It’s pretty clear Oda wanted to nerf Kaido otherwise Luffy can’t win. Still doesn’t change the fact that him not having awakening is plain bad writing. When guys far weaker than him have it and he doesn’t show it, it’s just Oda spitting on our faces. The final stretch of the arc has major problems and it’s a shame because the potential is there. I’m not expecting much after this arc, everything about Luffy now and the way he wins is clearly forced
I don't know… I imagine Kaido's awakening should just make him like the Impel Down Zoans- mindless beasts in hybrid form. Would you really want that for Kaido this arc? I'm not sure I'd like it.
--- Update From New Post Merge ---
To be clear, however this current clash concludes, I don't believe the fight is ending here. I still think Kaido is going to awaken. There are a lot of reasons why, but I think Oda is setting up a false victory.
People were saying this about Big Mom and certain other Animal Kingdom Pirates: "they have to show their awakening before they are done"(I was one of them), and alas… I think it's more likely Oda is saving it for another arc.