In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, AEW World Champion recalled his last conversation with Jay White and Will Ospreay before he left NJPW for AEW.
“Before I left New Japan, I pulled aside Ospreay and Jay White,” Omega said. “I don’t even know if I should tell this story, but I will. I told both, ‘This company, at least the western expansion and the pride of the foreigners, it’s all in your hands. They’re going to look to you to carry this thing, so you’ve got to do it.’ I said it to Jay and Ospreay knowing it was a likely scenario, but also hoping to light a fire under both of them.”
Omega felt the conversation lit a fire under Ospreay, who underwent a physical transformation and made a “complete career shift.”
“For Ospreay, he’d really came into his own,” Omega admitted. “He made a complete career shift, and he was going to be a fantastic champion. He made changes to his body, he made changes to his style, his look, his demeanor. He became the person that he needed to be the champion of that company. Unfortunately, becoming champion wasn’t enough for him. He tried to fill my shoes.”
Omega proceeded to take a shot at Ospreay, who was recently forced to vacate the IWGP World Heavyweight Title due to a neck injury.
“Physically, even though he is one of the most gifted performers to ever step foot in the ring, there is only one Kenny Omega—and you can’t fill those shoes. Thus, now his belt is vacant, so perhaps it was always meant to be my belt and my belt alone. That’s not me making a firm statement as to whether I’ll make a venture out there, just that there is no one there that can fill my shoes or override my legacy.”
The AEW star added, “When Ospreay comes back, he’ll have to re-analyze who he is and who he’s meant to be, because he’s not meant to be me.”
Omega will defend his AEW World Title against PAC and Orange Cassidy at Sunday’s AEW Double or Nothing pay-per-view. Wrestling Inc. will have live coverage of the event. The complete card is available at this link.