Kenny Omega Reacts to Vaders Passing, Talks Match With Okada

– Kenny Omega appeared on Sean Waltmans X-Pac 12360 podcast and discussed Vader’s death, his match at NJPW Dominion against Kazuchika Okada and more. Highlights and video are below:

On his match with Kazuchika Okada at NJPW Dominion: “A lot of thought and care went into all of that stuff {match layout}.What moves are we gonna do? What are the finishes going to be? Of course thats all part of it. Its what story do we tell that compliments the other three matches that weve done? What story do we tell that leaves something open for a possible fifth match because even though we were never told there was gonna be a fifth match. I have a feeling theres gonna be a fifth match. So I didnt want to blow everything in that match. And I wanted to leave it so that there is gonna be another one. And I also still wanted to make it sort of based in reality where this is sort of the be-all-end-all and the match decides which one of us is superior for at least this point in time but I didnt feel like we had to overkill anything. And theres so many factors that go into it and I really tried to carefully consider them all. The story surrounding the match, the story within the match, the story that happens before, the story that happens afterTheres so much to go over and I wanted each fall to look different enough from one another so that it did really look like three different matches. And I wanted all the matches to make both of us look good, I wanted them to highlight our strengths as performers.”

On the pressure of following Okadas reign and his hopes for his own title reign: “No, I would feel pressure if there was the pressure to be a textbook wrestler, to be a textbook wrestler and have a textbook wrestler-ish run. Okada had that covered completely and he had done things that no one else could really ever do, he was one of the greatest title runs of all time. Luckily, Im kind of not the conventional wrestler and a lot of my matches visually appear similar to one another so my hope is to kind of have a very original looking run, where I am digging deeper into everyones character and kind of adding layers to the people I work with, so that way all of the defenses look different from one another. The matches themselves may even be different or original or whatever, so I dont feel like I have to fill Okadas shoes Even though people may not prefer my run over Okadas, I want them to kind of recognize it as something original and unique and hopefully enjoyable.”

On celebrating his IWGP title win with The Young Bucks: “Its funny wed created this storyline where we would all kind of go splitsville. And we really pushed it to the extreme where we wouldnt be seen in public wed only talk to each other in private. In the BTE {Being The Elite} storyline, we werent in any scenes together and the only actual physical altercation we ended up having was the match in Long Beach. So we sort of worked ourselves into a shoot brother. Where we were sort of actually forced to live out this lie where we were at odds with each other. So for us to finally kinda come together and in Japan too. Another thing to mention is, its really Kayfabed out there. You cant just go out to a restaurant after a show cause hey its not the show anymore. You have to continue, you have to keep faith and stay true to the angles. So we couldnt hang out before shows, after shows, nothing like that unless it was in private. And usually, Im always tied up with whatever after the shows We never saw each other so for us to finally come together and have that as our first moment. Where its like yes its okay to be friends again it was really emotional.”

On Vader’s passing: “Terrible news. I was absolutely shocked when it happened. Especially since he just had just gone through that crazy surgery where it was just miraculous that he got through it all. You can never be prepared for news like that and luckily all the memories I have of Vader when Ive met him in person were really really pleasant. He was always a very pleasant individual. He was actually the reason I was able to get my first work visa in Japan. Because he had a promotion in Japan for a moment in time where he was running shows every three or four months. And if it wasnt for him I wouldnt have been able to legally work in Japan until actually signing with New Japan. Mostly because of Vader I was able to legally wrestle and make money in Japan.”

On his match with Kota Ibushi at NJPW G1 Climax: “I mean both of us think its too soon, both of us really had it in our minds that we dont want to re-visit it unless its the Tokyo Dome because we get sort of too crazy with one another. And we push each others limits too far and its scary {laughs} especially Ibushi and I always feel like I cant be in this guys shadow so I have to meet his craziness and that just creates an endless circle of one-upmanship.”

On the support he received from WWE for The Elite’s Street Fighter V battle vs. The New Day: “The amount of support I had from their side {WWE} was certainly surprising. And Im thankful for it, we really went out and tried to do something newI really think that we need to get out and explore other options as to how to make wrestling fun and cool again. How to kinda introduce what we do to a brand new audience and gaming was a way to do that. And The New Day well especially Austin Creed/Xavier Woods himself, he has that really popular Youtube gaming channel and hes always involved in anything gaming and we sort of have the video gaming rivalry because we cant have an in-ring rivalry being part of two different companies. And to have the blessing of both companies, and the overwhelming support by WWE was really cool. Its a possible big game changer, we broke a lot of records with just that event alone and I think it goes to show that all the companies and these wrestlers, we can play nice with each other and it is entertaining and thats the type of involvement as champion that I want to have.”

On wanting to defend his tile against Tetsuya Naito and Hiroshi Tanahashi: “I would love to wrestle Naito in an actual championship capacity rather than just the G1. Id love to wrestle Tanahashi because I feel that he was always the protected ace of the company and now hes getting run down and beaten down and he knows that hes sort of on his way out of being a top four guy. And I really want to have sort of a special moment with him if its possible. And I know he kinda hates me in real life its like a professional jealousy thing thats all it is {laughs}. Not actually hates me hates me, you know I love him but we love to hate each other because we have very different views on wrestling.”


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