There’s an awful lot of talk about The Predator making a return to the 2024 Mr. Olympia. A great many commentators have all but ruled this possibility out. Some argue that Kai has lost too much size. Others claim the sport has evolved too much and the kid who grew up in the mean streets of Brooklyn – overcoming adversity his whole life – somehow couldn’t prep sufficiently to be competitive with the top pro’s of 2024. These arguments are absolute trash. I’m not sure if they’re being made out of sheer ignorance or perhaps they’re uttered in some pathetic attempt at drawing Kai out.
The bottom line is that a 100% Kai Greene beats everyone who is actively competing today. He beats Hadi, he beats Derek, and he wipes the floor with Big Ramy and/or the guy with the crazy neck. Kai Greene is an uncrowned Mr. Olympia who pushed 7x Mr. Olympia Phil Heath to his absolute limit. If The Predator didn’t win a Sandow it had more to do with politics than it did with his hunger and work ethic to emerge victorious. Nobody worked harder than Kai Greene. No one.
Kai didn’t walk away from the sport because he lacked the hunger to win or over a booth dispute. He left because no matter how hard he tried, he was never going to win the Mr. Olympia. And who’s to say he could win it today? When I say he could I’m not talking about hard work or vision. I’m talking about other factors. It’s nothing I can prove, but history paints a pretty clear picture. Look how bad Phil had to look before Shawn Rhoden was finally given the W. The Gift looked nine months pregnant and couldn’t breathe. Then and only then was Phil relieved of the title. Twenty years prior, Dorian was falling apart but still managed to beat Nasser El Sonbaty in 1997. Even Dorian said Nasser should have won the Olympia that year. Did Nasser win in ’98? Did he ever win the O? No.
Kai has been very busy since leaving the stage. He’s appeared on Stranger Things, done numerous books, podcasts, tours and more. If he flirts with the idea of a comeback to competitive bodybuilding that should be taken seriously. He’s not doing it to spike sales – he doesn’t have to. We have heard from top guys like Chris Bumstead, arguably the most popular physique-based athlete in the world today, say that competing and even winning the Olympia does virtually nothing for his product sales or demand in the industry. He competes out of love, but it doesn’t really do much for him financially. So, too, if Kai flirts with a comeback it’s out of love of the sport. That’s the same love that fueled Kevin Levrone’s comeback after all those years. Kevin didn’t make any money, he did it because he missed the stage and wanted to make the fans happy. It’s about passion, nor profits. There’s no real money in bodybuilding. Not unless you win the Olympia and even then it’s not even a million dollars. It’s a nice check, but Kai can make a nice check without suffering in a prep for 16 weeks only to get screwed yet again by a judging panel.
The real question isn’t if Kai could be ready or competitive. Any moron knows the answer to that. The real question is whether Kai really wants to come back, and that’s something only The Predator knows. Only time will.