IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega was interviewed by NJPW about his Wrestle Kingdom 13 match, where he will be defending his title against Hiroshi Tanahashi. Here are some of the topics he discussed:
His thoughts on Hiroshi Tanahashi’s in-ring skills:
“I feel like I have given my heart, my soul, all of my passion to this company, but everyone keeps telling me about how Tanahashi’s given up so much. He’s in such terrible shape, so everyone’s supposed to feel sorry for him. The truth is, I am wrestling with actual, real injuries, but I’m still building my body. Do you see my performances? We’re talking 35-minute, 45-minute, 60-minute matches and we’re talking blistering pace – world class athlete. I’m not doing this snooze-fest bulls—and calling it ‘Old-school style.’
“Calling it ‘New Japan Strong Style’ what an excuse, oh my God! The new Tanahashi? It’s the same old Tanahashi. The only difference that I see, it’s that he’s trying to be trickier. Everyone is evolving. I’ve become an inspiration to everyone, and people are trying to follow my lead. Tana just can’t accept that. He wants to be the leader. He wants to do it in his own way. The truth it, it’s not his own way. He’s fighting like a f—ing coward. He’s wrestling with tricks, stealing other people’s moves, so many roll-ups … I’ve even seen him cheat and use low-blows! You’re criticizing me for not being a heel?! What are your f—ing rules Tana?! You can do whatever you want because you’re the Ace? What a b—-!”
Tanahashi’s match with Kazuchika Okada at G1 Climax:
“It’s crazy, because I’ve seen Tana-Okada matches before and I’ve seen them in a full house. I’ve seen it where it was actually a good match. That time, it was at half capacity and it seemed like that match was in slow f—ing motion. Am I supposed to think that was ‘Sugoi?’ More like ‘So what!’ I can wrestle in slow motion too! You know what I did instead? I wrestled in front of a 140% sold out crowd and I brought the athletic style, the style that Tana hates, but guess what 140% of the crowd liked it. You’ve really got to be careful about what you say Tanahashi, because I’m the New Japan champion and I’ve sacrificed for this company. Don’t call me some other thing because that will come around and it will hurt you most of all. So be careful!”
Wanting to finish off Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13:
“Let’s say you’re nothing, but a mere mortal, making the climb up Mt. Olympus and you face up against a god, even say a demi-god, like Hercules. You need to realize that there is no way to win. Hercules is a hero, he’s a man of the people. There is a story where the normal human wants to fight the demi-god, so you want to cheer for the underdog. I understand that. Tana is willing to accept that because he’ll be a martyr for New Japan. That doesn’t mean that you’re right and it doesn’t mean that you are the rightful heir to New Japan. I’m having to do the Lord’s work. I’m not saying that I enjoy it, in fact I felt a little bit of regret. Even right after Tanahashi won the G1, there was still a shred of regret left that I had to destroy him. But after all of the things that Tanahashi has been saying and all of the things that he’s willing to do.
“Don’t forget that he’s the one who started it. I didn’t start this, but I will be the one to finish it. I want all of Tana’s fans, if they’re still alive by the Tokyo Dome. I want them to make preparations for their hero to fall. I’m going to use Tana’s words because he would probably use it this way: I’m going to destroy your babyface and I’m going to do it like the heel that Tana wants me to be. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to enjoy it, but I realize it’s something that I have to do.”
Check out the full interview here.