Sonny Onoo Says Tony Khan Nearly Brought Top WCW/NJPW Star Into AEW

On a recent episode of the Perched on the Top Rope podcast, Lee Walker sat down with iconic WCW manager Sonny Onoo and pro wrestling legend Ultimo Dragon. Ultimo Dragon has wrestled nearly all the great in-ring workers in pro wrestling history. He recalled his WAR match against Owen Hart in 1992.


"He says his aura was different than other wrestlers," Onoo interpreted for Ultimo Dragon. "I did a singles match with him. I couldn't believe that they were allowing me to have the opportunity to have a match with someone who, he felt, was such a great wrestler. I don't remember the match itself, but the opportunity that allowed me to wrestle such a great wrestler, one of the highlights, in memory, that I have."

AEW recently announced a partnership with the Owen Hart Foundation. Through this partnership, licensed merchandise will be sold, and there will be an Owen Hart Invitational Cup. AEW President Tony Khan has given small details on the Owen Cup, and Ultimo Dragon gave his thoughts on AEW honoring Hart's legacy.


"He feels that because Kenny Omega is one of the principal persons in AEW as well as the champion, and he's Canadian, so I'm sure there's that influence as well," Ultimo Dragon noted through Onoo.

Onoo was recently seen on AEW Dynamite accompanying Yuji Nagata in his IWGP U.S. Title challenge against Jon Moxley. Onoo talked about what it was like to return to TNT for the first time in over 20 years.

"He has not seen it. For me, I was there in person," Onoo stated. "20 plus years later, Yuji got to come back on same network, TNT, that WCW was and not only that, many of the guys, the production crew, many of them were WCW guys, so it was good to see everybody. It gave me the opportunity to go see people who I haven't seen for 20 years. Many people like Dean Malenko, Arn Anderson, those guys are people working behind the scene on AEW, so it's great to see those guys."

AEW have brought back many other WCW legends including Juventud Guerrera. Walker asked Ultimo Dragon if he was ever contacted by AEW, and Onoo revealed the details behind that.

"Before the AEW started on Turner network, I did get a call directly from Tony Khan. I spoke with him, and he wanted to have Ultimo Dragon on the show or one of their promotional shows in Florida," Onoo revealed. "I forget the name of it, but it was a computer convention type of show. He wanted to know what the details were, but briefly, what I can tell, it was a one-time shot, and he was getting ready to go back to Japan for Dragon Gate, which is a company he started originally in Japan, but he stepped away from it for many years. And that opportunity came at the same time. It was more of a conflict of scheduling."


If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Perched on the Top Rope with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.