Hiroshi Tanahashi: Kenny Omega's Frustration Comes From A Need For Approval

Hiroshi Tanahashi gets in some final words towards Kenny Omega. 

We're less than 24 hours away from Wrestle Kingdom 13 and the main event showdown between Omega and Tanahashi. The two have battled in the media for months with each man believing their "idea" of wrestling is better than the other. 

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Speaking to NJPW, Tanahashi once again took aim at Omega for how he views wrestling.

"I re-watched our press conference and read his interviews, I find many of his ideas and principles to be very shallow," said Tanahashi. "He also says, 'My style is what fans like the best.' He is indeed, very shallow. He speaks so blindly. He claims that I can’t move anymore, but it’s something that happens to all of us."

Tanahashi continued, discussing Omega's criticism that he has not changed his style to adapt with the times. Omega recently compared Tanahashi to an outdated NES gaming system.

"I was the innovative one. I was always like that. Although Kenny thinks I haven’t done anything, I’ve done a lot to change New Japan," stated Tanahashi. "I began saying, “I love you,” after matches. I started playing air-guitar and greeting fans at ringside. It was about creating new meaning for what New Japan can be. At the same time, many people booed me. So when Kenny says I haven’t changed anything in New Japan, I dismiss that completely. Tanahashi is like the original Nintendo, it all depends on your inputs. Everything that you manipulate is done entirely by your actions. But newer game devices have many automatic functions, you can pull off a combo just by pressing one button. That’s the difference between us. You either like flashy games, or games with depth.

Tanahashi went on to call Omega's 3-way match against Kota Ibushi and Cody Rhodes at King of Pro Wrestling "dull." Omega has previously called Tanahashi matches "fucking boring."

"It all comes down to my belief of what pro-wrestling is and how it differs from Kenny’s idea. He thinks it’s all about using many flashy moves, but that’s completely different from how I feel," continued Tanahashi. "At the core of Kenny’s frustration is a need for approval. I can sense his desire for wanting to be appreciated. ‘Why is Tanahashi still admired more than me, even though I’ve had so many amazing matches?’ But that is because Kenny only sees things from one perspective. He believes that his opinion of what makes a great match is all that matters.

"The Battle of Ideologies" commences on Jan. 4 when Omega defends the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13.

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