Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi will forever be tied at the hip as The Golden Lovers. Though they went on different paths in 2019 with Omega joining AEW and Ibushi sticking with NJPW, the two remain linked through their past and everyone clamoring for a match in the future.
Omega is currently atop AEW as the World Champion while Ibushi sits on the NJPW throne as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.
Speaking to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Omega commented on the expectations that come with being champion and how Ibushi is fairing.
“For me, I learned there are three places of expectations as champion,” said Omega. “There is the expectation of what the fans want from you, there is the expectation of what you want for yourself, and then there is the expectation of what the company wants you to be. I always found that, when I was wrestling for myself, I was able to take things to a certain point. When I was wrestling for the company, I barely made any headway at all. I lost myself. I never found out who I was. It wasn’t until I tuned into what it was the fans were looking for—there is always something the fans are left wanting. If you can satisfy the hunger that hasn’t been satiated by the fans, and give them what they hunger for, or do it better than the person before you, that’s where you find your most success. That’s where you’ll find the passion, and then you can project that in your own performances.”
When asked about advice he would give Ibushi, Barrasso notes that Omega chose his words carefully before saying, “I don’t mean this in an offensive way, but what I would say to Ibushi is, he’s done a great job of delivering everything that the company has asked him to be. He became, on the exterior, everything that they’d asked him, everything they’d wanted him to be from the beginning, everything that [Hiroshi] Tanahashi wanted him to be. I think that, if he wants to ascend to another level, he has to leave that behind and become the person he was destined to become. Company man Ibushi is not what makes him special, and that’s not the reason he’s champion.”
Ibushi, who was the feature of the article and also interview, declined to answer questions about Omega directly.
On a recent episode of IMPACT Wrestling, Omega claimed he was better than Ibushi.
Ibushi is set to defend the IWGP World Heavyweight Title at Sakura Genesis against Will Ospreay. You can view the new IWGP Heavyweight Title design by clicking here.