“Stone Cold” Steve Austin knows what it takes to be a major star in WWE. He also has an eye for talent that most of us fans don’t have, because he’s seen it all and done it all at the highest level. That’s why when Austin goes on his Stone Cold Podcast and praises an amazing talent like New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Kenny Omega, we’re going to listen.
Austin was at the Saturday night NJPW show in Long Beach and posed with good friend Jim Ross, Josh Barnett and IWGP Champion Kazuchika Okada after the show.
Austin released his Steve Austin Show Unleashed podcast on Thursday with Don Callis (formerly The Jackal in WWE about 20 years ago) as his guest. They talked a lot about NJPW because Callis is one of the English commentators there. It’s a great chat that got very interesting when Austin praised Kenny Omega.
“I think he could be the next big thing in the United States. I think he could be the guy. First of all, if that’s what he wanted to do. If WWE brought him in and just gave him everything that he needed or pushed him in the way that he needed to be pushed. If it was a green light push and everything was all systems go on making Kenny Omega the guy then he can be the guy.”
Callis talked about how with Austin it happened organically, and Austin spoke more about the “green light push” point.
“What I mean by the ‘green light push’ is all systems go and he’s not in a box. Don’t prevent him from getting over. Whatever he wants to do, let him go out there and do it the way it’s worked with Japan. With respect to his entertainment factor, I got a chance to see several of his high level matches … the ones with Okada. He’s been around the horn and can work his ass off. When you see him in the ring he can light it up with anybody.”
Austin went on to praise Omega’s promos, too.
“All of a sudden I got a chance to see some of those promos. He started firing off in Japanese and I was like holy s**t I didn’t know this kid spoke Japanese because he’s Canadian. Then he started answering questions in English. I mean salt and pepper, there was venom behind his words. This was about a year ago and a lot of the conversation kept hinging on him saying pay me. I think he wants to do his cause over there or finish the mission…I don’t want to speak for him, but to get back to the point when he started lighting up that microphone just with pitch, cadence and delivery and conviction. That’s when I was texting somebody that knows a lot about pro wrestling. I said I’ve never seen Kenny Omega talk, but the dude is money. He’s electricity. That’s what I think about this kid. If you were unleash that right now at 33 years of age … boom. As soon as you can get him, the fact that you have him as a draw in Japan already bringing him here I think he translates.”
Austin also spoke about how Omega reminded him of his former Hollywood Blondes tag team partner Brian Pillman. Austin ended up summarizing his thoughts on Omega this way.
“I just think the guy is a lightning bolt and a great talent in the ring. When I say green light it means take down all the walls and just let this kid do his thing. If you turn him loose on the microphone and let him do his thing I just think he can be a huge hit in the United States and WWE. “
I think Austin makes a lot of great points and I hope WWE is listening/reading to what he’s saying. Omega’s in the prime of his career and he’s arguably the best overall wrestler in the world right now. I might rank AJ Styles ahead, but Styles is also seven years older than Omega. If WWE were able to bring in Omega in 2018 or 2019 they could still get a lot of great years out of him.
The future of Kenny Omega will be one of the biggest stories in wrestling next year and the years ahead. If he commits to WWE he really could be the game-changer that they’ve been looking for.