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Kenny Omega is the new Impact World Champion and that’s great for everyone

Somebody has to beat this guy and it better be an Impact wrestler

In episodes of The West Wing, one of President Josiah Bartlett’s go-to phrases was “what’s next?” It was Bartlett’s way to either express his dismissive feelings for a subject, move to the next essential item on a list full of them, or show his genuine curiosity for what happens tomorrow after they deal with today’s problems.

That last sentiment is the reason why Martin Sheen’s voice echoed around in my dome as Kenny Omega and Rich Swann started on this road to beating the living hell out of each other. There was no way on this earth or any other that Swann was walking away as AEW World Champion. A match of this magnitude ending in a disqualification would incite a riot, even in an empty venue, and Scott D’Amore and Tony Khan knew it.

Then it happened. Not only did Omega win, but these two put on a dope match to boot.

It took every tool in Kenny’s belt to put Rich down for the count, which is potentially a good thing in the long run. Well, hopefully. Omega is currently Thanos of the wrestling world, collecting jewelry on his way to world domination. Whoever knocks him off that pedestal is going to be kind of a big deal. And it has to be someone from Impact Wrestling.

Look, it’s hard to argue the benefits of this partnership don’t lean heavily to AEW. So I won’t even attempt to debate that. Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone are on Impact seemingly every week. They clown Impact for all the obvious reasons, and there aren’t any Impact “ads” on one second of AEW’s hundred-hour official weekly programming. Now? AEW’s top guy is also Impact’s top guy for only God knows how long. Lopsided isn’t even the word for that.

But Impact also got more eyeballs. People now pay attention to it for the right reasons rather than the usual sh*ts and giggles. They’re putting out a dope product when the lights are the brightest and hottest. To say nothing of the fact Impact’s world champion did the damn thing with one of the greatest of all time. The fact we’re all talking about Impact in the wee hours before Raw says it all.

Wrestling is about the give and take. Khan and crew took a lot from Impact in service of its own storylines. But also, and here’s the rub, hopefully, to serve a more significant function down the road. AEW’s strength is long-form storytelling, so there’s a chance the company’s arrogance — along with Omega’s — becomes an Achilles heel in the future. Especially since we’re officially in uncharted waters for this era of wrestling.

Omega is a heel, so he doesn’t — and probably won’t — acknowledge how hard he worked to beat Rich. AEW should, if only to take the piss out of the company’s number two heel. And yes, as long as Britt Baker is around, Kenny will always be number two on the bad guy totem pole. But I digress.

Giving props to the competition brings prestige to the Impact World Championship and Impact as a whole. Which makes it mean a whole lot more when Omega finally gets a three-second tan and walks away with one less belt than he had when he walked in.

What’s next? I can’t tell you that. But I can tell you what should come next: Impact looking a lot stronger tomorrow than they do today, with a newly crowned champion giving his best Tony Stark impression while vanquishing Omega back to Dynamite. It wouldn’t be the end of this Forbidden Door universe experiment, but a fitting cap to the first chapter of what is hopefully a pretty long saga. And the better Impact and their wrestlers look, the better everyone looks in the end.

How should this end, Cagesiders? Who beats Omega and gets made over night?

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