Kenny Omega Talks AEW Games, Potential Partnerships With WWE, NJPW
Dave Meltzer and Garrett Gonzales recently spoke with Kenny Omega on Wrestling Observer Radio, covering topics of Omega’s current feelings towards NJPW, the differences between AEW and other promotions and the upcoming AEW video game.
We’ve transcribed some of the standout parts.
On the prospect of potentially revisiting his career-long relationship with NJPW favorite Kota Ibushi:
“As life goes on and you separate from these individuals. Those stories kind of get put on the backburner a little bit. But they don’t ever really die out. No one, I believe, ever really forgets. So, you have me exiting New Japan for a period of time, after losing to Tanahashi. Then you see Ibushi team up with Tanahashi, and they have their storyline together. And Ibushi, of course, then winning the G1 for the second time in a row, and just developing more into a megastar that he deserves to be. It’s like, even though we’re not linked or connected right now in the wrestling world, there are these things that definitely add to the story.”
“I never feel like ‘we’ve grown too far apart,’ or ‘now it doesn’t make sense anymore.’ I still feel as attached to that scene as I ever have, even though I’ve been gone for so long. I feel like it would be so easy for guys to show up [in AEW], or us to show up [in NJPW]. And now there’s so many common threads, you know, Moxley’s got the US title, and all that. Ibushi had the thing with Jay White – he was Bullet Club and I was Bullet Club, but now I’m not. There’s so many things to play off of, and just thinking about it now is getting the hamster wheel turning.”
Kenny noted that he’d personally be willing to work with any promotion who wanted to and had something to offer them, including WWE.
“If for some reason, WWE came knocking on our door and said ‘hey, we would love to do a talent switch or tradeoff, or work together on something, I’d be all for it. Whatever benefits the wrestling fan must always come first. When you start thinking about fantasy scenarios, if wrestlers crossed over like that, it gets really exciting.”
On wrestling outdoors and the AEW ring:
“No one realizes ‘okay, these guys are wrestling in over 100-degree weather. It’s damp and moist, the ring cameras are slippery, and the ring is bouncy. It’s the most destructive environment I’ve ever been a part of in professional wrestling. It’s dangerous out there. I can’t stress that enough. People know what we’re capable of. They’ve seen us have great performances in air-conditioned arenas, in front of ten thousand fans, and now, we’re thrust into this outdoor location.”
“But all of us are pushing ourselves and wrestling as if we’re in normal conditions. And now, as of this week, it’s the reverse because we’re walking out there and now it’s super cold. If you’re not prepared for it, you get these goosebumps due to the chilly wind. It’s very strange and a brand new experience that I’m not used to, and I’m not sure anyone is. It’s a challenge.”
On adapting and updating the original No Mercy game to work in today’s gaming scene:
“In the year 2020, wrestling’s a lot different than twenty years ago. I want [the game] to feel like No Mercy, but the reality of the situation is that a lot of the moves the guys are performing in today’s world weren’t even included in the game back in the day. So, having to animate these moves and go over new physics, the way these guys go about performing moves – that’s the new challenge.”
“Making that old, reliable [game engine] that people still love to this day. Making it fluid and non-glitchy… That’s the biggest challenge. The ideas are all there and it all sounds good on paper. It’s just the execution we’re worrying about right now.”
Additionally, Meltzer noted that he could tell Omega had been wrestling injured for a long time now. Omega confirmed that he currently working with a torn labrum but has managed to avoid surgery.
“A torn labrum is no laughing matter. That’s a surgery, but I have a very talented and unbelievable trainer and you know our doctors, of course, are always monitoring and making sure we’re doing okay. But our trainer Bryce Ready is just next level kind of guy. He has kept me together and in a condition where I’m able to perform. As long as I make sure that 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 can look after it and I can avoid having that surgery. I can’t afford having that time off.”
Kenny Omega is set to challenge Jon Moxley for the AEW World Title on the December 2nd edition of AEW Dynamite.