Rolling Stone has an interview with Kenny Omega, who was discussing his match with Chris Jericho at Wrestle Kingdom 12 on January 4, 2018. Below are some highlights:
The higher ups were OK being laissez-faire with your “there will be blood” approach?
“I’ve been lucky where I’ve asked for a little bit of trust from the company. When you put yourself in a situation like that, you either hit consecutive home runs or you’re dead in the water, because there’s a lot of money on the line, there’s a reputation on the line. And a lot of times I really forced them to step out of their comfort zone. Between last year’s G1 and now with Jericho, I have done a lot of things the company isn’t necessarily comfortable with, but they’re seeing positive growth from it. Drawing blood is a faux paus. They don’t like it at all. Our parent company makes its money through anime and card games.”
Generally, NJPW is almost family friendly, but Omega Vs. Jericho feels like something standing apart from all of that.
“Yeah, and even if it wasn’t what they’ve been expecting, we want to give them something completely different from what’s gonna be on the rest of the card. And not just different because, ‘Hey, it’s a WWE legend coming in to invade New Japan.’ From how we went about it, how we’re going about it and how we will execute the match, we want it to stand out from anything in recent memory. It’s really important for us to do that.”
So if we’re talking this time next year, are the odds best that you’ll be spearheading a more robust rollout of New Japan America?
“It’s hard to picture what the situation is gonna look like. [Omega Vs. Jericho] is a real self-contained story that can maybe only happen once, but I’m excited to see where it leads because it’s showing more of my range and a little bit of self-discovery on my part. I’m able to explore now this side of pro wrestling that is generally regarded here as taboo, but it’s the wrestling I grew up watching. It goes back to the territorial stuff with Ric Flair, the way he’d promote his matches. You can’t do it anymore. There’s always an A, B and C point you have to hit, and things are overly scripted and micro-managed, and now we’re gauging by how everything feels. Everything that this match evolves into has been an organic evolution, and that’s why we haven’t lost people yet.”
Omega also discussed the appeal of the match with Jericho, the build having an old school feel, Jericho being re-invented and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.