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Kenny Omega is leaving Japan and ‘weighing all options’

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Friday’s Rude Awakening looks at a surprise Kenny Omega announcement, Jeff Jarrett’s reunion with TNA, and Kassius Ohno’s return.

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We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.

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Kenny Omega just put on a match with Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11 that has the wrestling community buzzing, but just two days later, he’s made an announcement that is overshadowing it. Omega said he’s "stepping away from Japan to reassess his future," and followed that up to say his "there is no plan, My schedule is cleared and I’m weighing all options." This is a fascinating turn of events given his comments to Sports Illustrated before Wrestle Kingdom 11, in which Omega made it seem as if he had zero interest in being "a cog in the machine," in reference to joining WWE.

So, we can look at this a few ways. Maybe Omega is tired of the back-and-forth from his home to Japan, and wants something a little closer to home. Or maybe his statements about being a cog in the machine aren’t being read closely enough, and that it’s he’s fine with joining WWE, but he’s not going to do it if it means languishing in the mid-card or worse when he should be a main-event talent from day one. If he can land in WWE in the same way AJ Styles did — maybe not coincidentally, Styles is someone he namedropped in that interview — then there could be interest in joining WWE that way.

Or maybe WWE really isn’t in his future, and Omega is going to end up doing a whole lot of wrestling for different promotions back in North America like his Bullet Club teammates, the Young Bucks, have done. Can you imagine Omega developing a Lucha Underground character while still working indie dates with the kind of pull that he now has following his New Japan stint? We don’t know for sure what he’s going to do next, but it sounds like Kenny Omega doesn’t, either, so all we can do is wait until he’s figured out his next step.