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Here’s how New Japan & AEW may be setting up Omega vs. Ospreay III

For years, Kenny Omega was the top gaijin (foreigner) wrestling in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. After he left to form AEW, Will Ospreay was positioned for that spot. There are a few reasons why it’s debatable if Ospreay’s claimed it, and valid explanations why he may not have.

Those have left a chip on the 29 year old Brit’s shoulder, and formed the basis of his IWGP United States championship defense against Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 17 back in January. Kenny beat Ospreay for the belt there, which made that chip even bigger.

It was only the second time they’d ever faced off one-on-one (the first was at a PWG show in 2015), and it exceeded the lofty expectations many had for it. Seeing as Kenny being U.S. champ meant he obviously wasn’t done in New Japan, anticipation for a trilogy bout with Ospreay was high.

Omega’s AEW obligations and an Ospreay injury put their feud on the back burner, but New Japan’s announced plans that could set-up a rematch of their Tokyo Dome classic for this summer. Maybe, say, at June 25’s Forbidden Door in Toronto or All In at Wembley in August?

We’re getting ahead of ourselves, though. Here’s what we know.

NJPW has announced a four-man tournament to determine Omega’s next challenger. Each of the entrants is a former IWGP U.S. champ — and one of the former titleholders in the mix is the Aerial Assassin.

The Lance Archer vs. Juice Robinson match will take place this Sunday (April 16) at New Japan’s Collision in Philadelphia show. Ospreay then takes on Hiroshi Tanahashi at Resurgence in Long Beach, California on May 21. The winners of those two bouts will face-off at June 4’s Dominion event in Osaka, Japan, and the man whose hand gets raised after that will be Omega’s next challenger.

A win by any of the four isn’t out of the question. Archer or Robinson would work if AEW & New Japan just want to set-up something for an episode of Dynamite or an NJPW of America card. Tanahashi is always an option, and Kenny & the Ace of the Universe have only had a couple singles matches themselves over the course of their legendary careers. Their names opposite each other on the card would be a selling point for any show.

But Omega vs. Ospreay III on the marquee? A straight-forward passing-of-the-torch rivalry building off their acclaimed Wrestle Kingdom clash? That seems like the smart thing to do if you want to sell a lot of tickets and PPVs.

It’s also just conjecture, though. We don’t even know when the champ will face the winner of this mini-tournament.

Let us know what you think, fellow fantasy bookers.

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