New Japan Pro Wrestling star and Bullet Club member Kenny Omega sat down with Uproxx With Spandex for an interview recently. They discussed his match against Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11 for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, his strategy for that match, and the evolution of Bullet Club among other things. Here are some additional highlights to the interview, which you can find at this link.
Omega on Cody Rhodes Joining Bullet Club:
“It’s strange, we’ve been communicating and we’ve been really friendly with each other, but we’ve never actually met before in person. It’s cool to go into this thing with the same ideas. “I don’t know you, you don’t know me, but I know what you’re about and I like the cut of your jib, so let’s make this thing work.” Even when you don’t know a person but you hear about their dedication, it gets you excited to work with them.”
Omega on headlining a major New Japan show:
“No, I never did, and that’s just me being honest. I always had big dreams, sort of fantasy scenarios. ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if … ?’ But given the stance of the Bullet Club members last year, we had a very clear heavyweight leader in AJ Styles. We had a dominant tag team in the heavyweight division with Machine Gun [Karl Anderson] and [Luke] Gallows. Everyone had their specific roles, and I was the junior heavyweight guy. I’d sort of come to terms with forever being the Bullet Club junior guy, so what I wanted to do was make that the best run I could. I wanted to be the champ, but I wanted to be the best champ I could be, the best champ the company has seen. And you know, the junior heavyweight title match would probably never headline the Tokyo Dome main event, so if anything, I had just seen myself bringing respect back to that division so it could be seen on the same level as some of the heavyweight titles.”
Omega on WWE’s recent talent acquisitions and monopolizing business:
“It seems as though we’re headed towards a monopoly, if I were to speak honestly. WWE is hiring people just to hire them. That’s fine, and I’m happy for whoever’s happy to collect a paycheck from them. A lot of my good friends are now receiving work and receiving money. But sadly, a lot of those people are signing with WWE just to ride the pine. You can’t put all these guys on TV. On one end, you have these mom-and-pop indy superstars getting TV time, and people all around the world are able to see the art of what they do. And in a lot of cases, they’re enjoying it, which is fantastic. I’m really happy about that. But as everyone gets picked up, as all these independent promotions have to shut down and close their doors because of WWE scooping everyone up, everyone’s going to lose an option. And that guy you saw for that one tournament, you’re not going to see him anymore. You can’t put him on TV, there’s only so much time. So eventually, people are going to run out of options.”