Kenny Omega Addresses Those Who Say he's Underperformed in AEW

Posted By James Walsh on 02/26/20

In an interview with Sporting News, Kenny Omega spoke about those who say heís underperformed since he arrived in AEW, after gaining a reputation in NJPW. Here are highlights:

On the growth of Hangman Page: ďAbsolutely. Iím really proud of the fact that heís found something that works for him as someone the fans can endear themselves with. But you know, itís everything in moderation. And we canít have a fly off the reins and be a victim to his own devices, so to speak. So ďHangmanĒ Page is great as the casual beer drinker, but we need to make sure he stays just that ó very casual and responsible beer drinker.Ē

On his AEW run: ďItís funny because I feel like when people Ö I could compare it to when your favorite player perhaps gets traded to another team. When your favorite player gets traded to another team, and heís initially not the top scorer or leading in assists or playing the way that he used to play like he did for the home team, your team, itís easy to criticize them and say that you made a big mistake, and that youíll never be the same guy again and that itís all downhill.

Because I decided to take a different path in my career, because Iím not doing these long, drawn-out 45 (-minute) to one-hour matches in singles competition, it doesnít mean that Iím not the same guy. This isnít about tooting my own horn, but itís like Iím now helping run a company that has live television every Wednesday. Iím part of a very successful tag team with ďHangmanĒ Adam Page, a guy that I have a lot of chemistry with, and Iím existing within a division of guys that are amongst the top of all the tag teams on all of the planet and showing that it takes more than just having a good long singles match to be called the best in the world.

You got to be a good tag team wrestler. You have to be a good six-man tag team wrestler. You have to be good at your gimmick matches. You have to be able to appeal to the non-wrestling fan. So, Iím not only proud of sure, ďThe Best Bout MachineĒ version of Kenny Omega that had the wrestlers wrestling matches the 60-minutes classics with (Kazuchika) Okada (in New Japan Pro Wrestling). Iím just as proud of that as I am with my mixed tag team with Riho (former AEW womenís champion) as a tag team partner. Iím just as proud of those matches as I am as the lights out match with Jon Moxley.

In ways, this is all me in my creative peak. I mean, Iím talking about my storyline with Kota Ibushi. I donít know if you call that ďThe Best Bout MachineĒ Kenny Omega or not. But to me, thatís something different. Itís these layers of these things that that go into making what I think makes a true best in the world ó not just one guy that has the same kind of match over and over and over again. Because I do not have that same match over and over again, does that not make me just as good?

It just makes me something different. Iím trying to round out. Iím trying to fill the gaps around the edges and make myself a complete package in all of professional wrestling. That even goes beyond what I do in the ring, but actually behind the scenes too. Thereís a business aspect to it ó to balance all of that and still trying to kind of check off these boxes. Now, I even have a belt in AAA (Mexican-based promotion). Iíve went to a country that I never thought Iíd be able to perform in and won ďMatch of the Year.Ē I went back to my first promotion in DDT and go into Soloreal Goku when they havenít been able to do high numbers there and did a good number. These are all things I can hang my hat on, and Iím very, very proud of it. My critics will say I have done nothing, and thatís OK. They can say it, but the truth is far from it.Ē

On facing the Young Bucks at AEW Revolution: ďWrestling is a performance as much as it is a sport. And for us, especially, weíve all banded together to take a stand against the wrestling that we didnít enjoy any more on television. Itís actually physically painful and emotionally painful when we have to take that vision that we have that weíre working together towards, and we have to turn it against each other.

Itís much more emotional for me to wrestle The Young Bucks than any other tag team by far. I expected it to be an emotional encounter for me, especially as Iím an emotional guy. The talent speaks for itself. I know itís going to be a great match. But as much physical damage as itís going to do to my body, I know itís going to do a lot of emotional damage too.Ē