PWTorch columnist Sean Radican spoke with NJPW World Hvt. Champion Kenny Omega at AXS TV’s press conference ahead of the G1 Special in San Francisco on July 7 at the Cow Palace where Kenny Omega is set to defend his title against Cody Rhodes.
The following is a transcript of Radican’s interview with Omega where he talks about the creative process of working with Gedo, The Young Bucks, and Cody as well as using Being the Elite as a vehicle to tell the story he wanted to at “Dominion” against Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP World Hvt. Championship.
Omega then tells Radican about how his second singles match with Cody Rhodes will be much different than his first one earlier this year at ROH’s “SuperCard of Honor” during WrestleMania weekend.
Sean Radican: There was a two part story with your road to your title match against Okada at Dominion. It started about a year ago. There’s one story with the split in the Bullet Club and splitting up with The Young Bucks and on the other side there’s the tremendous build of Okada as a long-term champion. Can you talk about the storylines being layered on “Being the Elite” and all the little touches that came together through the matches in ROH and NJPW leading up to what was one of the most emotional finishes in wrestling history when you finally won the title. What was it like giving your input and working with Gedo, Young Bucks, and Cody?
Kenny Omega: We do it via group messages or in a hotel room where we sit around a table and spitball ideas. We always make sure regardless what programs were going to be in our respective promotions that we can still keep our storylines alive and have them make sense. Even though the Kenny vs. Okada part 4 match came out of nowhere, we were able to make it work within our storylines and were able to toss in little bits and pieces of the friction between myself and Cody and the Young Bucks and myself and Ibushi and all that. I didn’t want to overdo it because most of the people were invested in the athletic rivalry myself and Okada had. So, I know most people were expecting someone to turn on someone or most people were expecting perhaps a run in and i didn’t want to disservice the fans or disrespect that storyline. I wanted to keep it separate, but at the same time have moments that lead to each other, which is why i went above and beyond to direct and produce that opening theme to show people and remind people yes, there has been a lot going on before this okada match and there has been a lot going on in my mind. I also made sure we sort of mended the wounded relationship at the end between the Bucks and I and all that after the match. Then to make sure there was a Cody thing after the match and then the next week on “Being the Elite” to address what were Cody’s thoughts during the match, before, after. I have a feeling we were lucky to establish the “Being the Elite” show because it’s cool that even though two performers in the ring, we’re able to show after the fact the mentality of the other parties that are involved. So, I thought for me it was really interesting to see what was Cody thinking?, why didn’t he run during the match?, why didn’t he cost me a fall?, and that was sort of addressed on the show. We carefully think about everything and even moving forward now it’s sort of sensitive territory. So, we have to make sure entering the Cow Palace things go how we hope it to. As best we can, we’ll have it make sense.
Sean Radican: You have your second match against Cody at the G1 Special in San Francisco. How do you make this match stand out as different from your first one and what can people expect from the second match.
Kenny Omega: The stakes have been increased. The stakes are a lot higher. Not only is the belt on the line, but generally speaking the winner can pretty much claim ownership and leadership of Bullet Club. There is a lot on the line. You are safe to assume that because the Japanese representation of Bullet Club are going to be in the house that aren’t going to be any run ins from the Cody side of things. You aren’t going to see anything from Marty or Page and if it happens, you would imagine it’s going to get stomped out immediately. So, it’s going to be a battle of two men where the rightful winner will emerge as champion and as leader of Bullet Club. I think visually the match will be a lot different. You will see it’s a battle of two alphas. They can’t stand being second place. They can’t stand being second banana. Just based on that alone, you’re going to see both parties pulling out all the stops because they can’t accept the L on this particular occasion.
You can listen to my complete interview with Kenny Omega below:
Other highlights of the AXS TV press conference included:
-Omega was asked what he means when he says, “Changing the world.” Omega said it’s about how wrestlers act inside and outside of the ring. He said it goes beyond the ring and that he wants to put out a positive message/
-Omega was asked about teasing a match between The Elite and New Day teased on the most recent episode of “Being the Elite.” Omega said that the scene is what it is and that The Elite all want the match with New Day. Omega was asked about it was also time for wrestling companies to work with each other.
-Omega was asked about wrestling C.M. Punk. He said he wasn’t sure if Punk is done with MMA yet. He said if the opportunity came about to do it he’d be ready and all that would have to happen would be for the time and place to be named.