In a recent interview on Wrestling Observer Radio, Kenny Omega discussed trying to avoid surgery for his shoulder injury, upcoming AEW World title match with Jon Moxley, the inspiration behind his storyline with Hangman Page, and much more. You can read his comments below.
Kenny Omega on trying to avoid surgery for a torn labrum: “A torn labrum is no laughing matter. That’s surgery. But I have a very talented and unbelievable trainer and our doctors, of course, are always monitoring and making sure we’re doing OK. But our trainer is a next-level kind of guy. He’s kept me together and in a condition where I’m able to perform. As long as I make sure I see him two or three times a week, I can lift, I have full range of motion. I just need to make sure that I look after it and can avoid that surgery. Of course, I can’t afford to have that time off. If things get worse, that’s an option I’ll have to consider. But when I have problems with my neck, my shoulder, my back, my knees – there are days where it’s all of them. Every single thing is hurting.
“I go to the trainers and they patch me up, and I go out there and perform….with the ring especially, I feel it in my knees. When that ring is bouncing up and down a lot more than it should, I feel like I’m being swallowed into quicksand. It’s so hard to be explosive, it’s so hard to jump. When you’re getting that shock back onto your joints, you feel it all the way through your body. It’s great for taking a nice clean back bump, but if you’re someone who’s really mobile and explosive, it’s just a death sentence. So, for me, I know that being 20 years in and being as broken as I am, I know that these are sort of precautions I have to take.”
On his upcoming AEW World title match against Jon Moxley: “How much time will we have? I have no clue. Again, I’m easy, so I always kind of leave my stuff for last. Whatever everyone else needs, that’s cool, and I’ll work with what’s left. I’m confident in my ability that it’ll be as good as it needs to be. Working with Mox, it really leaves me feeling no pressure at all. He’s so incredible in the ring. What he does is so original and unique in the way that he moves, the way he draws the crowd in, the way he’s able to sell a match with his promo skills. I feel next to no pressure having to work with him because I feel he has this aura about him that’s so magnetic that you’re focused on everything that he does.
“In a way, it’s sort of the same I had with Okada where Okada is a completely different wrestler, but Okada in Japan – no matter what he’s doing, he has the attention of the people. He doesn’t need a hot storyline, he doesn’t need someone running him over with a car for people to buy into a main event matchup. Him just appearing – hearing his entrance music, that’s all you need, you’re sucked into his world. So, having sort of the table set just with the power of the magnetism of my opponent just leaves it such a low-pressure scenario for me. For whatever reason, I don’t feel much pressure at all. Whatever time’s we’re given, whatever business needs to be done with the match, I think we’ll hit it, and I think we’ll nail it. I’m not worried at all.”
On the inspiration behind his storyline with Hangman Page: “I took a lot of inspiration from a part of the real-life story between myself and [Kota] Ibushi, which goes back to DDT when Ibushi saw the opportunity to do big things in a single’s capacity in New Japan. It was like, well, if we do this, the Golden Lovers kind of cease to exist. We also had our big Budokhan match coming up, and our president at the time was asking for us to do a singles, and I know that’s kind of the end. That marks the ending of us. What happens when you’re really good friends with someone and you don’t want to do the cheesy heel turn because you’re not gonna tag anymore…..it doesn’t mean the friendship ceases to exist, we’re all human beings and we’re all people, and I think things work that way in any other sports capacity. If someone got drafted to the big leagues and left you in the minors, you wouldn’t be forever mad at your friend or punch your friend in the face for getting drafted, right?
“So, I sort of reverse Ibushi’d Page. This time, I was the guy that said the tag thing was great, thanks for being there buddy, but now I really want to focus on singles. Then it worked out where we had to wrestle each other in this tournament where Page, for one reason or another to prove something to himself, he sort of thrust himself into that situation as well. Our motivations were very much different from one another where I was focused on the belt and Page was more focused on proving something to me and himself that he belonged there with me and we were equals. For me, it’s Page is the Kenny Omega, and Kenny Omega was the Ibushi in this scenario where one guy moves on to bigger and better things, and the other guy kind of realizes he’s back to the drawing board and how do I get back to where I want to go and where I belong?”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Wrestling Observer Radio with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.