Kenny Omega is currently one-half of the AEW Tag Team Champions – and has main evented several PPVs – but some think he's underperformed in his stint with AEW. Many are wondering where the "Best Bout Machine" that they saw in New Japan is going to show up here in the States.
Omega was asked about that criticism he's received since joining AEW when he was interviewed by The Sporting News.
"[Laughs] It's funny because I feel like when people … I could compare it to when your favorite player perhaps gets traded to another team," Omega said. "When your favorite player gets traded to another team, and he's initially not the top scorer or leading in assists or playing the way that he used to play like he did for the home team, your team, it's easy to criticize them and say that you made a big mistake, and that you'll never be the same guy again and that it's all downhill.
"Because I decided to take a different path in my career, because I'm not doing these long, drawn-out 45 [minute] to one-hour matches in singles competition, it doesn't mean that I'm not the same guy. This isn't about tooting my own horn, but it's like I'm now helping run a company that has live television every Wednesday. I'm part of a very successful tag team with "Hangman" Adam Page, a guy that I have a lot of chemistry with. And I'm existing within a division of guys that are amongst the top of all the tag teams on all of the planet and showing that it takes more than just having a good, long singles match to be called the best in the world."
Omega mentioned that he's helping run the company and that is true as in addition to being an AEW talent, he's also an AEW executive vice president. He's also experimenting more with different types of matches thus far as he's had twice as many multi-man matches than he's had one-on-one singles matches.
"You got to be a good tag team wrestler. You have to be a good six-man tag team wrestler. You have to be good at your gimmick matches. You have to be able to appeal to the non-wrestling fan," Omega stated. "So, I'm not only proud of sure, 'The Best Bout Machine' version of Kenny Omega that had the 60-minute classics with Okada. I'm just as proud of that as I am with my mixed tag team with Riho as a tag team partner. I'm just as proud of those matches as I am as the lights out match with Jon Moxley.
"In ways, this is all me in my creative peak. I mean, I'm talking about my storyline with Kota Ibushi. I don't know if you call that 'The Best Bout Machine' Kenny Omega or not. But to me, that's something different. It's these layers of these things that that go into making what I think makes a true best in the world — not just one guy that has the same kind of match over and over and over again. Because I do not have that same match over and over again, does that not make me just as good?
"It just makes me something different. I'm trying to round out. I'm trying to fill the gaps around the edges and make myself a complete package in all of professional wrestling. That even goes beyond what I do in the ring, but actually behind the scenes too. There's a business aspect to it — to balance all of that and still trying to kind of check off these boxes."
AEW has a partnership with AAA in Mexico and Omega made his debut there last summer. In October he captured the AAA Mega Championship and remains the champion there in addition to his AEW tag team gold.
"Now, I even have a belt in AAA. I've went to a country that I never thought I'd be able to perform in and won Match of the Year. I went back to my first promotion in DDT and go into Soloreal Goku when they haven't been able to do high numbers there and did a good number. These are all things I can hang my hat on, and I'm very, very proud of it. My critics will say I have done nothing, and that's OK. They can say it, but the truth is far from it," Omega stated.
Omega will face PAC on tonight's episode of AEW Dynamite.