Kenny Omega is currently one-half of the AEW Tag Team Champions alongside Adam Page. When Omega left NJPW for AEW last year, it was seen as a huge win for the company. While in Japan, Omega’s star power shot straight to the top, with the Best Bout Machine taking part in some pretty incredible storylines.
None, however, were more entertaining than the strained relationship he shared with Kota Ibushi. It was a near decade long story that saw them emotionally reunite in 2018, seven years after they split.
One of the most important parts of that storyline took place back at Invasion Attack 2015. AJ Styles successfully defended the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Ibushi after a distraction from Omega, which further drove a wedge between the two.
In an interview with Bleach Report, Omega noted that the moment took place because of the Phenomenal One. The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion noted how important kayfabe was to NJPW. According to him, he’d not been near Ibushi, in front of the crowd or even in the same locker room, for years.
This was the closest, physically, I had been to Ibushi ina wrestling environment for the longest time. For it to be in this huge title match with AJ Styles, and there was going to be this moment where what I did impacted the match, it was emotional for both of us.
I can’t take all of the credit. Actually, AJ was a huge driving force. He went to the office and said, ‘Please, Gedo, let Kenny be the only guy that comes out. I know Kenny has this thing that he wants to do, so let Kenny have this moment.’
If there were other Bullet Club guys there, it may have get lost in the shuffle. He wanted it just to be me, and I think it helped magnify the impact of what happened in the ring and the real emotions.
The storyline between Omega and Ibushi is considered by many to be one of the greatest in the history of NJPW. It’s safe to say that, without that moment in 2015, it may not have been so special.