AEW superstar and former world champion Kenny Omega recently spoke with Chris Dart of CBC Arts about a wide range of topics, most notably how the Cleaner views pro-wrestling as a form of performance art, and how he blends different styles and pop culture references into his in-ring storytelling. Highlights from the interview are below.
Compares professional wrestling to a night out at the theater:
“I like to compare what I do to episodic television. But in a lot of cases, it can be like performance art, or a night out at the theatre… I think that one of the beautiful things about professional wrestling is, depending on where you are and the audience you’re performing for, it can be either/or.”
How he has mixed different styles and other elements of pop-culture into his storytelling:
“I had lost a lot in my personal life to wrestling. I wanted to make these connections both with the fans and my comrades [in] wrestling, right, my workmates. I didn’t want to do them a disservice by going through all of this mental preparation, this physical preparation, just to have a match that isn’t appreciated in the grand scheme of things. That was sort of the goal for me as a performer. How can I mix everything that I’ve learned from the different styles that I know in wrestling, from the tapes that I studied, from the pop culture references, culture in general and media? How do I take all of these things and how do I become the best storyteller I can be?”