POST NEWS UPDATE: Kenny Omega felt he didn't deserve to be called the best if he couldn’t succeed in America or at TV style wrestling

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/02/18/post-news-update-kenny-omega-felt-he-didnt-deserve-to-be-called-the-best-if-he-couldnt-succeed-in-america-or-at-tv-style-wrestling/

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** Episode #59 of the Swerve City Podcast featured Kenny Omega as the guest. Omega further spoke about his mindset when deciding to depart New Japan Pro-Wrestling to commit to AEW. He stated that people were calling him the best wrestler and did not think he could take that title if he could not succeed in America or at TV style wrestling. He told a story of when he was in a tag match in AEW and it was not laid out for TV so he had to instill faith in himself and Chris Jericho who was on the opposite team.

Omega: Whether I believe it or not, that’s not even important but people did believe that I was one of the best doing it and I didn’t feel I deserved to be called that if I couldn’t succeed in America or if I couldn’t succeed doing a television style. I just feel like there are other people that are so good at doing that. I mean, you got your Randy Ortons, you got your John Cenas… Exactly, that have been doing it for 20 years. Even (Chris) Jericho, he knows exactly — we never really talk about it and I don’t know if this is too inside baseball but I remember there was one of the shows in year one at AEW where we didn’t even have the match, we didn’t even have it but we were the main event and we had to go out there. It was me and Hanger (Hangman Adam Page) against Jericho and Sammy (Guevara) and just knowing I was in the ring with Jericho and knowing that we didn’t have anything, I was like, I should be nervous, I should be scared but, at this point, I should trust myself and if I can’t trust myself, I sure as hell better trust Jericho because he deserves that trust and respect so you know what? I’m gonna be confident in this and we hit our time perfectly. So it’s like, if you don’t have that experience, you’re going to have awkward, dead air or you’re going to get the show going completely dark and you don’t have a finish yet, and then, we’re in the best wrestler of the year, best wrestler ever conversations start there, they end there actually, you know what I mean?

He would later go on to speak about his transition from NJPW’s junior heavyweight division to the heavyweight division. He felt the crowd did not expect much from him and recalled there being a time when he expressed that he wanted to go after the IWGP Intercontinental Title. He said it was silent in the venue and could hear some laughs from the crowd.

Omega: So I remember when Shinsuke (Nakamura) left, when A.J. (Styles) left and The Good Brothers left, suddenly there’s this huge gap, there’s this huge hole and Gedo didn’t know what to do, our booker, he didn’t know what to do and he was kind of like, ‘Okay Kenny, I guess it’s gonna be you if you’re sticking around.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, of course’ and he said, ‘Well we’re thinking maybe you move up to the Intercontinental division’ and I was like, ‘Wow. This is incredible.’ I have been wanting to do the New Japan heavyweight main event style since I’ve been here and as fun as it was to finally find my stride in the junior division, it was also exciting because it was like, no, this is what I feel like I’m geared towards, this is actually what I understand, this is how I can put my best foot forward. So I remember when I went out and we did the match and I ended up pinning Shinsuke in the match who was the Intercontinental Champion at the time and we started the belt appeal like, ‘Hey, I want your belt buddy’ and the fans, I remember hearing it, it was a mixture of the fans being kind of silent and I heard the fans kind of chuckle and I’m thinking, aw man. But, that was the best thing I could have heard because I was like, geez, you guys really don’t know. I love that they felt that way because they didn’t know me from anything that I’d done in DDT or really All Japan. I guess they kind of knew. I’m sure they knew, some of them. But, here I am going from something I kind of was new at which is this New Japan junior style and now I’m finally doing the style that I’m most comfortable with and no one believed in me so it was like, I can’t even lose now. There’s no expectation. So any good thing that I do, oh boy, you guys are going to be shocked. This is great and you know, we had a great Intercontinental Title run, the G1 that year was some of my best work I feel because it came from a place of just sheer motivation.  

As the conversation rolled on, Swerve Strickland challenged AEW management to try something different that the AEW audience is not accustom to such as a romance angle. Swerve said he’d take on the challenge.

