When the question of who is the greatest wrestler in the world at this time is brought up, it usually doesn’t take long for Kenny Omega’s name to be brought into the conversation. Omega recently sat down with Jonathan Snowden of Bleacher Report to discuss what he believes makes his wrestling style different than most wrestlers.
“A lot of wrestlers are wrestling fans at heart, Im not necessarily a fan [of wrestling] anymore. I’m a fan of TV dramas. I’m a fan of video games, and I’m a fan of movies. I like the way that those forms of media are laid out to attract the fan. That’s my study material for how I put together a storyline or a match. Yes, I’m athletic and I can do cool moves and I try to be original with the way I perform them, but I feel the way that I put things together is different from the average wrestler because the average wrestler is just that: He’s just a wrestler. He’s a wrestler who wants to be a wrestler. I am wrestling as a job but trying to tell human stories to pull at your heartstrings.”
“I would watch some of the main event performances, and I would say, ‘Well, this is a great match. Wow.’ You don’t realize until after you’ve seen it 10 times or 12 times, this is actually just a formula they’ve kind of copy-and-pasted. … They see that the reaction is the same every time, so the wrestler says, ‘Oh, OK, this is a formula that works, and regardless of how many times they’ve seen it, it still works.’
Omega went on to explain how he eventually found other like-minded wrestlers who shared a similar philosophy as he does, which eventually lead to the formation of AEW.
“I felt if I could innovate my own style, that maybe I could reach a new fanbase and even expand the pro wrestling horizon, I started small, and I started kind of testing the waters at DDT. We had crowds of 200 or 250. But by the time I had really taken off, DDT sold out Budokan [one of the biggest venues for wrestling in Tokyo]. I didn’t really know what I was doing aside from doing things I thought would be entertaining to my friends and family. But it was working. I had comrades and allies that shared the same goals as me. Ibushi and Michael Nakazawa, among others.”
“There was a small group of us, and as I traveled the world, I would meet these people, and they would have the same ideas, the same visions, the same goals, just wanting something more. El Generico [WWE’s Sami Zayn], The Young Bucks and, eventually, Cody came around. Next thing you know, we had this alternative professional wrestling brand. None of our ideas were exactly alike but could exist in the same world together and provide this alternative.”
Omega is currently one half of the AEW Tag Team Champions with his partner “Hangman” Adam Page.
“I’m loving that Hangman is showing this new personality and that we’ve found something for him that he feels at home with and that the fans enjoy and love. It’s something that people can relate to, as well. I mean, I was that guy in high school. I never drank alcohol. I never did drugs. But I was a sports guy, and a lot of the dudes I played with did drink a lot or they did recreational drugs. I would have to be the guy to kind of hold things together, be like, ‘Hey man, are you OK?’ or ‘Let me take you home.’ You did have the annoying drunk or the guy who got a little rude when he’d had too much to drink. That person can be lovable and still be a great person.
“Without spoiling anything, sometimes you have to look deeper than where the spotlight’s shining brightest at the moment. Because maybe the true story will reveal itself inside the story you think you’re watching. We have big plans. We are trying to tell stories people can relate to.”
Kenny Omega is scheduled to defend his AEW Tag Team Championship with Adam Page against The Young Bucks at AEW: Revolution this Saturday night at 7PM ET on PPV.
i’m going to need every man, woman, and child in chicago to have a drink waiting for me after this. one way or another. pic.twitter.com/fJeEawSEY9
— HANGMAN PAGE (@theAdamPage) February 27, 2020
Matt’s Musings: Omega has been one of the top wrestlers in the world for many years. Now that he is on weekly television, his legacy is just going to continue to grow.