After a year of waiting, Kenny Omega has finally ascended to the top of the AEW roster and has claimed his first AEW Championship. Since evolving once again into ‘The Cleaner’, Omega has set his sights on reclaiming the worldwide acclaim he earned during his NJPW days, putting on top-quality singles matches against championship calibre opponents.
Coming off of a stellar feud against a heel Jon Moxley last year, it only made sense for Kenny to return to exact revenge on Mox and steal his AEW title. There’s no doubt that Moxley has been a fantastic champion for the brand, putting on incredible title matches against the likes of Lance Archer, MJF and Eddie Kingston, but this is Kenny’s time to shine in AEW, and we’re more than ready to see some more outstanding performances from him.
But who could be next in line to face the ‘The Cleaner’? In this piece, we’re going to run down 5 potential championship opponents for Kenny Omega and the AEW title. Make sure you leave your own dream feuds down in the comments below.
1. Cody Rhodes
Before you jump down my throat about the clause Cody himself put in place at Full Gear 2019, hear me out. A few years back, when Cody Rhodes first joined the independent scene, one of the biggest indie talents in the world was none other than Kenny Omega. Shortly after Rhodes followed the footsteps of his future-Elite brethren, he was signed up to be Omega’s successor as leader of the Bullet Club.
This was a huge nod to Cody’s potential on the indie scene, as Kenny parted ways with ‘Hangman’, ‘The Villain’ and The Bucks to pursue a babyface run as IWGP World Champion. Even though the transition of leadership was amicable, there always seems to have been an air of missed opportunities with a feud between Omega and Cody.
Now that the two headlining stars have forged their own legacy in the US with AEW, it only feels right for them to eventually clash for ultimate supremacy. Cody is a huge star outside of his responsibilities as head-honcho, as is Kenny, these two headlining a future AEW pay-per-view would do nothing but favours for the promotion, and likely bring a fair few Meltzer stars for them to flaunt along with it.
There must be some way Cody can wrangle another opportunity at the AEW Championship, even if it’s in yet another losing effort, it just has to happen.
One other feud that Kenny Omega excelled in last year was his grudge with the debuting PAC. ‘The Bastard’ has recently returned to AEW Dynamite, having sat of the shelf for months on end thanks to COVID. Once PAC wraps things up with Eddie Kingston and his ‘family’, The Death Triangle should set their sights on picking up some championship gold to add to their acclaim.
PAC is easily one of AEW’s top draws, his return spiked the ratings and had the world talking about the possibilities of him reaching new heights in his rejuvenated career. PAC and Omega have proven that they have great chemistry with one another, a few more matches between the two could be exactly what’s needed to boost PAC’s credibility and help him get back into the top rankings of the AEW roster.
Maybe if AEW manage to put together a UK tour in 2021, then a battle between ‘The Cleaner’ and the home-country hero could be a belter of a main event draw. This will be the perfect chance for PAC to prove that he’s always been a top guy in the business.
3. Adam Page
I truly feel bad for everyone’s favourite beer-drinker, ‘Hangman’ Adam Page always seems to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to the AEW Championship picture, despite being one of the first two wrestlers to battle for it at the first All Out pay-per-view. All seemed to point towards Page being the inaugural champ, yet Chris Jericho managed to snatch that away from him. He then continued to be a weekly highlight in the Tag division, alongside Kenny Omega, the guy that defeated Page in the finals of the contendership tournament, once again halting his chances.
It’s about time ‘Hangman’ gets his chance to finally win the big one, and what better candidate for his opponent than Kenny Omega. Omega and Page’s feud arguably ended on a bit of an anti-climax, with their months of tension amounting to a tournament finale. You’d have thought that AEW would have wanted two of their biggest stars to headline an episode of Dynamite, let alone featured on a prominent pay-per-view. There’s a lot of loose ends left to tie with these two, and the AEW title could be exactly what’s needed to wrap things up.
Whether Page is the guy to dethrone Omega or not is down to debate, but I definitely think both wrestlers deserve another chance to perform together, to help bring an end to a year-long story and allow ‘Hangman’ to prove to everyone that he deserves to be featured in the AEW title picture.
4. Orange Cassidy
In such a short amount of time, Orange Cassidy has easily become one of the most talked about wrestlers outside of WWE. It’s crazy to think just how far he’s come since debuting at the first AEW event, Double or Nothing, not only has he competed in headlining feuds against the likes of Chris Jericho, but he’s also competed for singles gold and slowly worked his way up the rankings.
If wins and losses truly matter in AEW, then surely Orange Cassidy will eventually earn himself a chance to vie for the AEW Championship. Next week, Cassidy will battle for the Dynamite Diamond ring against MJF, which in the past has put Friedman on the pedestal that led to him challenging for Moxley’s AEW title. Should Cassidy pull off his biggest win yet, then who’s to say he shouldn’t achieve the same.
It’d be an underdog story that writes itself, with Kenny acting as Cassidy’s biggest test to date and giving fans the opportunity to rally behind the sloth-like hero like never before. Cassidy might not be everyone’s choice to bear the flag for AEW, but there’s no denying that he’s at least deserved the opportunity to be included in the conversation for future AEW Championship challengers.
5. Chris Jericho
The first-ever AEW Champion, Chris Jericho, has been holding things down in the mid-card since dropping the title to Jon Moxley. If anyone told you that Jericho’s status was hurt by that loss, then they’d be lying through their teeth. ‘The Painmaker’ remains one of the most valued stars on the AEW roster, and still has enough left in him to convincingly challenge for the AEW Championship and pose a threat to its owner, Kenny Omega.
The feud that kick-started All Elite Wrestling was indeed the revival of Alpha vs Omega, with the two battling in the main event of Double or Nothing 2019. It was a great match, which was somewhat overshadowed by the debut of Jon Moxley, but things didn’t quite feel like they’d reached their natural conclusion. Jericho and Omega have butted heads on a few occasions since, but Omega has yet to reclaim his victory over ‘Le Champion’.
One last contest between two of the greatest Canadians to ever grace the squared circle would certainly not be turned away, and with the AEW title on the line, this could very well be the biggest championship match AEW have put on to date. Should Jericho defeat Omega, absolutely not, this is Kenny’s time to shine as the top guy in AEW, and by redacting the loss to Jericho during the promotion’s infancy, much like he’s done with Mox, would do nothing but favours in establishing him as the standard bearer in all of pro wrestling.
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