As was announced on the most recent episode of Being the Elite, the main event for ALL IN is set. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega will be taking on Lucha Underground Champion Pentagon, in a match that is an international dream of epic proportions.
These two have faced each other just once, in a tag team match at last year’s Battle of Los Angeles, as both of their careers have taken them to different parts of the globe. A Japanese wrestler by way of Canada, Omega has been based in Japan for several years, whereas Pentagon has been based in his native Mexico until recently. Both men represent different, albeit not rival promotions. And both are champions.
Two different paths have taken Pentagon and Kenny Omega to this ALL IN dream match, both of which have gifted professional wrestling with two of its biggest stars.
Canada vs Mexico
It should come as no surprise that Kenny Omega hails from the Great White North as Canada has been the breeding place for some of the best wrestlers of all time. And Omega is certainly that. “The Best Bout Machine” is not only regarded as one of the best in the world today but he has also earned his place in history, where he’ll be known for breaking the five-star scale and being one of the most successful gaijins (foreigners) to ever step foot in a New Japan Pro Wrestling ring.
However, while Omega’s career was shaped in Japan, he cut his teeth in Canada, specifically at Premier Championship Wrestling in Winnipeg. Having previously debuted with a Hawaiian surfer turned otaku gamer gimmick in Top Rope Championship Wrestling (where he is a one-time tag team champion), Omega joined the newly created PCW in December 2001. At their inaugural event, Omega wrestled what would later be named PCW’s Match of the Year, perhaps a foreshadowing of what was to come in his career.
Omega’s run in PCW, from 2001-05, made him a rising name on the Canadian independent circuit. He thrice won the Canadian Unified Junior Heavyweight Championship, the top title of River City Wrestling, before getting his chance at PCW’s top title and what would be his first heavyweight singles title, in 2003.
As far as overall titles in Canada, Omega is a four-time PCW world champion, three-time PCW tag team champion, one-time Canadian Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Champion, one-time Canadian Wrestling Experience tag team champion and one-time NWA Canadian X Division Champion.
From 2001-04, Omega wrestled exclusively in Canada, a place he would return to often in his career, including as recently as last year where he wrestled two tag team matches at his old stomping ground of PCW, with his old The Experience tag team partner, Chris Stevens. In 2005, Omega’s career took him to the United States for the first time, specifically a WWE developmental deal. As Omega has said in several interviews, his experience in Deep South Wrestling left much to be desired so less than a year later he requested his release and returned to PCW. It was there that he faced and defeated AJ Styles for the first time, in 2006. As Omega says in the above video, this was the match that made him decide not to quit wrestling as he had been considering.
From 2006-on, Omega exploded onto the U.S. indie scene, wrestling matches in promotions including Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Syndicate, Jersey All-Pro Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, where he is a former world champion and 2009 winner of the Battle of Los Angeles tournament.
In the meantime, we move to the other piece of bread in the North America sandwich, as we travel to Mexico, where Pentagon has been honing his craft since 2007. Working under the ring name Zaius, Pentagon’s first verified match occurred in 2008. A year later, he won his first championship, though not much is known about this time in his career.
2010 saw Pentagon wrestle his first match for Lucha Libre AAA. A year later, he joined the promotion on a more full-time basis, wrestling 18 matches in 2011. AAA became Pentagon’s home promotion as while he wrestled extensively elsewhere throughout Mexico, the majority of his matches took place in AAA. In 2012, he received the name Pentagon Jr., which he still carries with him today. In 2014, Pentagon got his first taste of U.S. wrestling as he competed in PWG, AAW: Pro Wrestling Redefined, and most notably, Lucha Underground.
Pentagon had one of the most in-depth storylines of the first season and quickly became a fan favorite because of it. His catchphrase, “Cero Miedo,” his penchant for breaking arms, and the way he carried himself in the Temple endeared him to the Believers. This only heightened when he became Pentagon Dark, as Vampiro was revealed to be his master. Pentagon’s time in LU made him a more recognizable name to fans globally and in 2017, after seven years, decided to join his brother Fenix in leaving AAA.
This led to a year that saw him work matches all over the country and beyond at such notable names as Combat Zone Wrestling, PCW Ultra, Aro Lucha, Revolution Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Revolver, House of Hardcore, and more.
In Mexico, Pentagon won seven titles including the AAA World Tag Team Championship, AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championship, and AAA Latin America Championship. His first title came in Xtrem Mexican Wrestling, where he won tag titles with Fenix. His first singles title came in The Crash, where he is a one-time cruiserweight champion.
NJPW vs LU/IMPACT
In 2006, Kenny Omega was introduced to Dramatic Dream Team wrestling in Japan. He became captivated by Kota Ibushi so he filmed a challenge to his future opponent and posted it on Youtube. Omega got his match (which was later given a Best Bout Award by the Japan Indie Awards) and in 2008, began his first tour of Japan, alongside Ibushi who became his tag team partner. Together, the Golden Lovers won the promotion’s tag team titles in 2009.
