The worst-kept secret in wrestling has finally been confirmed: Kenny Omega has signed a full-time deal with All Elite Wrestling.
The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion was long considered a necessary piece of the All Elite puzzle, but his signing wasn’t official until today. It was announced tonight in Las Vegas at a “Ticket Announcement Party” for All Elite’s first live show, Double or Nothing, which will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas on May 25. Presale codes for Double or Nothing are also available now, and can be applied for here.
Omega was the final announcement at the press conference, arriving about an hour after it started. His promo was interrupted by Chris Jericho, and the two rivals engaged in a brief scuffle before being separated by various AEW roster members and security personnel. Like his fellow Elite members the Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes, Omega will also serve as an Executive Vice President with the fledgling wrestling promotion.
AEW also announced a working relationship with the Mexican promotion AAA. One of the two major lucha promotions, AAA has previously had relationships with both WCW and WWF. Some of AAA’s talent will be familiar to American audiences through Lucha Underground, which AAA is a co-owner of.
Other announcements at tonight’s rally includes confirmation that the Lucha Bros., Pentagon Jr. and Fenix, will be wrestling for All Elite. The well-traveled luchadors interrupted a Young Bucks promo about how All Elite will highlight tag team wrestling, beating down both Jackson brothers and cutting a fine promo of their own. This follows on the heels of the Bucks openly recruiting Fenix and Pentagon (who was referred to by his Penta El 0M moniker) at an independent show in Atlanta last week.
Another top tag team was also announced at tonight’s show. The Best Friends, the team of Chuck Taylor and Trent Barreta, who finished up with New Japan on their recent American tour, were introduced shortly before the Lucha Bros. attacked the Bucks. Other talent revealed tonight include Sonny Kiss (who performed as X.O. Lishus in Lucha Underground) and Sammy Guevara, who has worked for Major League Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Lucha Underground, and is the current AAA World Cruiserweight Champion.
On the women’s side, Brandi Rhodes announced that the legendary Aja Kong would be coming to All Elite, as well as current joshi star Yuka Sakazaki. Kylie Rae was introduced to the live crowd, and had a tense confrontation with Nyla Rose. That brings AEW’s women’s roster up to seven performers, including Rhodes and two stars introduced at the last rally, Britt Baker and Penelope Ford.
Cima, the Dragon Gate legend and founder of the China-based promotion Oriental Wrestling Entertainment, also made an appearance, alongside OWE CEO Dragon Fu and vice-president Michael Nee. Cima will be leading a team of OWE stars against SCU’s Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky at Double or Nothing.
Although there was no surprise on the level of Chris Jericho’s appearance at AEW’s first rally, tonight’s event did introduce a number of talented wrestlers to the company’s growing roster, and also started to give a sense of the Double or Nothing card. We can expect to see Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho in a rematch of their Wrestle Kingdom 12 matchup, a tag match involving the Young Bucks and the Lucha Bros., and a match between Hangman Page and PAC (the former Neville in WWE). Kylie Rae vs. Nyla Rose also seems like an obvious match based on tonight’s angle.
All Elite still hasn’t announced anything about a regular TV show, but reportedly has more than one offer on the table. Double or Nothing will be the promotion’s first show, followed by an event in Jacksonville that will raise money for victims of gun violence. Rumors indicate they might have a weekly TV show ready to launch in the Fall. As we learn more, so will you.
You can watch the full Double or Nothing Ticket Announcement rally below.