WWE Executive Director Bruce Prichard has claimed that Kenny Omega was completely new to him when he first saw him in 2019, and that he had “no clue” who he was until that point.
This is despite The Cleaner’s prominence since he became a member of The Bullet Club in New Japan back in 2014. Having worked his way through the Junior Heavyweight division, Omega would move up to the Heavyweight ranks and compete in some of the most critically-acclaimed matches in wrestling history. The Best Bout Machine would go on to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dominion in June 2018 by defeating ‘The Rainmaker’ Kazuchika Okada.
Talking on his Something To Wrestle podcast, Prichard discussed how the first time he became aware of Kenny Omega was in 2019.
That day that I was at Starrcast [in 2019] and I said who was that. I had no idea who he was.
This comes as even more of a shock given the fact that The Cleaner was part of WWE’s development system during 2005 and 2006. By Prichard’s own admission he didn’t make it down to Deep South Wrestling as much as he would have liked, which might explain him not noticing Omega. However, he did comment on one wrestler who stood out to him during that time.
It was [on our radar], that was one of our territories, we had training facilities and everything that we had there. Unfortunately I didn’t get down there with the kind of frequency that we would’ve liked to of.
I was a fan of MVP the first time that I saw him in Deep South. From the very first promo he cut in developmental that I saw, he was a good worker. He was just one of those guys that had a spark about him and I loved his story.
There have also been reports that WWE offered all the AEW Executive Vice Presidents a deal, however these were turned down in favour of teaming up with Tony Khan in 2019.
With thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.