Kenny Omega Recalls First Conversations With Tony Khan Prior To AEW’s Launch
Kenny Omega shared his impressions of Tony Khan when they first discussed the launch of AEW as a pro wrestling company.
When AEW launched in January 2019, one of the big reasons why it garnered so much attention is that they had a lot of star power. Chris Jericho committed to the company while Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks were also free agents that signed deals to become Executive Vice Presidents. They also had legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross with them as well.
A few months later, Kenny Omega joined AEW as an EVP when his NJPW contract expired. At the time, Omega was having incredible matches in NJPW and earning a reputation as one of the best wrestlers in the world that wasn’t in WWE.
At the first AEW PPV ever called Double or Nothing 2019, Jon Moxley made the jump from WWE after his contract expired. Moxley has been arguably AEW’s MVP ever since he walked in the door.
Kenny Omega was recently a guest on the Swerve City podcast hosted by Swerve Strickland, Monteasy, & Rich Latta to talk about the beginnings of AEW.
“I went to the room at the Tokyo Dome hotel and [Tony] was just talking. I could definitely get a grasp that he was a historian. He knew facts about everything. Super ultra fan type stuff and interesting data to know because he was able to predict the wrestling forecast and things and why it is actually realistic that we could pull it off.”
“I remember him saying, and he seemed very committed, ‘I’m going to start a promotion. Whether I can get a TV deal or not, I’m going to find a way to have our product be seen, whether it be buying my own streaming service or what. I’m going to do this.’”
As he continued, Kenny Omega spoke about how the timing was really good for AEW’s launch due to all of the talent available at the time.
“For me, it was that timing of, there was never going to be a time where Jericho was going to be available, [Jim Ross] was going to be available, Mox, myself, the Bucks, Cody, Hangman (Page), people you can build a foundation of a promotion around. If it wasn’t then, it was kind of never. I thought, ‘I don’t know if I want to challenge American wrestling right now.’ I was so happy and content in New Japan, but I was also worried about my longevity there.”
During his AEW career, Kenny Omega is a former AEW World Champion as well as a current Trios Tag Team Champion with The Young Bucks.