AEW, IMPACT, and AAA world champion Kenny Omega recently spoke with Sports Illustrated to hype this Sunday’s Double or Nothing pay per view, where the Cleaner will be defending the AEW title against PAC and Orange Cassidy.
During the interview Omega speaks about his departure from NJPW, and gives his thoughts on Will Ospreay having to vacate the IWGP World Heavyweight championship due to injury. Highlights are below.
Reveals what he said to Jay White and Will Ospreay prior to leaving NJPW:
Before I left New Japan, I pulled aside Ospreay and Jay White. I don’t even know if I should tell this story, but I will. I told both, ‘This company, at least the western expansion and the pride of the foreigners, it’s all in your hands. They’re going to look to you to carry this thing, so you’ve got to do it.’ I said it to Jay and Ospreay knowing it was a likely scenario, but also hoping to light a fire under both of them.
How Ospreay really came into his own, but could not fill his shoes:
For Ospreay, he’d really came into his own. He made a complete career shift, and he was going to be a fantastic champion. He made changes to his body, he made changes to his style, his look, his demeanor. He became the person that he needed to be the champion of that company. Unfortunately, becoming champion wasn’t enough for him. He tried to fill my shoes. Physically, even though he is one of the most gifted performers to ever step foot in the ring, there is only one Kenny Omega—and you can’t fill those shoes.
He wonders if the NJPW world title is meant to go back on his shoulder:
Thus, now his belt is vacant, so perhaps it was always meant to be my belt and my belt alone. That’s not me making a firm statement as to whether I’ll make a venture out there, just that there is no one there that can fill my shoes or override my legacy. When Ospreay comes back, he’ll have to re-analyze who he is and who he’s meant to be, because he’s not meant to be me.