Strickland: As a whole company, as a product, as a show, I would like to see us tap into romance. That is really tough to pull off, especially for our audience space that’s used to seeing the action that they get every week. We see those things but I’m like, y’all haven’t seen romance yet.

Omega: And I think romance that you wanna cheer for is the important part.

Strickland: You wanna see the fireworks kiss at the end of the teen movie… It’s not like we don’t have the freaking tools to pull it off. We have the talent for it. It’s just finding the timing, the placement, the movements, the characters, what emotion are we pulling? I think that’s our next task and I would challenge our AEW management to try to tap into something that’s just very left field for our audience. I challenge it. I’ll take on the challenge (he laughed). I don’t give a damn. You know me. But, I challenge our staff to try and pull something out, like another emotion and again, that’s something you can’t let off the gas with. You have to boom, pedal to the metal and commit. Don’t let people — this is cheesy, this is corny. You don’t know what you want. That’s why you’re here.

Towards the conclusion of the interview, Omega shared that he’s currently putting together a verse for a Being The Elite rap. He wants to have the same cadence as a Busta Rhymes or Twista.

Omega: I’m working on a verse. Aye yo, yo, I don’t know when this is gonna drop, I don’t know when it’s gonna drop. But, I’m working on a verse for the B.T.E. rap so yeah, you can look forward to that… We’ll see how it goes. My first foray into that game so we’ll see.

I want my verse to sound like something Busta Rhymes would do or like, you know, Twista. I can’t rap that fast. I want to. I wanna try though. I wish I could. I’ll try.

** While speaking to POST Wrestling’s John Pollock, Bronson Reed reflected on his matches with Kazuchika Okada in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Reed mentioned that they are tied 1-1 and hopes there’s a rematch and maybe it could take place under the WWE banner.

It’s pretty much day-by-day (was when I was discovering how my G1 run would go). Japan’s a bit of its own world in the way that they operate and they do things and I think it’s very much — it’s not like WWE and some of these places, they have a set idea for six months in time whereas in Japan, I think they very much go off of what you do in the ring. They’re waiting to see what I could do, how I’m presented to the crowd, how they feel about me and stuff like that and then it sort of moves from there so, yeah, I wasn’t 100 percent sure about the (Kazuchika) Okada match but then when it happened, I was very happy and I’ve had the two matches with him now, we’re one a piece. Hopefully, there will be a rubber match somewhere down the road. I say hopefully, maybe under the WWE banner.

The second match against Okada took place at Declaration of Power in October. Reed revealed that he made the decision to return to WWE right before that match.

I had spoken with Triple H himself at that point (going into the second match with Kazuchika Okada) and I was sort of 50-50 on what was about to happen. I’d also spoken to New Japan management and I sort of made my choice, yeah, right before that match so, you’ll see in that match that there is a bit of a — not that anything is planned or anything but Okada shakes my hand after the match and I think it was sort of a, you know, he’s leaving for now so, yeah, it was something I had in my mind and by that time, I was ready to come back to WWE.

** There’s a new interview on the Inside The Ropes YouTube channel with Mercedes Moné. She shared that she gave a list to New Japan Pro-Wrestling which had names of people she’d like to work with.

There is (people that come to mind as far as who I want to work with in Japan). I gave a nice little list to New Japan of who I wanted to work with so I’m seeing what they’re going to stir up and what wheel they’re going to spin because… the STARDOM women, they are just the absolute best, the absolute best. I just can’t believe all these potential matchups that I get to possibly create so, there’s so many people on my list but not just only in Japan, just all over the world. There’s a lot of women who I haven’t been able to face yet so, this is the year to do it.

Formerly known as ‘Sasha Banks’, Mercedes said she landed on her post-WWE name in June 2022. She added that she has all her trademarks down and will be collecting all the money from her I.P.

Oh, instantly, I knew (Mercedes Moné was the name I was going to use post-WWE)… In my head, maybe in June I knew. I was like, you know what you want, you know what you have in the bank, you know what you are, you are ‘moné’ so it just kind of rolled off the tongue right away so Mercedes Moné just came. I got all my little trademarks in order. There’s gonna be so much more so I get to collect all the checks when it comes to my I.P., and yeah, I just love it. It’s Mercedes Moné. Moné, moné, moné.

