Tonight, on AEW Dynamite, Kenny Omega takes on Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship.
For Omega, this is a chance to prove that he is back to the level of talent that is synonymous with his name. Up until these last few months, his singles run in All Elite Wrestling was subpar, to say the least. When the company formed, fans expected to see the man they saw take the independent scene by storm. While it took a little longer than expected, it looks like we’re starting to see The Cleaner return.
Will this be the night where Kenny Omega finally takes his place atop the AEW landscape? Honestly, all signs are pointing to yes. After he and ‘Hangman’ Adam Page lost the AEW Tag Team Championships to FTR at All Out, Omega stated that he wanted to return to singles action. His reasoning was that he wanted to give people a taste of what they expected from him all along.
He wasted little time keeping his word; he took part in the AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament, besting Sonny Kiss and Penta El Zero M to advance to the finals. Then, at Full Gear last month, he outlasted Page in a gruelling bout to earn a shot at Moxley’s AEW World Championship.
Throughout the tournament, we saw some familiar glimpses of The Cleaner. It didn’t matter who he faced, Omega walked into each match basically expecting to win. Then, with each victory, his confidence continued to grow. That certainly does not work in Moxley’s favour. He’s taken on and bested all challengers, including Darby Allin, Brodie Lee, MJF, and most recently, Eddie Kingston. However, facing an extremely confident Omega is without a doubt going to be his toughest challenge yet.
Something else that hints at a title change tonight is the fact that rematches are basically nonexistent in AEW. If a challenger loses, they almost never get another shot at the current champion. Another thing that gives Omega the edge is the fact that he is one of the best straight-up wrestlers in the world. That is absolutely no knock on Moxley; he is great in his own right, but he tends to thrive in more hardcore/deathmatch style contests.
The only other time he faced Omega in AEW was in an unsanctioned Lights Out match last year at Full Gear. Moxley beat him that night, but last week on Dynamite Omega asked him to leave the garbage wrestling at home this time. He declared that if the champ wanted to call himself the best, he needed to beat him in the middle of the ring. It didn’t matter if it was by pinfall, submission, or by choking him out, as long as he beat him based on his ability.
The challenger isn’t wrong; the best wrestler in the world label is based on talent, not what you do with weapons or added stipulations. While Moxley is clearly capable of holding his own in traditional wrestling matches, Omega still holds the advantage there. They don’t call him The Best Bout Machine for nothing. Additionally, Omega is hell-bent on taking back what he claims Moxley took from him. He’s said that holding the AEW World Championship is the key to being the man that’s most talked about in professional wrestling. That’s the spot where many people expected him to be when AEW started. Instead, they wondered where the “real” Kenny Omega went.
Except he felt that The Cleaner and The Best Bout Machine never went anywhere. He was just too busy focusing on teaming with Page for most of the year. But now he is ready to reassume his responsibilities of being the best wrestler in the world.
This showdown is already a match of the year candidate before both men even step foot in the ring. The buzz surrounding it is off the charts, with AEW touting it as the biggest match in Dynamite history. So, why wouldn’t they have Omega win the title then and there? It also doesn’t help that the next pay-per-view, Revolution, isn’t until February 27, 2021. AEW doesn’t like overextending feuds, so it’s very unlikely that they would wait that long to put the belt on Omega.
Will this live up to the hype? It’s safe to say so; both men are at the top of their games and are going to push each other to their absolute limits. As mentioned above, this is more than just a title match. This is also about proving who really is the best of the best.
Once the dust settles, Kenny Omega is going to walk away with the AEW World Championship. While Moxley has had a great run, it’s time for the reign of The Cleaner to begin.