Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi formed a successful tag team called The Golden Lovers in DDT. But when both were in New Japan, they were on opposite sides of the equation with Omega aligned with the heel Bullet Club and the babyface Ibushi chasing after gold.
Omega still had a personal bond with Ibushi so when Ibushi challenged for Bullet Club member AJ Styles' heavyweight title, Omega was caught in the middle. Omega discussed that in an interview with Bleacher Report.
"New Japan takes kayfabe very seriously, so you need to be separated at all times," Omega said. "There's no changing in the same locker rooms. You can warm up around the ring, but you're expected to be on opposite sides of the ring if you're a heel or a babyface."
Omega was in Styles' corner for his title defense against Ibushi at Invasion Attack in 2015. While he never interfered to help either his stablemate Styles or his former partner Ibushi, he did end up distracting Ibushi which cost him the match.
"This was the closest, physically, I had been to Ibushi in a wrestling environment for the longest time. For it to be in this huge title match with AJ Styles, and there was going to be this moment where what I did impacted the match, it was emotional for both of us," admitted Omega.
"I can't take all of the credit. Actually, AJ was a huge driving force. He went to the office and said, 'Please, Gedo [the head of New Japan's creative team], let Kenny be the only guy that comes out. I know Kenny has this thing that he wants to do, so let Kenny have this moment.' If there were other Bullet Club guys there, it may get lost in the shuffle. He wanted it just to be me, and I think it helped magnify the impact of what happened in the ring and the real emotions."
Omega climbed the ring apron during the match and seemed unsure as to what to do. That was enough of a distraction for Ibushi who was caught in the Styles Clash which enabled Styles to retain the title.