Kenny Omega is the AEW World Champion that won the title three months on the Winter is Coming episode of Dynamite. During that match against Jon Moxley, Omega turned heel thanks to the help of Don Callis and “The Cleaner” version of Omega has been dominant ever since. Omega defends the AEW World Title against Moxley this Sunday in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match, which is going to be one of the most unique matches in AEW history.
Omega spoke to the New York Post about his current run in AEW as well as Sunday’s match. Here are some highlights.
Omega on why he felt this was the right time to do an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match in AEW now:
“I feel like every week is always the right moment to bring something new to the table, and that’s kind of why I tried with the weeks leading up to this match, to the pay-per-view, that there has been a lot of surprises, things you didn’t expect to see on our programing, things you didn’t expect to see in professional wrestling and this is sort of just the cherry on the sundae. After seeing Don Callis, the Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows) from Impact, Kenta, there’s no better way in my mind to blow everything out of the water by just blowing each other up. That’s how we’re ending this thing.”
Omega further explained why he wants to do such a violent match:
“I still very much look at pro wrestling as an art form. I still like to consider myself the utmost professional. People like to dumb down matches with a violent stipulation. They kind of like just defer to those as garbage wrestling or that maybe we lack a certain area of expertise or talent, which is why we’re going there. For me, it’s the complete opposite. I want to be considered as one of the best well-around athletes in professional wrestling and I want to test myself in all avenues this sport has to offer.”
“For me to do that and do that effectively, I have to have some kind of experience in these types of situations. I want to test myself with the type of wrestler who specializes in this type of stuff. And sure, I don’t think Moxley has had an exploding barbed wire deathmatch, but it’s not something out of his wheelhouse to do something very hardcore.”
“We have this very competitive nature, the both of us, but in very different ways and I think we have very different motivations in wrestling as well, but by having this stipulation added to this match I feel like the two of us are as motivated as ever in kind of different ways. But because we are both so motivated, I do believe the stars will align and something special will emerge from this.”
Omega also discussed his heel persona and why he felt it was time to adopt that character in AEW when he won the AEW World Title last December:
“When I saw how the relationship was going to develop with Don Callis, it sort of reminded me of the days when I first started to use The Cleaner character in New Japan where I would find success in the ring, but I wasn’t against using foul tactics. I wasn’t against using my fellow comrades. We always traveled in a pack. People for whatever reason, they can relate to The Cleaner and they enjoy the character. I really do think this current incarnation is a lot different, but if it’s easier for people to tether it to something that I’ve done in the past I guess you can call it The Cleaner as it debuted in 2015-16 in New Japan.”
Omega spoke about having fun as this heel AEW World Champion character:
“For me, it’s actually something kind of brand new because I never really had an active manager. In the Bullet Club, we had active wresters accompany us to the ring that would sometimes help us with nefarious tactics and all of that. But this is the first time I’ve actually had a manager. We are doing active segments on TV, fun stuff that I’ve always wanted to do. Sports entertainmenty stuff, but that’s the kind of stuff I love about having a character like this and being able to flesh it out using those kinds of segments, going for a day of golf or visiting children’s daycare. That’s all super fun stuff for me, stuff I love to do and never really got a chance to do in New Japan because the wrestling culture is so different.”
Omega also talked about AEW potentially working with New Japan Pro Wrestling and a potential match with his longtime ally Kota Ibushi, who is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion right now:
“Yes, there is a personal connection, there is an emotional connection between myself and Ibushi, but fortunately and unfortunately what gets things done in the wrestling business is the ideas, the matchups, what will make money for both the industry and both promotions when you are doing a crossover. In this case, I think it’s pretty irrefutable that this is an angle or a matchup or an event that could make both companies a lot of money. If that’s the selling point on the business end of things, that’s probably the hardest barrier to break through. It’s always the people in the offices you have to convince at the end of the day.”
“I feel like ever since even my first trip to Japan in 2008 my destiny was always tied to Ibushi, so it does feel fitting in some way. Does that mean it’s going to happen now? I don’t know. It feels odd. You get those tingles a little bit when I think about it.”
You can read more of Kenny Omega’s interview with the New York Post here.
The video below is a preview for Omega’s match with Moxley tomorrow at Revolution. It’s really well done.