After a grueling G1 Climax tournament, Kenny Omega has been making the round of podcasts as he enjoys some much needed time off to recoup and recover before the NJPW Destruction tour kicks off next week. On a recent appearance on Edge and Christian’s Pod Of Awesomeness, the IWGP United States Champion spoke on several topics, including his matches with Okada this year and how he tells a story in a match.
Working With Okada:
“It was our first single’s match. I sort of put all of my faith into this guy. Well, we sort of mixed it up a little when I was a junior in a few six-mans and the finish would be he would hit me with The Rainmaker and that one minute or two minutes we had in the ring before going home, it felt really good. Now that I’m a heavyweight, it’s kind of believable. But for a heavyweight guy wrestling Okada, ‘I think it could be really good. And I’ve seen what Okada can do. I know he knows what I can do. We’ve sort of been in the ring together. Like, this might be something really special and we should just trust in each other.’ So we went into this match with just complete 100% trust, which is why I did a couple of the things that I did and without even worrying about injuries.
“It’s not just trusting your own ability, but if you trust the people around you, and again, The Bucks, The Young Bucks were there too and I trust my life in their hands as well. I trust my life in these people’s hands, so it was easy for me to commit 100% to everything and just put my best foot forward.”
Wanting To Hold Off On Okada/Omega IV:
“I mean I hope there isn’t Part IV this year. I really kind of want to put it to bed for a little bit, but the company likes going back to that match it seems. And that’s not to say I dislike working with him. I love working with him! It’s just I want the story to make sense and I don’t want to run out of ideas. You’d think the fourth one would have to be a be-all-end-all scenario.”
How He Tells A Story In A Match:
“With today’s athlete in professional wrestling, there are so many guys that with their athletics could easily put together a four-and-a-half star match just based on the moves itself and telling kind of a fake story. But I think it’s the little things, how you sell, your body, how you convey your emotions in the match whether it’s the emotions you’re really feeling or you’re just a great actor and you can make the people believe your emotions, I think that’s what pushes it to making it a five star, a six star match. I think that’s what people aren’t doing in the ring. For me personally, I think too much emphasis is put on, ‘okay, how cool are my moves?’ and ‘how do I string them together?’ ‘How do I get this move in the match within this time limit?’ and that’s it. And ‘how should a wrestling match look?’”
Selling An “Injury” During A Match:
You’re invincible, right? But then, over the years, you know what a knee injury feels like; you know what happens when you stub your toe; when you bang your elbow or you hurt your neck, and it’s almost immobilizing. When you look at things that way, ‘okay, my neck actually hurts. There’s a wrestler way of selling things where 95% of the guys will sell it a certain way, but if it actually does hurt, how would you act and would it just be, ‘it hurts for two seconds because I took a DDT’ or is it actually going to bother you for most of the match? That’s the way I prefer to look at things and it’s not even because I’m a stickler for adding nuances to the matches. I just don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence who has been injured.
“I try to think of things in levels, pain levels and such, injury levels, like, ‘how bad is this injury supposed to be? How much should I be selling?’ And I think it also helps with the emotional attachment of fans when you’re trying to tell a story as well.”