AEW world champion Kenny Omega participated in a Q&A with Pro Wrestling Junkies to discuss a multitude of topics, including his thoughts on Brodie Lee’s passing and which title victory was more important to him, the IWGP or the AEW. Highlights are below.
On Brodie Lee’s passing:
Yeah, absolutely [it was a tough loss]. I do however find a lot of happiness in just looking at my timeline and just seeing all these stories that everyone else had with him and I’m just happy that he was so universally loved by everyone that he worked with and everyone he’d met. It wasn’t something that was exclusive to us. It wasn’t something only we were able to see. So many people had been touched by him, so I’m just glad he was able to meet so many people, touch so many people and be a part of so many people’s lives.
Says winning the IWGP Heavyweight championship felt more important than the AEW title:
All I can do is be honest. That’s the best I can do. To me, the win over [Kazuchika] Okada was more than just winning a belt. That was an accomplishment that… you know, in what we do in wrestling, it’s sort of like people look at belts as certain representation for all different types of things. It could be a reward, it could be a bargaining chip… it could be a tool and used in a storyline angle or something but for what that represented to me and what it meant for the company to trust that belt to me at that time when Okada was the most dominant IWGP Heavyweight Champion in all of New Japan’s history, it had really been an accomplishment that I know for a fact wasn’t at first meant for me and I knew it was something that wasn’t at first something that they felt they could trust me with and… it, for me was kind of a… for what I had to go through and I don’t necessarily just mean my entire career from day one to that time, but I guess I could say when I knew where my career was headed, to then where it ended up and that would date back to when [Doc] Gallows and [Karl] Anderson and AJ [Styles] and [Shinsuke] Nakamura, when they left on a day’s notice to WWE, everything changed after that day and I was kind of thrust in a moment’s notice into an angle that no one believed in me in, and it was really just kind of a placeholder angle, for lack of a better idea. It was panic booking and it wasn’t something that was meant to last and so for me to take that idea which is just — I was just being used as a tool to buy the company time, but then to make it my own, to start The Elite, to kick start something very fresh in the Bullet Club, to being able to convince the company to trust me with a ladder match, to then their top star getting injured, to then taking a lot of risks and putting myself on the line in a ladder match against Michael Elgin, to then doing everything that I could to have very separate and unique and standout performances in the G1 when they didn’t have a clear cut winner as to who would take it, to then doing what I could with the result of that G1 tournament and then the first Okada match, the second one, the third one when my knee was blown out and I had just a terrible head injury that I’ll go into at some other time in my career. It’s a long story. The Western expansion, the U.S. Title, the thing with [Chris] Jericho and then finally, the best 2-Out-Of-3 Falls match with Okada. It was just — it was putting myself out there in all these situations that no one had seen, that I didn’t know I would be able to do. They are all just huge chances and it wasn’t just me, Okada was right there with me because we both had to take those chances together and I think we just sort of found this very sacred chemistry that you only find with certain people that you meet on the planet. So, yeah it was very cool, storied couple years and I think if there weren’t for all these pit stops along the way that led to these very notable matches and altercations and sort of unique happenings in New Japan, I would not have been awarded that belt and I think for the sake of the AEW Title, it was kind of like, people kind of thought like, ‘Hey, this is kind of…’ just, ‘Take that belt. This is your company, man’ and it was like, ‘No. No, no, no, no. No, that’s not me. This is about building new stars.’ Like everyone knows what I can do. I’ve destroyed myself. There are people around the world that are in positions like how I was who have these ideas, they’re still healthy, unlike me and they can give the world a lot that no one has seen and I wanted that to be first what we put on display with our company and now, I sort of have these new types of stories to tell and it’s gonna be very different from the Kenny Omega they’ve seen up to this point but, yeah. It’s not that I don’t call it an accomplishment. Holding that belt is a big responsibility and it’s a huge accomplishment because TV wrestling’s very difficult and just being able to have the responsibility of being a champion during the COVID era, it’s also very difficult because you not only have to worry about performing on a week-to-week basis but you have to worry a lot more about your own health and everybody else’s health, the fans’ health. There’s so many factors that go into every performance and it’s a very different set of challenges but I would say from a pure wrestling perspective, yeah, IWGP was gonna be the peak for me.
Says he would have liked to face Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, and Vince McMahon:
That’s a good question. I honestly get that question a lot and when you add the living or not thing to it, that makes it really interesting. I would have loved to been able to mix it up with Kurt Angle I think. I think that would be a fun one for me. Again, for someone who has such a great mind for the wrestling end of things and how he puts his matches together, I would love to have any kind of match against any one of Mick Foley’s incarnations, whether it’s Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love. Any one of them, I’m sure [it] could be something really cool and really interesting. Yeah, and I’m gonna go with the dark horse, real oddball answer and this was my answer like ten years ago but, had there been the right story, if we’re able to tell it right and we’re able to get the right kind of emotion, I would’ve loved to have had a fun angle/match with Vince McMahon. It’d be fun. Say what you will about his in-ring skill, when push came to shove, when Vince finally had to step into the ring with whoever he was feuding with, whether it’d be [Shawn] Michaels or [Steve] Austin or The Rock, he had memorable clashes and he always put himself on the line to make the best performance possible. So, yeah I would love to have something memorable with either one of those gentlemen. That’d be great.
(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)