AJ Styles vs Kenny Omega (lost footage of professional wrestling match; 2006)

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Ajstylesvskennyomega1.jpg

AJ Styles raising Kenny Omega's hand following the match.

Status: Lost

On 21st September 2006, professional wrestlers AJ Styles and Kenny Omega competed against each other in the main event of PCW Back to School Bash for Premier Championship Wrestling at the LID Nightclub. In a match-up that is now regarded as a dream match by several wrestling journalists and fans, Omega himself credits the bout for keeping him in wrestling rather than focusing on an MMA career.

Background[edit | edit source]

Heading into the match, AJ Styles had already become one of the biggest stars for Total Nonstop Action (TNA),[1] having won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship three times from 2003 to 2005.[2] He was henceforth heavily advertised for PCW's upcoming Back to School Bash event alongside TNA's Samoa Joe.[3] Meanwhile, Kenny Omega was a prominent star for PCW since he debuted for the promotion in December 2001.[4] However, he was making his return for the company in 2006, after a brief period in Deep South Wrestling (DSW), a developmental territory for WWE. After signing for DSW in October 2005,[5] Omega requested and received his release from the promotion in August 2006, after finding his time at the territory to be poor.[6][4] Not long after leaving DSW, Omega was booked for the main event of Back to School Bash against Styles,[4][3] with PCW's Director of Operations Andrew Shallcross expressing surprise at Omega's quick return to his promotion, but stating that the organisation was "lucky" to have him back.[4]

The Match[edit | edit source]

Little is known about the match itself, although it is confirmed that Omega picked up the win,[3] with Styles raising his hand post-match. According to Omega, the match with Styles convinced him to stay in professional wrestling.[7][8][9] During a Talk Is Jericho podcast, Omega revealed he was at a crossroads with his career, with him considering dropping wrestling in favour of MMA.[7] He stated that the training and exhibition matches he was doing for MMA was causing his in-ring performance and physique to suffer, prompting him to realise he should fully concentrate on one sport.[7] He used the Styles match to decide his future, and thanks to it, decided to keep on with his wrestling career, especially with alternatives to WWE like TNA vastly growing during this time period.[9][7] Omega also praised Styles, considering him the far better performer for the match, but providing the chemistry to help Omega unlock his full potential within the sport.[7]

Since then, the only other match featuring both Omega and Styles was on 5th January 2016, when both, as members of the Bullet Club, teamed up to face Shinsuke Nakamura and YOSHI-HASHI in a winning effort at a New Japan Pro Wrestling show.[10][11] Shortly after the match, Omega turned on Styles and became the leader of the Bullet Club,[12][11] which essentially was used to write Styles out of the promotion as he was leaving for WWE.[13] In a 2021 interview with the Wrestler Observer Radio, Omega expressed interest for another match between himself and Styles, stating how he shares frustration with his fans that a sequel never transpired, with him wanting a conclusive ending.[14] Some websites like Bleacher Report and The Sportster have listed an encounter between the two wrestlers as a dream match,[15][9] with the former believing Wrestling Observer Newsletter writer Dave Meltzer would have to "blow up and rearrange his star system should these two collide on a grand stage."[15]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Despite a Styles-Omega encounter being considered a dream match,[15][9] their PCW fight is considered obscure, with no footage of it being publicly accessible.[16] Nevertheless, footage likely exists as PCW had been filming matches since at least 2002, with Back to School Bash being one of its larger events hosted on the now-defunct Netvidtv.[17][16] As of the present day, the only viewable media of the match is a photo of Styles raising Omega's hand following the latter's victory.[9]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

RF Video interview where Omega discusses the match.


See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sportskeeda detailing the career of AJ Styles. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  2. Cagematch detailing the history of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 PCW Action listing the results of Back to School Bash, and providing a banner advertising it. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Wrestling Figs reporting on Omega being announced for the show after leaving DSW. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  5. Archived SLAM! Sports reporting on Omega signing for DSW. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  6. Sports Illustrated where Omega explained why he left DSW. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Fightful reporting on Omega's comments surrounding the match, where he ultimately chose wrestling over MMA. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  8. Talk Is Jericho podcast where Omega discussed his match with Styles. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Sportskeeda reporting on Omega's comments surrounding the match and how it kept him in wrestling. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  10. Cagematch listing the result of AJ Styles & Kenny Omega vs Yoshi-Hashi & Shinsuke Nakamura. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  11. 11.0 11.1 Facebook video of AJ Styles & Kenny Omega vs Yoshi-Hashi & Shinsuke Nakamura. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  12. PW Insider reporting on Omega kicking Styles out of the Bullet Club and becoming its leader. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  13. PWTorch reporting on Styles leaving for WWE. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  14. The Sports Rush reporting on Omega's comments in a 2021 Wrestling Observer Radio interview. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Bleacher Report listing Styles vs Omega as a dream match. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  16. 16.0 16.1 Wrestling Forum discussing the possibility of a tape of the match. Retrieved 24 Feb '22
  17. PCW's Back to School Bash 2002 footage, suggesting the 2006 event was also recorded in a similar fashion. Retrieved 24 Feb '22