AEW world champion Kenny Omega recently spoke to TalkSport about a number of different topics, most notably how the Cleaner is pushing for collaboration between companies, and says he’s had talks with top WWE executive and former superstar Triple H about this very thing. Highlights are below.
Believes the benefits of working with other companies outweigh the cons:
The way I like to look at it is that there is two perspectives. There’s the perspectives of the boys, the wrestlers. The people that don’t really have to take the business calls or go to the marketing meetings. And they’re all for being able to work with new and exciting talent and with a lot of people that are their friends. So all the boys are completely 100,000 percent up for it. However, wrestling isn’t just wrestling. It’s also a business and a lot of people live and die by how the business is going for said promotion. It’s difficult for a company, after weighing up the pros and cons of a talent exchange or an amalgamation or a trade or a company versus company situation – whatever – because all you can do is take a very educated guess how you’re going to come out of that. Are you going to come out looking stronger? Losing money, losing prestige, losing value? I understand that there is a fear to that. To me, I always feel that if the fans win, and even if your company wins via a fraction of a percent, look, that’s a victory you never had going into an exchange or working with somebody else.
Says sometimes it should be more about the fans than the business:
Who cares if a company ends up looking better. Maybe they get a little bit extra profit out of it. Maybe their five percent increase beat out your two percent increase. That’s just two victories – there’s no loser in that battle. And if the fans are happy and they seem more excited to see your next weekly television show or next pay-per-view, I see that just being the start of many other victories to come because you have made a new fan, or rejuvenated an old fan into being more excited for your product.
Says he’s had conversations with Triple H about working together:
People change from day-to-day. You could have a bad day and completely change your mind on a topic. But from when I did speak at length with Triple H, it really felt like he understood a lot of my thought process and not only was I looking to unite and unify the world of professional wrestling and all of that, but he definitely got it. The thing is, I also understand their side of things too. There’s no right or wrong way anymore in wrestling. To me, and it’s the outlook I take on everything, if we can make the fans enjoy what we do more, that’s the right way. But I do try to get into the heads [of other companies] and see things from a different viewpoint where I’m not a suit in a business meeting, I’m not punching a clock and I don’t have to look at the numbers and crunch the data that goes from day-to-day, month-to-month – I’m just a performer.
How it took a pandemic to get AEW to work with IMPACT and New Japan:
I kind of do have my hand a little in these types of things, but I still find myself worrying about the quality of the show and making the fan/consumer happy. I think Triple H is still being one of the boys for the better part of his career. I’m sure a big part of how he runs his business and how he looks at WWE, NXT and all those things he has a finger in, I really do think he does it for the sake of fans as well. So when he does say things like he’s open for business, I do think if there is a situation which could maybe eliminate some of the worries and fears from the other people that have a say in making these things happen, I do see it being a reality. But, for us with IMPACT, New Japan, it took a global pandemic for this to actually happen [laughs]. So who knows what it would take for it to happen on their end, but as long as they know at least on the AEW side they’ve got more than one EVP looking to make this a better and brighter place for every wrestling fan young or old and possibly the disenfranchised fan, the fan that used to be a fan but isn’t a fan anymore. We want to make this a fun thing for everyone and if that includes working with literally everyone, which I think would make everyone happy, then I’m all for it and I would lobby very hard for it, fight tooth and nail to make it happen. Again, the wrestlers aren’t usually the ones that make those big types of decisions.