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From a WWE Developmental Wrestler, to the Leader of The Bullet Club,To Now The Winner of the 2016 G1 Climax, Kenny Omega’s evolution in wrestling has been memorable.

In the last nine months Kenny Omega has become one of the hottest and fastest rising stars in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Originally working as a Junior Heavyweight with some success, Kenny Omega has become one of the top heavyweights in the company currently wrestling in the annual G1 Climax Tournament.

Kenny Omega’s career began back in 2001, working for a small wrestling promotion near his native hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada named Premier Championship Wrestling. He would begin his career for the promotion and bounced around a few other independent promotions until he was noticed by WWE.

Kenny Omega was offered a WWE developmental contract and was assigned to its Deep South Wrestling developmental territory in 2005. Despite achieving the ultimate goal of earning a WWE contract, Kenny Omega asked for and was granted his release from WWE in early 2006. Omega has stated that he hated his time in WWE and felt he gained nothing from the experience

Kenny Omega then decided to jump back on the independent scene. Omega’s travels brought him to popular promotions such as Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.However, Kenny Omega knew where he wanted to go, Omega had dreamed of being able to bring his talents to Land of the Rising Sun.

Kenny Omega began making appearances for the extremely popular New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2010. Upon arriving in New Japan, Omega became apart of the Junior Heavyweight Division. Here he formed the Tag Team Duo, Golden Lovers along with Kota Ibushi. The pairing won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles. The pair would hold the title for a few months before dropping them to Ryusuke Taguchi and Prince Devitt.

After bouncing back from New Japan to the United States to continue working for Independent promotions,Omega signed with New Japan full time in October 2014. He quickly aligned himself with The Bullet Club. The Bullet Club, which featured most of the top North American stars wrestling in Japan, were the most villainous stable in the company at the time.

Omega ended up replacing Prince Devitt as the Bullet Clubs competitor in the Junior Heavyweight Division. This move seemed to be bright as Omega would defeat his former partner Taguchi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at WrestleKingdom 9 in 2015. Kenny Omega would hold the title for around 6 months before losing it to Kushida.

Kenny Omega would win the title back from Kushida a few months later but would once again lose the title back to him at WrestleKingdom 10 at the beginning of 2016. Many believed we would see one match between Omega and Kushida however, Omega made a shocking decision regarding his wrestling career.

Kenny Omega decided to join the heavyweight division instead of utilizing his rematch clause for the Junior Heavyweight Championship. Omega also “beat” out, AJ Styles (Who was leaving NJPW for WWE) out of The Bullet Club and named himself the new leader of the faction. Omega would then set his sights on Shinsuke Nakamura and the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

However, Nakamura would too be leaving for WWE and thus the Intercontinental Championship was declared vacant. Omega was given an opportunity to win the vacant championship in a match against Hiroshi Tanahashi. In his biggest victory (at the time) Omega shocked everyone by defeating the Ace of New Japan and claiming the Intercontinental Championship.

Omega would hold onto the championship until he lost the belt to fellow Canadian, Michal Elgin at Dominion back in June. During his run as Intercontinental Champion, Omega would  team up with his fellow Bullet Club brothers, The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson). The trio named themselves as The Elite and won the Never Open-weight 3 Man Tag Championships on two occasions.

After losing the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, Kenny Omega set his sights for the upcoming G1 Climax Tournament. Being considered by many as the MVP of the tournament Omega had some of the best matches during the 3 week tournament. His B-Block Final match against Tetsuya Naito is considered by many as an match of the year candidate.

In what many considered a shock Kenny Omega defeated A-Block winner, Hirooki Goto in the finals to win the 2016 G1 Climax. With other stables like Chaos, and Los Ingobernables dominating the recent movement in New Japan, fans started to believe that Bullet Club was losing momentum. Omega quickly ended this belief by winning the tournament.

Kenny Omega now has the right at the moment to compete for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleKingdom 11, on January 4th, 2017.Omega though by rule will have to put his Main Event contract on the line against the men who beat him the tournament Yoshi Hashi, Katsuyori Shibata and Michael Elgin.

If he can get through these three men he will be on his way to Tokyo Dome on January 4th competing for the biggest prize in New Japan Pro Wrestling. The belief is that Kenny Omega will face current champion Kazuchika Okada in the main event of WrestleKingdom. The match would see the leader of Chaos battling the leader of Bullet Club.

Kenny Omega’s rise to the top has been absolutely incredible to see. Omega became the first North American to win the G1 Climax in its 26 year history. He has been able to accomplish things that many men who travel over to Japan were never able to do. Going from the Junior Heavyweight to the Heavyweight Division, Omega has become one of New Japans top stars.

Kenny Omega is also fluent in Japanese. So along with being able to compel fantastic promos to the English crowd he can also cut great promos to the Japanese crowd. He also is fantasic in the ring already putting on a handful of 5 star matches alone in 2016. Whether you love him or hate him, the future is very bright for Kenny Omega.

If Kenny Omega has his way he’ll start his 2o17 with a bang in the Tokyo Dome. Whether he’ll leave with the championship that Okada has made hard for people to take from him is hard to say. However, Kenny Omega has shown that betting against him isn’t the smart thing to do. If Kenny Omega keeps up his momentum than it looks like on January 4th, Kenny Omega and The Bullet Club will be the Kings of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

By Jay Sichler

Jay Sichler Has Been A Wrestling Fan For Over 20 Years, And Is an Avid Watcher of WWE, and NJPW. He graduated from St. Josephs College in 2013, and is currently in Graduate School at Long Island University. His favorite current wrestlers are Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins , Kevin Owens and Tetsuya Naito. If you like what he writes Email him at jaysichler@yahoo.com