Kenny Omega (and Michael Nakazawa) were recently guests on AEW's Wrestlers On The Road Ordering Room Service. Among many other things, Omega talked about the importance of The Bullet Club to his professional wrestling career.
On the subject of the importance of The Bullet Club to the professional wrestling career of Omega, the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion said the group affiliation helped him get noticed in the beginning, despite being told by Siri that The Biz Cliz made him.
" was the height of my career! I asked Siri what Kenny Omega owed his career to and it said Bullet Club," Omega joked. "Like, for me, honestly, I got a big original boom from the Bullet Club thing. I remember my first Tokyo Dome appearance, which was versus [Ryusuke] Taguchi, my followers went from 10,000 to 30,000."
Omega shared that being the lowest paid performer on the NJPW roster spurred him onto enhance his social media presence and start his own Pro Wrestling Tees shop.
"I'm not afraid to say it," Omega began, "I was the lowest paid guy on the [NJPW] roster for like a year-and-a-half."
Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks divulged that Omega was initially disappointed to be put in Bullet Club.
"Soon after [being defeated by Nick in a singles match in 2014], Kenny texts us and he says, 'New Japan wants to bring me on full time' basically, 'and they want to put me in The Bullet Club.' And you were pissed off. Yeah, he was like, 'this is weird.' He was like, 'why should I be on your guys' team? We should be working against each other.' He's like, 'Bullet Club [has] already got AJ [Styles] and stuff.'" Jackson added, "yeah, you're like, 'what? All foreigners just go in The Bullet Club?' Give me a break! You were pissed off about it, but you were like, 'do you know what? Maybe this will be good for us. We can hang out. We can do our thing.'"
Jackson talked about the NJPW departures of AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in 2014. Jackson recalled seeing firsthand Karl Anderson telling NJPW brass of the immediate departures of his so-called 'Best Tag Team In The World' partner Gallows as we as Styles.
"We had known for a while that AJ, Karl Anderson, and Gallows were leaving. We thought they were going to TNA Wrestling because that's what they were going to do, right? Impact Wrestling. Whatever. So I get off the bus, I go to Karl, 'hey, are you guys headed to Dixieland?' I don't know why I said that. I thought it sounded cool or something, and he goes, 'actually, no. Everything just changed. We're going with AJ and we're going to WWE.' They hadn't told Gedo yet. I'm waiting because I'm like, 'I can't wait to see this.'
"So Karl, whose actually, his real name is Chad, he calls over Gedo, and he's like, 'Gedo-san, we need to talk.' So he grabs [Tiger] Hattori and you can tell Chad is going to cry already. He's like, 'I know I've been here for 8 years, but I've got to go to WWE. I'm leaving. Oh, and [Gallows] is coming with me.' And there's Gallows, he's like, 'yeah!' And they're going over this 20-minute speech about how sorry they are that they're doing this, that they feel like they're blindsiding them. But they're walking away, they shake hands and they hug. And then he goes, 'oh my God, AJ's leaving too!' And Gedo goes, 'what?' because that was their guy. He was the champion, so it was just chaos." Jackson remembered, "I see Gedo and I see Tiger just losing their minds."
According to Jackson, news of the departures caused serious panic behind-the-scenes at the Tokyo Dome over Wrestle Kingdom 10 and none of the segments ended up being micromanaged as a result.
"So Tokyo Dome happens and everyone is running around like a chicken with their head cut off," Jackson recalled. "Usually, everything is so micromanaged at Tokyo Dome, right? Like, 'what's your segment?' Go over everything. That night, nobody cared because there was panic in the air. You could feel it."
Omega, who participated in AAA's 2019 Match Of The Year, said he hopes that an IWGP Intercontinental Championship match versus Nakamura did not happen because of the timing of Nakamura's WWE deal and not that the reigning WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion did not want to drop NJPW's IC title to 'The Cleaner'.
"I don't know though," Omega reflected on why Nakamura did not lose the championship to Omega as planned. "I was always cool with Shinsuke. And I don't know if anyone knows the way the locker room is divided up, but friends change with friends. That's how it goes and Shinsuke was always in our room together. He was just always one of our guys, so I don't ever want to think it was like, 'well, I just don't want to lose to you before I go to WWE.' I don't think it was that. I just think it was a demand like, 'you've got to come now and sorry if you have a belt, but that's the way it is.'
Check out the show here or in the video above. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Wrestlers On The Road Ordering Room Service with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.