Whether or not you think AEW made the right choice to replace Jon Moxley as Kenny Omega’s opponent at All Out when a staph infection in his elbow caused Mox to pull out of the Aug. 31 pay-per-view (PPV) - and neither PAC nor Dustin Rhodes is a “wrong” choice, just different preferences and arguments - there’s one thing we can all agree on.
Whenever Moxley vs. Omega does happen? It’s gonna be electric.
The build was already top notch before Friday’s bombshell announcements. But as teased on Saturday, Kenny’s full comments after learning of the Death Rider’s injury mid-promo are electrifying.
From today’s episode of The Young Bucks’ YouTube show, Being The Elite:
“... what a sad story, right? Don’t you feel sorry for Jon Moxley? I mean, he just showed up. He defied the wrestling god, and he came to AEW, threw me off a stack of chips and then he went on this journey. A warrior’s journey. He wanted to know what it was like to live a month in the life of Kenny Omega’s shoes. Insert wrestler name here, better than sign, Kenny Omega. And people were doing that with you. They were. Cause you were like the hot topic for fifteen minutes. This is your big chance at redemption. In the excitement of being a free man - you called it a paradigm shift, right? That was cool. That could go on a shirt.
And then you went to Japan. How did that tournament go in Japan? Did you win? I know that I did. First try. Got the shirt to prove it. You decided to start wanting to check off all those boxes on that bucket list of yours. Did anyone really talk about you in Japan?
You got a boo-boo on your elbow [mock crying]. What’s your explanation? You just gonna write a sappy tweet apologizing to everyone? Make everyone feel bad for you? Kenny? What happened to the dream match? Kenny, what happened to Jon Moxley? What happened to my dream?
Did I go to Japan and wrestle 24 days in a month before fighting you? No, you see, I did this thing Jon. It’s called being a professional. What am I supposed to say? I was ready, I took you seriously. I never got myself injured. I got myself in the best shape of my life. You never took me seriously. You never took this PPV seriously.
You owe everyone an apology, you owe me an apology, and you should really look in the mirror, Jon, mm-hmm, you should look in the mirror and you should ask yourself, ‘what the fuck am I doing?’
I’m playing this all back in my mind and I’m thinking I’m being really insensitive, because this is a real serious injury, it could have happened to anybody, right? You were careless. I blame you. And if people want to look at me like I’m the bad guy? Well, jeez, they’re just as bad as you are Jon. You left a lot of pieces, a lot of broken dreams, and a lot of disappointed fans laid upon my feet. And they’re begging for something now, huh? What kind of wrestler does that?
... see Jon, I would love to wish you a speedy recovery. That’s what I’m supposed to say. But at this point, I could really give a shit if you ever come back.”
As I mentioned when writing up Kenny’s The Road To All Out interview about Mox from before the injury changed the match, I’m someone who never liked Omega’s promo style from New Japan. In fact, I really, really disliked it. Now, with that speech and this one, he’s delivered two of my favorite promos of the year.
There’s a lot of news in this episode (more on that in a separate post), but there’s not a lot of build to PAC vs. Omega. We get a peak at a booking meeting between Matt & Nick Jackson and Cody Rhodes where they get a shot in at WWE, and tease names from Kenny & BTE’s past as possibilities before referencing PAC being pulled from the Double Or Nothing card and calling him. But that’s it.
Still, even if he was building heat for the Moxley feud, this episode succeeds in giving us more insight into Omega’s character. And that makes it easier to root for or against him going forward.