The growth of wrestlers over years is one of the most engrossing and rewarding experiences of being a long time fan of pro wrestling. Charting a character's growth can produce as much nuance as any of the finest TV or novel characters. Some characters make arbitrary surface level changes, such as flipping heel and face constantly like Big Show. Other wrestlers make physical transformations that render them unrecognisable like Scott Steiner.
Kenny Omega has had one of the most fascinating and game changing rises through the professional wrestling landscape and how he grew from a nobody in a dead indy scene to one of the hottest commodities in all of wrestling is captivating. The evolution he undertook to achieve that rise is similarly engrossing. Nuanced and incremental, Kenny's transformations over an 18 year career reward fans for paying attention and remaining loyal.
From humble beginnings scratching around in the dying indy scenes of Canada to main eventing the Tokyo Dome, how Kenny Omega became regarded as one of the biggest names in the business is a thrilling tale of betrayal, sacrifice and redemption all told through brutal art of professional wrestling.
8. Goofy Canadian Kid
A fresh faced Kenny Omega debuted at 16 years old in 2001. In tremendous, if a bit on the slender side, shape with thick buoyant curls that gave the young Kenny Omega a cherubic appearance. More athletically gifted than skilled in the ring, the young Omega displayed flashes of the breathtaking athleticism and creativity that would carry him through his career. However, he lacked confidence and gravitas in the ring and was easy to dismiss as another 'spot monkey'.
Omega worked primarily in the local Canadian scene, such as it was, working in around the Calgary area. Omega collected a series of small regional belts and was building himself a decent local following and was booked fairly regularly. In 2005, Kenny wrestled for Harley Race's World League Wrestling and nine days later WWE came knocking .
Omega was sent to, then WWE training facility, Deep South Wrestling to learn the WWE style. Omega debuted in DSW on October 27 October 2005 in a losing effort to Mack Johnson. By August 2006 Kenny requested his immediate release from WWE and returned to the indies. Omega has since criticised trainers Bill DeMott and Jody Hamilton and the generally toxic atmosphere of DSW.
From this point on, Kenny threw himself in to the indies and began to branch out to the United States and Japan seeking glory across the globe.