Kenny Omega, arguably the most popular wrestling superstar not with WWE, will be defending his newly won IWGP U.S. title for the first time on American soil in October.
Ring of Honor Wrestling, in conjunction with New Japan Pro Wrestling, announced that Omega will defend the belt at a Global Wars tour show in Chicago on Sunday, October 15. The announcement was made at the same time the companies announced the Chicago show.
ROH and NJPW have been doing the Global Wars mini-tours now for several years. This year's tour will include stops in Buffalo (October 12), Pittsburgh (October 13), Columbus (October 14), and the aforementioned Chicago show (October 15).
Omega is the first-ever IWGP U.S. Champion. He won the newly created belt on July 2 during a two-day NJPW event in Long Beach, California. The belt was decided as part of a tournament, which saw Omega defeat Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal, and Tomohiro Ishii in the finals. The shows were the first time New Japan has held a full-on NJPW show on U.S. soil and also marked the start of the company's expansion into the U.S., which is supposed to really ramp up in 2018.
Kenny Omega has had quite a 2017 already. He started the year off with a fantastic main event bout at WrestleKingdom against Kazuchika Okada. That encounter was considered by many experts as one of the greatest matches ever seen. Crazy enough, Okada and Omega topped it in their rematch in June at Dominion. Both matches are a must watch for any wrestling fan.
There's no doubt WWE would love to have Omega as part of their roster. His natural charisma, wrestling talent, and global following is just the type of resume the company needs to create a transcendent superstar. Rumors filled the wrestling world throughout early 2017 that Omega was considering a jump to WWE, but he ended up deciding to stay with NJPW for the rest of the year.
What will 2018 bring for "The Cleaner?" It's hard to say, but the power of the internet lets wrestling fans in the U.S. follow the career of Omega wherever he wrestles. If you live in the midwest, don't let the chance pass to see one of wrestling's biggest stars perform in person this fall.