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Omega makes a big claim about Vikingo as part of solid pitch for their ‘dream match’

All Elite Wrestling

Kenny Omega’s been angling for a match with El Hijo Del Vikingo since 2021, and he’ll finally get one tonight (Mar. 22) on Dynamite.

It’s been a huge talking point among wrestling fans since AEW owner Tony Khan first teased the announcement of a “dream match” last Friday. Some of that’s due to excitement Omega vs. Vikingo finally happening, but a lot is criticism or defense of Khan’s booking and promotion — in other words, the latest front in this decade’s wrestling war.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated out today, Omega waded into the battle. His pitch for the match starts with some hyperbole, as he says he couldn’t pass up the chance to wrestle Hijo del Vikingo regardless of the short notice. That’s because Kenny believes Vikingo will “change the way people think about wrestling”:

“Every Vikingo match has something embedded in it that we’ve never seen before. It’s a very exciting time. I thought our eventual clash would happen in AAA on Mexican soil, but it’s an opportunity that fell into my lap. I’m not the booker, I’m not the matchmaker, I don’t make the rules, but I have been given a chance to wrestle someone that’s going to change the way people think about wrestling and change the way we think about lucha libre. There is a sense of pride to help with this introduction of a new power player in professional wrestling. The way Vikingo’s captured people’s attention and conquered AAA, he deserves a world stage to show what he has to offer.”

I like the enthusiasm, and I’ve seen a few Vikingo matches (and read about many more thanks to our man Manolo’s overage). I still think of wrestling and lucha the same way. Just now I know there’s another immensely talented young person doing it.

And that’s the most effective part of Omega’s argument. More people are going to learn about Vikingo and Mexican wrestling because of tonight’s match — the same way Kenny and others of his generation did when ECW featured luchadors or Raw brought in talent from Japan in the 1990s:

“AEW is somewhat of a gateway drug for people that want to see new types of wrestling and these types of unique matches. We’ll always be accommodating to any talent on the planet— it doesn’t matter where they’re from, their shape, size, color, gender — who can display pro wrestling at its best. Pro wrestling is not just one particular style. A big motivator in creating AEW was unity. Coming together for one common goal, an open door to a platform for the best pro wrestling. By seeing two different sides clash, I hope people receive a different kind of experience from the encounter

“The two times I was most blown away were by individuals I’d never seen heading into the match. One was Rey Mysterio versus Psicosis in ECW, and the other was Great Sasuke versus Taka Michinoku when they first appeared for WWF. That took me down a rabbit hole so far that it helped create the wrestler I am today. So the people that want to cast this match away because they’re not too familiar with the name Vikingo, I hope they give it a shot. Allow this young man to display what makes him so special. We’re going to more than earn our spot in the show, and you get to be part of that experience.”

We’ll start to find out if Omega’s claims have merit tonight on Dynamite tonight.

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