Kenny Omega discusses his relationship with Kota Ibushi.
One of the highlights of 2018 was the reuniting of Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi, known together as the Golden Lovers. Ibushi and Omega were together from 2009 until 2014 when they split due to Omega leaving DDT and continuing in the Junior Heavyweight Division in NJPW. Meanwhile, Ibushi was a heavyweight in NJPW before spending most of 2016 outside of the promotion.
Speaking to Don Callis on the Killing The Town podcast, Omega discussed the reunion and the bond the two men share.
"I never wanted, at any point, because it was real life, I never wanted my relationship with Ibushi sexualized," stated Omega. "With our goals specifically, are very much wrestling driven. There was no need to turn it into a soap opera. But there was no denying the fact that this reunion was emotional and personal and real. Even though what we do in New Japan always culminates with a match, not many of these stories are based in reality. Most of the time it boils down to, 'Let's just have a wrestling match' and it ends there. I feel like the payoff weren't the matches, but the payoff was the reunion itself. The amount of years Ibushi and I couldn't even contact each other unless it was in private. We couldn't be seen together in public because that's how protected the business is in Japan."
Omega continued, revealing that NJPW booker Gedo was wary of putting Omega and Ibushi back together as Omega was rolling as the leader of the Bullet Club.
"There was a time where we were worried that New Japan would not let us get back together," said Omega. "There was an issue of...if you become the Golden Lovers, what does that mean for Bullet Club and merchandise numbers. I said, 'Bullet Club is just a logo. It doesn't need me as a spokesperson for that logo. It'll still sell.' Gedo does not know if people will know who the Golden Lovers are and will support and believe in them. I put my career on the line, 'We will be at the top of the merchandise numbers upon reforming.' It was something that was very important to me."
Omega left NJPW earlier this year, wrestling his final bout for the company at Wrestle Kingdom 13. It was announced at the AEW Ticket Party that Omega would be joining All Elite Wrestling.