Kenny Omega Was Happy with his AEW Full Gear Lights Out Match

Dec 15, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck

Sports Illustrated recently interviewed AEW star Kenny Omega, who discussed his match with Jon Moxley at Full Gear, his goals for 2020, and more. Below are some highlights.

Kenny Omega on his controversial Full Gear match with Jon Moxley: “I was absolutely happy with it. I really feel that it was a near-flawless performance of what we tried to accomplish. I really tried to make this year something very different than what people were used to seeing of me. Running a TV format is completely different than just going out to the ring and doing whatever you want, and then whenever the match is done, it’s done. Things are much more strict in my world now. Not only that, but going on this new venture with AEW and doing this TV thing, assuming a management role, producing my own segments, producing other people’s segments, producing and structuring matches other than my own–these are all challenges I wanted to assume. Aside from that, I wanted to do things and try new things.”

Kenny Omega on taking being called the best as a responsibility: “When people call me the best, I take that seriously. It’s not only a compliment, I take it more as a responsibility. You can’t be the best if you’re very good at one particular thing. Some people have been called the best in the world because they’re great high-flyers or because they’re very athletic. Some people have been called the best in the world because they have one type of match that they can consistently perform at a very high level.”

Omega on wanting to be able to work any type of match: “For me, I want to be able to perform any type of match, any scenario, any situation–I want to be able to perform better than anybody. That’s why I’ve made trips to AAA to challenge myself in the Lucha style. That’s why I did the deathmatch style with Moxley. That’s why I went back to [what I was doing in the ring] over 10 years ago and I’m starting to show the world what mixed matches are all about with Riho. These are things that are very important to me, and these are things that I think help show what a true ‘best in the world’ performer looks like and acts like, rather than just ‘you had a handful of good matches in one style only.’ For me, it was broadening my stokes, broadening my horizons, and showing that I’m not only multi-faceted, I’m willing to innovate and put myself out there in styles I haven’t even attempted until now in my career.”

Omega on performing live every week with AEW Dynamite: “Every week is a new challenge. There are certain things that I’m still easing into, myself. It’s a different role in a universe with a different set of rules. I’ve purposely taken a backseat as an actor/performer. I wouldn’t say a back backseat, but I’m not at the forefront, which I think was an expectation from people–and I’m happy to be that way because I think we have so many stars that deserve a chance to show what they’ve got.”

“If we don’t move forward with a new generation, then when my time is up, or when Chris [Jericho’s] time is up, or when Moxley’s time is up, we’ll have no one to take the torch. That would be the biggest disservice and injustice that I could do as someone in a managerial position.”

Kenny Omega on if he misses being part of Wrestle Kingdom for NJPW: “It’s strange. That was always a very special time of the year. You’d spend time at home during the holidays with family, you’d do the New Year’s thing, which in my case, I’d do the New Year’s thing in Japan. The next big thing, of course, would be the Tokyo Dome. That was the process, that’s what we would do. For me to approach the end of the year, now that the holidays are coming up, it does feel like there is a bit of a hole there–like I should be doing something, but I won’t be. It’s to be expected, it’s the first year I won’t be there after all my years in New Japan. As time goes by, if I don’t appear next year, maybe I’ll feel less of the emptiness that I feel now. But it’s to be expected. I never really had any other largescale show that was always on the same day up until the New Japan Wrestle Kingdom shows. We would do big shows in DDT when I was a mainstay there, but the date always changed. It was never the same day. With Wrestle Kingdom, it’s always January 4. It was even strange for me to watch the G1 via computer and not be there at the arena. That was something I’d always expected myself to be a part of. I’ll be watching in some capacity, and I wish everyone the best. They’re attempting two days this year, and I hope it goes well.”

Kenny Omega on his goals for 2020: “I felt like it was a very short year for me, just because we got a little bit of a late start. I still feel there are journeys I need to see through until the end. I got a couple mixed matches in with Riho, and I enjoyed every single one of them. I feel like there’s more there to be had, and I really want to show how beautiful, how entertaining, and how fun these matches can be on American soil. It can really open up a lot of people’s minds to the concept of mixed matches if we do them properly. I probably won’t be entering the foray of deathmatch style matches any time soon. I’ve checked that off my list and was very happy with the performance.”

“There is a myriad of performers in AEW that I’ve yet to tie up with. It doesn’t have to be completed next year, but all of these guys, they all have some kind of reputation. I would like to step in the ring with them and see how it goes. I might be able to find a new type of chemistry with someone I never knew existed. I’m looking forward to mixing it up with guys like Darby Allin, and whether it happens or not, I’m looking forward to exploring this feud more with PAC, who I think is one of the greatest performers living right now. I’ve yet to have an actual regular match with Jon Moxley. These are all things that pique my interest. Whether they all happen next year or not, we’ll see, but they’re all things that I can look forward to. Hopefully a good handful of them happen.”

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