The big story coming out of the last weekend was AEW’s Kenny Omega defeating Rich Swann to become the new Impact Wrestling World Champion. This gives Omega three World Titles, as he is also the reigning AAA Mega Champion (from Mexico). You do not see these things very often, though they have happened before. Depending on whom you ask, this was either a monumental change or just something that happened last weekend, which sounds like it warrants a bit closer look.
The major appeal of the whole situation is to have Omega being champion of a variety of promotions of varying levels around the world. AEW has certainly accomplished that and….ok? I’ve heard this idea from them for several months now and for the life of me, I don’t get why I’m supposed to be interested. Omega has been World Champion elsewhere, namely in New Japan, and that probably means a good bit more than what he’s doing now. At the end of the day, being the Impact World Champion has one major drawback: it’s just Impact.
Yeah that is where some of this starts to fall apart. To put it bluntly, Impact Wrestling is not an important company. It was a much bigger deal back in its day, but over the last several years, the company has fallen back to what it has been for most of its existence: a promotion which has some talented wrestlers which mainly serves as a running joke in the industry. Is winning the Impact World Title really going to make Omega into that much bigger of a deal?
It doesn’t help that the story was basically “Omega is better than Swann, Omega beats Swann in a six man, Swann beats one of Omega’s friends in a six man, everyone knows that Omega is going to beat Swann to win the title, Omega beats Swann to win the title.” You knew where this was going and while the match was pretty good, it wasn’t exactly some masterpiece as I spent the match waiting around for it to end with the only possible conclusion: Omega wins with the One Winged Angel.
That’s what I can’t get my head around with the whole situation. Other than having Omega getting to work with the Good Brothers, what exactly does this do? Omega gets to add another stone to his World Title Infinity Gauntlet and Impact Wrestling gets a small boost in its ratings while its wrestlers are treated like completely losers and….so? Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t get what this does for AEW. Is the idea of Omega having so many World Titles really up there with Austin vs. McMahon or the NWO? Yeah he’s the AEW World Champion, but he’s also the World Champion of this other, smaller promotion. Uh, cool? I guess?
So where do we go from here? Does Omega go after the MLW World Title? Ring of Honor perhaps? The NWA? Aside from winning the IWGP World Title again, what is there for him to do that is going to matter? I can imagine him winning any or all of those three smaller titles, but is he that much of an Ultimo Dragon fan that it is going to make him a bigger star? Omega already has a bunch of titles, but now he has EVEN MORE titles! And some of them are actually kind of important! PCO held one of them a year and a half ago!
What makes this a little more underwhelming is how slowly they are moving with the whole thing. Omega won the AAA Mega Title on October 19, 2019, the AEW World Title on December 2, 2020 and the AEW World Title on April 25, 2021. At this pace, how long are they supposed to go with this story? If they are going to go full blast with the thing and have Omega win all kinds of titles, we could be looking at this lasting well over another year. Is there really that much interest in Omega being the king of the world? And then dropping all of the titles back to someone else?
So how could you do something like this in a better way? In short, have Omega go nuts with the thing. Have him go to some other promotion and win some nothing championship. Win the OVW Rush Title, the ECCW Title, the New Texas Pro Wrestling….whatever their main title is called. Have him win the Northeastern Wrestling Tag Team Titles on his own. There are a million ways to go with this, but if that isn’t enough, there is always the exaggerated route.
Have Omega make up a bunch of titles. He beats someone on Dark? Omega is the inaugural Lights Out YouTube Champion. Omega pins a wrestler from Michigan? All hail the new holder of the Michigan Upper Peninsula Professional Entertainment Title. Say he beat Cedrick Von Haussen to become the Champion Of Liechtenstein (ten points for anyone who gets that reference without looking it up).
Again, there are all kinds of ways to go with this but for some reason AEW is taking the slowest and in a way most backwards way to get there. Omega already has the most valuable title available so what difference does it make if he keeps piling up more titles? If he is going to defend them all and be a regular on that many shows, how long is it going to be before a lot of his charm wears off? Omega and Don Callis are a great combination, but like anyone else, fans are not going to be thrilled to see him every week on every single show.
In addition to all of that though, this isn’t even the most original idea. Austin Aries had the Belt Collector deal a few years ago, to the point where he was carrying them around in a wheelbarrow. The Hardys did something similar with the Expedition Of Gold, to the point where they were holding titles from companies based in America, Canada, Mexico and Chile at the same time.
If you want to go back in time a little bit, Jerry Lawler held and defended the WCCW and AWA World Titles at the same time. If you want to get downright picky with it, Omega isn’t even the first blond wrestlers from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada who has wrestled in the same match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 and happens to currently be employed by AEW, where he has held the World Title to have two World Titles at once (ok so it was instantaneous and the titles were merged but I said it would be picky).
All in all, I just don’t really get the appeal behind the whole thing. Having Omega win a bunch of World Titles doesn’t make him seem like a bigger star. It makes him seem like a big star who is slumming it in these other promotions which are losing everything they have for the sake of being associated with AEW. I’m not sure where the story is going, but unless they have some kind of curveball in there, the only thing they’ll be collecting is heavy sighs.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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