As part of the working relationships most of the Japanese promotions had with one another, Omega made his NJPW debut in 2010, first in a tag team match with Ibushi, and later as an entrant in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Omega returned to Japan, in the midst of a feud with Prince Devitt, to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (which was later given a Best Bout Award by Tokyo Sports), again with Ibushi.
Still with DDT, Omega represented the promotion at All Japan Pro Wrestling‘s Junior League in 2011, finishing second in his block. After the tournament, Omega having defeated the eventual winner Kai in his first match, received a shot at Kai’s junior heavyweight title. Omega won the belt in October, marking his first singles title won in Japan. It was the first but certainly not only as in DDT, Omega would win every title there was to win, having reigns with the KO-D Openweight Championship, KO-D Six Man Tag Team Championship, and DDT Extreme Division Championship. Before finishing up with DDT in 2014, Omega won seven titles with the promotion.
Continuing to feud with Devitt, Omega took part in the 2013 Best of the Super Juniors where he lost in the semifinals to Devitt, ironically, because of Bullet Club interference. In 2014, after competing in Best of the Super Juniors yet again, Omega announced that he signed with NJPW, where he was revealed to have joined the very club he used to despise. Alongside AJ Styles, Omega became one of BC’s singles champions, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship twice.
Upon Styles leaving for WWE and his exile from BC, Omega took over leadership and began to ascend the ranks as a new member of NJPW’s heavyweight division. In 2016, Omega became the IWGP Intercontinental Champion in his first attempt as well as a NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion alongside the Young Bucks as members of Bullet Club’s The Elite. That same year, Omega took part in NJPW’s first-ever ladder match and won the G1 Climax in his first attempt, becoming the first non-Japanese winner ever. This led to Kazuchika Okada and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Pro Wrestling Illustrated Feud of the Year, as well as one of the greatest feuds in pro wrestling history.
For four classic encounters, Omega and Okada battled over the greatest prize in the company, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Their first meeting took place at Wrestle Kingdom XI, which was won by Okada in the first-ever six-star match. The pair followed this up with a 6.25-star encounter and another six-star encounter. In the midst of this, Omega became the first man to win the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, which was introduced in 2017. Omega lost his title to Jay White a few months later and re-entered the world title picture, where, in a stunning seven-star, two-out-three falls match, he defeated Okada to win the championship that he still holds today.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, or rather Boyle Heights, California…
While Omega was starting to work for NJPW, Pentagon was embarking on a new chapter in his career as well as in 2014 it was announced that he would join Blue Demon Jr., Sexy Star, Drago, and Fenix as one of five AAA wrestlers to take part in the newly-created, Lucha Underground.
Pentagon debuted in the first episode, losing a triple threat to Drago and Fenix. This led to Pentagon and Fenix developing a rivalry over the first several episodes. In February, Pentagon’s story deepened as he began breaking opponents’ arms all in the name of sacrifice to his unknown master. This carried through the length of the first season with Vampiro eventually being revealed as Pentagon’s master after their bloody battle at Ultima Lucha.
As one of the show’s central characters, Pentagon’s season two arc saw him in a season-long feud with Matanza Cueto, the then-Lucha Underground Champion. Pentagon failed to capture the title from the Monster. His pursuit of the championship continued into season three, where after winning the Gift of the Gods Championship, Pentagon received his match with Prince Puma and won, to become the new champion. Embodying the art of being a fighting champion, season four has seen Pentagon take on all-comers including in Aztec Warfare where he became the first person to successfully defend his title in the battle royale.
Lucha Underground isn’t the only place Pentagon has had success in however as following a co-promoted show with IMPACT Wrestling, Pentagon became a member of the IMPACT roster as well. In April 2018, he even briefly won the promotion’s world championship, defeating Austin Aries and Fenix in a triple threat.
Champion Vs Champion
Ordinarily, when two guys enter a match like this, both of them holding championship-gold, it would be reasonable for both to put those titles on the line. However, LU exists within its own universe where its titles only matter to those in the promotion. In that way, the IWGP Championship is similar, as both titles are primarily (the IWGP title has been defended five times in 30 years on non-NJPW shows and none since 2009) only defended within the promotion they live.
So that being said, this will not be a champion vs champion match where belts are on the line, but it will still be a contest of two world champions, two of the best wrestlers from their piece of the globe, facing off head-to-head at one of the biggest independent shows of all-time.
Entering this match, Omega, who has not wrestled outside of NJPW or ROH this year, holds the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, a title he won at Dominion in June. Since then, Omega has one successful defense, against Cody Rhodes at the NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco. Pentagon, on the other hand, has wrestled for 38 different promotions throughout the UK, Mexico, Canada, the U.S., and more. In addition, he currently holds five titles: Wrestling Alliance Revolution Tag Team Championship (won in 2017), Major League Wrestling Tag Team Championship (won in 2018), Wrestling Superstar World Submission Lucha Championship (won in 2016), PCW Ultra Heavyweight Championship (won in 2017) and the Lucha Underground Championship (won in 2016).