The IWGP Women’s Championship is going to be on the line when Mercedes challenges KAIRI. She stated that when KAIRI went back to STARDOM, she was happy for and proud of her. When Moné caught wind of KAIRI winning the IWGP Women’s Title, she knew she wanted to face her.

When she (KAIRI) went back to STARDOM and went to Japan to go to STARDOM, I was so excited for her and so proud of her and then when she went to New Japan when they introduced this women’s division and she won this IWGP Women’s Championship, I just kind of knew this is the one, this is the girl, this is the big star light, this is the championship that I wanna focus on because it means so much. It’s creating so much magic and history that’s never been done before and I think (at NJPW Battle in the Valley), we’re just gonna show people all over the world what women’s wrestling can do on a global, global scale.

** Dave Meltzer and Garrett Gonzales spoke to Rocky Romero for an episode of Wrestling Observer Radio. Romero expressed that he’s always wanted a women’s division for the NJPW STRONG brand. When it comes to the overall roster they have at their disposal for NJPW USA, he feels there’s a lot of people with not that many American-based shows. His hope is to have two-to-three women’s matches on cards.

I hoped with (NJPW) STRONG, that was gonna be another thing, when we were taping the show monthly was to actually build a women’s division on STRONG. That was gonna be my hope to do that so… It’s kind of changing with how we’re doing more of the iPay-Per-View route but I think we will get there. Obviously, having the IWGP Women’s Title on the show is very important so, and you know, we have a lot of wrestlers right now when we don’t have enough shows. We just don’t have enough shows just yet, you know, at least in America. So I think eventually, that’ll be the hope is to have at least two-to-three women’s matches and like a true women’s division with New Japan of America… Bit by bit. We’ll get there step by step. Every show that becomes a success could become another show added later so you know, we’re doing one pay-per-view on Saturday. We might be able to do a smaller event on Sunday so that’ll create another opportunity to get different talent on both shows and also give the opportunity to shine a women’s division.

** A new interview is up on the ‘Developmentally Speaking’ YouTube channel with NWA’s Thrillbilly Silas Mason. He recounted breaking his leg in the summer of 2021 and being told that his wrestling career was over. Mason stated that he did not take the doctor’s advice as far as putting his athletic career to the wayside.

I broke my leg on August 20th, 2021, and by broke my leg, I mean I literally snapped my femur in half. This one right here (left leg). This very leg was snapped in half and dangling in some Podunk ring in North Carolina for little to no money. It was wonderful and literally, they (NWA) were coming to Knoxville in June. It was my third-ever match back from breaking my leg and my tag team partner Devan Dixon said — because I was told I would never wrestle again. I was told to not do jiu-jitsu. I was told that my athletic days were behind me and I didn’t take the doctor’s advice and I didn’t take the critics or anyone else’s advice and I foolishly, some might say, went ahead with it.

** Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling ‘City Circuit’ Results (2/18/23) Nagoya Congress Center in Nagoya, Japan
– HIMAWARI & Yuki Aino def. Hikari Noa & Wakana Uehara
Three Way Match: Nao Kakuta def. Haruna Neko and Pom Harajuku
– Arisu Endo, Suzume & Rika Tatsumi def. Hyper Misao, Shoko Nakajima & Kaya Toribami
– Mizuki, Yuka Sakazaki & Raku def. Mahiro Kiryu, Yuki Kamifuku & Maki Itoh
International Princess Championship: Miu Watanabe (c) def. Janai Kai
– Miyu Yamashita & Yuki Arai def. Aja Kong & Moka Miyamoto

** Sports Guys Talking Wrestling recorded an interview with Drew McIntyre.

** Allie Katch spoke to Daily Star.

** A story centered around Afa Anoa’i Jr.

** J.D. Griffey guest appeared on “Da” Podcast.

** There’s an interview on Mike Wexler’s YouTube channel with independent talent Titus Alexander.

** To promote an upcoming WWE house show, Drew McIntyre spoke to WCIA.com.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

1 Like

Interesting stuff from Kenny regarding different styles of wrestling. You can see why he and Ibushi click in terms of what’s important about their respective bodies of work.