon Moxley.[183] In June, Omega teamed with the Young Bucks against the Lucha Brothers (Fénix and Pentagón Jr.) and Laredo Kid at Fyter Fest, with Omega securing the win for his team.[184] Two weeks later, Omega defeated Cima at Fight for the Fallen.[185]

Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (2019–present)Edit

On August 3, 2019, Omega made his debut for Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide as part of the promotion's partnership with AEW at its Triplemanía XXVII event, teaming with Matt and Nick Jackson in a losing effort against Fénix, Pentagón Jr., and Laredo Kid, after which Omega challenged Fénix for his AAA Mega Championship.[186]

Professional wrestling style and personaEdit

A fan of anime and video games, Smith incorporates ideas from the two into wrestling maneuvers, entrance music, and gimmick concepts.[187] His ring name "Kenny Omega" was originally inspired by the character Omega Weapon from the Final Fantasy video game series.[10] Other notable examples include naming one of his finishing maneuvers the One-Winged Angel, a reference to Final Fantasy VII's Sephiroth,[2] making use of variations of Mega Man antagonist Dr. Wily's theme music as entrance themes,[188] and utilizing the Hadouken attack from Street Fighter as a signature move.[189] For his final appearance for NJPW at Wrestle Kingdom 13, Smith collaborated with Undertale creator Toby Fox to create a custom entrance video in the style of the game, scored to a remix of the final boss theme "Hopes and Dreams".[190] In addition to anime and video games, Smith also draws inspiration from the television show Star Trek: The Next Generation and superhero cartoons to develop elements of his in-ring persona.[189]

As part of his villainous persona, Smith, who is fluent in Japanese, stopped talking in Japanese and instead did his interviews in English.[191] In reality, he was told that his otaku gimmick was "too bubbly" for Bullet Club, which led to him adopting the "Cleaner" nickname, which was intended to be a reference to people who clean up crime scenes. His look as the "Cleaner" was inspired by Albert Wesker from the Resident Evil video game series as well as Marion "Cobra" Cobretti from the film Cobra.[192] Although Smith originally intended to embody the gimmick straightforwardly, he later integrated comedy into the persona as a response to people who thought he was portraying a janitor, doing so by coming out for his matches holding a mop and a broom.[193]

Personal lifeEdit

Smith abstains from alcohol, tobacco, and drug consumption.[194] Regarding his life outside of wrestling, Smith said that he had no time to think about relationships because he was completely focused on his wrestling goals.[195] He is close friends with former DDT tag team partner Michael Nakazawa.[196]

Smith lived in the Katsushika ward in the east end of Tokyo and is fluent in Japanese.[2][197] Smith told ESPN.com that he "loved Japanese culture before even realizing it was, in fact, Japanese culture" and that his favorite video games and cartoons were Japanese.[198] He has since obtained a Japanese citizenship.[199]

Smith had previously hosted a YouTube series called Cleaner's Corner, where he showed himself playing some of his favorite video games.[189] He also attends video game conventions during his spare time.[200] On June 26, 2016, he made a special guest appearance at Community Effort Orlando, defeating WWE wrestler Xavier Woods in Street Fighter V.[201] Smith would later portray the character Cody Travers in a live-action portion for this character's reveal trailer for Street Fighter V.[202]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

...and the inaugural IWGP United States Champion
Additionally, Omega is the first and only Gaijin wrestler to win the G1 Climax tournament

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Birnie, Sheldon (February 27, 2015). "Transcona's Omega man". The Herald – Winnipeg. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Japanophiles - Kenny Omega". Begin Japanology. August 15, 2013. NHK World. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  3. ^ Meltzer, Dave (October 24, 2011). "October 24 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2011 Hall of Fame issue, GSP down, Bound for Glory and Bobby Roode, Hogan vs. Sting, giant issue". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California. p. 37. ISSN 1083-9593. Jeff Katz’s Wrestling Revolution Project taped its first season in Los Angeles this past week. [...] Kenny Omega, known as Scott Carpenter, was the star, with strong matches against Chris Masters (known as Concrete) and Killshot (Karl Anderson).
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "DDT ProWrestling" ケニー・オメガ. DDT Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Archived from the original on March 18, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c ケニー・オメガ. New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Archived from the original on November 24, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  6. ^ "Roster". Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Archived from the original on March 12, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e Van Der Griend, Blaine (April 20, 2009). "Kenny Omega finds a home in ROH". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Lianos, Konstantinos (September 2, 2018). "WWE news: Kenny Omega took swipe at Roman Reigns before All In triumph". Express.co.uk. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
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