Pro Wrestling Rankings Feb-15: Kenny Omega signed with AEW
The mystery is over. The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion. The Cleaner.
Kenny Omega has signed a multi-year deal with All Elite Wrestling. Omega was the promotion's big surprise at their Las Vegas rally announcing the ticket details for AEW's debut event Double or Nothing, officially revealing he had departed New Japan Pro Wrestling to join the rest of the Elite in forming AEW.
Confronted by Chris Jericho, Omega ended up in a scuffle with the former WWE Champion, with it soon becoming official the two would face off for the first time in the United States in Las Vegas. AEW is rolling the dice and Kenny Omega is calling the world's bluff by putting his power and might behind it.
Pro wrestling's landscape is changing forever, and Omega will be one of the composers of the new regime. With 15,000 tickets sold instantly, AEW is charging out of the gates full force.
The Man drops down one spot in the FITE rankings, mainly because she wasn't competing in the ring over the last week. However, WWE continued to build the main event of Wrestlemania 35 around the Irish star's push to face Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey.
With Vince McMahon entering the storyline and "replacing" Lynch with longtime rival Charlotte Flair, Lynch once again has to overcome the odds. It's a story that pro wrestling fans have seen countless times, but when the audience is emotionally bonded with the hero, it works. There is no one more emotionally bonded with WWE fans right now than Lynch.
Her war against Rousey, Flair and now the McMahons continues, with the biggest show of the year hanging in the balance.
New Japan Pro Wrestling is never shy when it's time to make a new star and this week, a super nova was ignited. The Switchblade is on top of the world.
Earlier this week, the 27-year old Kiwi star made history by powerfully defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi to become the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion. In doing so, White etched his name into the historical records of professional wrestling – he is now the first native of New Zealand to hold Japan's most prestigious championship and he will become the first IWGP Champion to defend his title inside the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden.
Bullet Club has been completely reassembled around Jay White and anyone who dares face him faces Switchblade's rage.
Over the past week, Jay Lethal has enforced his will as the Ring of Honor World Champion.
This past week in Florida, Lethal once again went to war with the would-be usurper to his throne, Matt Taven. Lethal destroyed the championship belt Taven claimed was the true ROH title and battled against Taven's Kingdom in six-man tag team action during ROH's Bound by Honor on FITE.
As Lethal continues his record-breaking World title reigns, he's going to have to finally shut down Taven's conspiracy accusations once and for all. If Lethal does, he's guaranteed to main event ROH's Madison Square Garden debut. As great as Lethal is, he's only just scratched the surface of his legacy.
Just when you thought you knew all the answers, WWE changes all the questions.
As social media exploded with rage, Flair stoked the fire, going all the way in playing her role as the gleeful competitor who once again has cut her rival off at the pass.
As WWE continues to build Wrestlemania, Flair is the secret ingredient at making Lynch an even hotter prospect. Where does this leave her when WWE runs MetLife Stadium this April. Stay tuned as the Queen weaves her magic wand, chopping down everyone in her path.
With her match against Ruby Riott at the Elimination Chamber PPV this weekend, the Raw Women's Champion once again steps into the squared circle against another new opponent with the potential to steal the entire show.
More importantly, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair are once again on the horizon, two superstar opponents lined up for Rousey's Wrestlemania 35 main event. As the women's division continues to make history for WWE, Ronda Rousey is the sun all the other planets revolve around.
Although Rollins, still smarting from the beating Brock Lesnar laid upon him several weeks ago, did not return to the ring this week, he gave an excellent, impassioned interview where he was presented as the hero who won't back down, no matter how hurt, until he beats Brock Lesnar to become the new Universal Champion.
The conviction of Rollins' words has fans anticipating a war at WWE's flagship event and as long as Rollins can get himself healthy and prepared for war, The Architect will indeed "Burn it Down." Rollins said it was his childhood dream to punch his ticket to the main event of Wrestlemania and if so, dream accomplished.
Conspiracies abound. Forces work against him. Management seeks to halt his dreams. The world is out to destroy him. If you listen to Matt Taven's protestations, you would believe that the leader of the Kingdom is the rightful ROH World Champion. Whether that is reality or not doesn't matter, because it's what drives Taven to greatness in the ring. When Ring of Honor invades Las Vegas for their 17th Anniversary event next month, Taven will challenge Jay Lethal for the ROH World Champion. Everything will come to a head and once and for all, Matt Taven will stand tall as champion, or see his world crumble around him. No matter who stands triumphant, ROH fans are counting the day until the ROH Anniversary on FITE.
Could the Leviathan rise once again from the sea into combat? This past week, Batista was spotted at WWE Headquarters and with AEW's Chris Jericho, sparking talk that a bidding war is underway for the film star and former WWE World Champion.
Batista is one of the few names whose star power could sway the entire direction of professional wrestling behind whatever promotion he chooses to align himself with.
While he teased a Wrestlemania return against Triple H months ago, anything is possible for this Guardian of the Galaxy.
The professional wrestling world waits to see what Batista's next move will be. It will be one of the biggest moves in the chess game that is currently being played for dominance in this unique industry.
With the top stars of Smackdown Live heading into battle inside the Elimination Chamber this weekend for the WWE Championship, there is one wild card – Kofi Kingston.
The New Day member, perhaps one of the most eclectic and unique performers in WWE, found himself added to the bout after Mustafa Ali fell to a concussion. Kingston's addition throws all predictions and all strategies completely out of bounds, as seen on Smackdown when he eliminated three competitors from a Gauntlet Match, including WWE Champion Daniel Bryan.
Every competitor this weekend will face Trouble in Paradise in Kingston – and they were already entering one of pro wrestling's most hellish creations. Could Kingston pull off the biggest win of his entire career? Don't bet against this veteran.
By: Mike Johnson
Every week here at FITE, we feature the Top Ten ranked personalities in the world of professional wrestling. Unlike other combat sports, pro wrestling cannot be measured in just wins and losses, especially when the drama and excitement of the genre is specifically based around not just the physical performance, but the excitement level created by its combatants. Thus, our top ten measures the most newsworthy performers in the business, who's momentum drives not just their own career paths but the promotions they compete for.
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.