Kenny Omega on criticism of his AEW run
Kenny Omega recently spoke with Steven Muehlhausen for Sporting News ahead of All Elite Wrestling’s Revolution event on Saturday in Chicago. During the interview, Omega was asked about criticisms of him not being “The Best Bout Machine” in AEW and how he’s not the same guy fans fell in love with in New Japan.
Now a Tag Team Champion with “Hangman” Adam Page, Omega says he’s still the same guy and he’s just taking a different approach to what he does in AEW. Omega compared the situation to your favorite player getting traded to a new team and seeing their production change, so it’s easy to criticize them. He says his goal now is to become a well-rounded wrestler, and he’s proud of his work outside of singles competition.
“Because I decided to take a different path in my career, because I’m not doing these long, drawn-out 45 (-minute) to one-hour matches in singles competition, it doesn’t mean that I’m not the same guy. This isn’t about tooting my own horn, but it’s like I’m now helping run a company that has live television every Wednesday. I’m part of a very successful tag team with “Hangman” Adam Page, a guy that I have a lot of chemistry with, and I’m 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.”
Omega says you’ve got to be a good tag team and six-man wrestler, as well as a good gimmick match wrestler to be well-rounded. He says you’re trying to appeal to the casual fan, so while he is proud of doing “60-minutes classics with Okada” in New Japan, he is just as proud of teaming with Riho as a mixed tag team, as well as his Lights Out match with Jon Moxley.
“In ways, this is all me in my creative peak. I mean, I’m talking about my storyline with Kota Ibushi. I don’t know if you call that “The Best Bout Machine” Kenny Omega or not. But to me, that’s something different. It’s these layers of these things that go into making what I think makes a true best in the world — 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. I’m trying to round out. I’m 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. There’s a business aspect to it — 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). I’ve went to a country that I never thought I’d be able to perform in and won.
“Match of the Year.” I went back to my first promotion in DDT and go into Soloreal Goku when they haven’t been able to do high numbers there and did a good number. These are all things I can hang my hat on, and I’m very, very proud of it. My critics will say I have done nothing, and that’s OK. They can say it, but the truth is far from it.”