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Kenny Omega Proves He Still Is the Best Bout Machine in Star-Studded Main Event

Jonathan Snowden@JESnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterMay 7, 2020

Photo courtesy of AEW

Wins and losses matter in All Elite Wrestling, so I don't want to bury the lede here. Kenny Omega took a pinfall loss to close one of the darnedest nights in AEW's short history, victim of both the Inner Circle's superior numbers and a Chris Jericho Judas Effect.

When you look back at this event years from now, that's what the Wikipedia entry will say. Jericho won. Omega lost.

Simple.

Pure.

But the truth is, Omega, once again, stole the show. And that was no easy task—to a person, from Brandi Rhodes to the dastardly Jake Roberts, AEW wrestlers delivered big time up and down the card.

In the street fight itself we saw Sammy Guevara continue to establish himself as a rising force, Jericho turning back the clock to hold his own in a grueling bout, and Matt Hardy changing his wardrobe multiple times in the middle of the match.

With that kind of star wattage surrounding him, it would have been easy for Omega to slip into the shadows. Instead, he took a step forward, all but demanding all eyes turn toward him, making clear to anyone paying attention that he's still in the conversation as the best wrestler in the entire world.

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That's a premise that has come under increasing scrutiny as Omega works mostly outside the AEW main event scene. He's become a supporting player in some ways, making room for Jericho, Cody and Jon Moxley to dominate the top-of-the-card action while he focuses on the tag division and work-rate matches in the middle of the pack.

To some who watched Omega light the wrestling world on fire in his title matches against Kazuchika Okada in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, his positioning has been a disappointment. They expected Omega to be the face of AEW, leading from the front with the kind of singles matches that had become his calling card. It hasn't quite worked out that way, which has led to whispers in parts of the fandom that Omega no longer has it.

It's an idea that clearly bothered Omega a bit when I talked to him earlier this year for Bleacher Report and most definitely got under announcer Jim Ross' skin, causing him to go on an extended rant in the midst of the match defending Omega's status in the business.

"Kenny's tired of also hearing 'Where's the old Kenny? Where's the old Kenny? Where's the Kenny that wrestled Okada? Where's Kenny?'" Ross said during the broadcast, voice rising an octave. "Kenny's right here. Kenny's in AEW. And he's done damn well."

The facts support JR's position.

Over and over again this year, Omega has risen to the occasion. There was the incredible Iron Man match against Pac in February on Dynamite and a tag team bout for the ages just three days later at Revolution, Omega teaming with Hangman Page against the Young Bucks. Most recently there was a AAA Mega title defense against Guevara in an empty arena, an athletic display that firmly positioned him as the master of the audience-less match.

The street fight Wednesday night might have topped them all.

#BROKEN Matt Hardy @MATTHARDYBRAND

I wish this Cart of Golf was faster.. I had a great desire to splat & mash @sammyguevara into a MOFONGO! @AEWrestling #AEWDynamite https://t.co/VbW2nx3MQq

It was an excellent match when still confined to the ring area, all four men having incredible chemistry and timing, none scared to go wherever it takes physically to make a bout memorable. But things really escalated quickly when they took it outside, trash cans and garage doors turning into a golf-cart chase that led to Guevara taking an insane bump from a fast-moving vehicle.

Not content to be outdone, Omega took a scissors lift to its upper limits, ironically climbed up on the safety railing, and launched himself into the sky before plummeting like a golden star. He crashed down on a motley cast of characters, eliciting a loud scream in my living room at the sheer audacity of it all.

All Elite Wrestling on TNT @AEWonTNT

This is the street fight to end all street fights 👏👏👏 #AEWDynamite https://t.co/DUsjQafqVI

Eventually, the numbers working against him proved too much. Five Inner Circle members, on this night, were too much for a mere tag team to handle.

For once, however, the outcome isn't the real story here. The Inner Circle won the match. Omega won the night. Like it or not, he's still the best bout machine—whether he has the platinum title to prove it or not.

     

Jonathan Snowden covers combat sports for Bleacher Report.

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