The Kazuchika Omega vs Kenny Omega IWGP Heavyweight Championship match from Wrestle Kingdom 11 has been praised as perhaps the greatest match of all time. Dave Meltzer famously gave it Six Stars out of Five. Fightful editor Sean Ross Sapp has said it's his favorite match ever. But don't tell that to Jim Cornette.
Recently on The Jim Cornette Experience, Cornette shared his thoughts on the supposed "best ever" match. Spoiler Alert: He doesn't give it six stars out of five.
A lot of his problems seem to stem from his personal history with Kenny Omega.
Cornette says he first encountered Omega at Ring Of Honor around 2006 and that 'The Cleaner' reminded him of WWE Hall Of Famer, The Ultimate Warrior.
"Here's the thing about Kenny Omega, everybody knows that listens to the program regularly that I've had problems with him because of his activities in Japan, embarrassing the [professional] wrestling business, exposing it, and et cetera. But with Kenny Omega, I first saw Kenny Omega in Ring Of Honor, in 2006-ish, so, and, everybody was saying, 'oh, this kid is great,' and when I watched him live, he reminded me a lot of The Ultimate Warrior, the head-shaking, the goofy expressions, he had horrible basics. But you could tell the kid was a great athlete, and with experience, who knows what might happen?"
There was one experience Cornette had with Omega that really seemed to stick in his craw. Apparently, Omega no-showed Ring of Honor Final Battle in 2009, sending ROH officials a photo of a terribly injured ankle and foot as an excuse. But according to Cornette, Omega had a very different reason for ditching ROH that night, and it's bothered him ever since.
"[Omega] left Ring Of Honor and went to Japan. He's Canadian originally, but he went to Japan and he would wrestle there quite a bit. And Adam Pearce, when Adam Pearce was booking Ring Of Honor, booked Kenny Omega for Final Battle, I believe it was 2009. It was Final Battle 2009 in New York. And I was helping Adam at the time and he emailed me one time before the show, 'oh, look at this', he forwarded the email. He said, 'Omega can't show up - he's hurt his ankle or foot and he sent this email.' And Omega sent an emailing saying, 'I can't be there at Final Battle. I'm injured.' And he sent a picture of this f--ked up ankle and foot. It looked f--king horrible. It looked like he had gangrene. I don't know what the f--k. And I even, at the time, wrote back, 'is that even his f--king ankle, Adam, because that looks f--king horrible?' And Adam said, 'that's all I've got and he ain't going to be there.' So of course Omega worked in Japan that weekend, so he didn't even have the f--king guts or ability in him to be honest with a guy that had booked him, a company that had booked him early in his career to say, 'I've got a booking in Japan - that's my priority,' which would have been understood. But instead, he lied and sent this bogus f--king picture of somebody else's f--king foot. Where do you get that? I don't even know. And so that's why he didn't show up at Ring Of Honor anymore, because he was written off because he was a lying sack of s--t that no-showed a booking under false pretenses instead of being honest."
But that's not all. Cornette also brought up his anger at Omega for performing in comedy exhibition matches, which Cornette feels "expose" the professional wrestling business.
"Then, of course, he had those matches with the blow-up doll and f--king nine year old girl. I'm not even kidding, folks. If you're just listening to The Experience for the first time, the f--king guy had competitive matches in front of ticket-purchasing patrons in Japan with a blow-up doll and a nine year old little girl."
It's true. See for yourself.
Some might say that match was a lot of fun to watch. Jim Cornette thinks it exposes professional wrestling.
He also thinks that Omega-Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11 wasn't as great as people say it is. He went so far as to say the match was "45 minutes of my life I'll never get back."
"I watched this match and I'm sorry, folks, but there is no way, and shape, and form and if you watch them together and if you're a younger fan, you might not agree with this because you didn't live in the time when pro wrestling matches actually happened. Now you have sports entertainment matches. But there's no way this Kenny Omega and Okada match was anywhere near as good as [Jerry Lawler vs. Terry Funk (March 1981), Tiger Mask vs. The Dynamite Kid (January 1982), Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (1989 trilogy), Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart (March 1997), among others]. I mean, it was a great display of athleticism. I mean, these guys, they took a lot of risks. But it had such obvious cooperation and moves that nobody could really get up from and et cetera, that it doesn't fit in that category.
"As far as I'm concerned, Kenny Omega should do the motion-capture deal for video games that he is so infatuated with, but it wasn't a five-star pro wrestling match much less a six-star pro wrestling match. And I'm sorry! I'm f--king sorry! But it was an exhibition of guys doing moves. I mean, it was wonderful. The first 10 minutes, I was dying. They fought on the floor forever without being counted out and I jotted down some things. They'd do a big move and then they'd lay around forever. They sold so much and everybody said, 'oh, Cornette, you say (people) don't sell at all!' Well, some people don't sell at all and they sold so much. They knew they were going to go long because long equals classic, but they sold so much they were in slow-motion. Omega is a great athlete. He still has the stupid facial expressions. Calm down on The Ultimate Warrior f--king s--t and anything that reminds me of The Ultimate Warrior instantly makes me mad because he was the worst pushed wrestler in a major promotion ever. It was a really good 20-minute match that lasted 45 minutes."
You can listen to Cornette's thoughts on Omega and the WK11 match in the video at the top of the page or check out the full podcast at this link.