Throughout the first half of 2020 AEW star Kenny Omega began slowly teasing the idea of returning to his former gimmick "The Cleaner," a boisterous villain persona that helped propel him to main event status in New Japan in the mid-2010s. Omega had all but dropped the gimmick in his final years with the Japanese promotion and showed zero traces of it during AEW's first year, but the wheels were finally set in motion after he and Hangman Page dropped the AEW World Tag Team Championships at All Out in August. Since then he's slowly reintegrated aspects of the persona, bringing back the trademark shades and adding a hilariously over-the-top arena entrance.
Omega will challenge Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship at this week's AEW Dynamite: Winter Is Coming event, and during a media conference call on Tuesday AEW president Tony Khan discussed the process behind bringing back "The Cleaner."
"[It] was something we definitely wanted to do," Khan explained. "I love working with Kenny and this tournament [the AEW Eliminator Tournament where Omega earned the No. 1 contender spot], we worked together on it. A lot of this stuff was his idea, and then a lot of it was stuff I put into place. That's how a lot of stuff in AEW is."
Omega plowed his way through said tournament, defeating Sonny Kiss [in just two moves], Penta El Zero M and Page. Even though Moxley hasn't suffered a pinfall loss since he joined the company last May, the Las Vegas oddsmakers currently have Omega favored to take the championship.
Check out the full card for AEW Dynamite: Winter is Coming below:
- AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega
- Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale — MJF vs. Wardlow vs. Hangman Page vs. Sammy Guevara vs. John Silver vs. Alex Reynolds vs. Isiah Kassidy vs. Marq Quen vs. Matt Hardy vs. Matt Sydal vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Shawn Spears vs. Orange Cassidy vs, Kip Sabian vs. Miro
- Darby Allin & Cody Rhodes vs. Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks
- Chris Jericho vs. Frankie Kazarian
- Britt Baker vs. Layla Hirsch