If Kenny Omega could get Maki Itoh in Florida at the snap of his fingers, he would.
Outside of his abilities inside of the squared circle, Kenny Omega is also an EVP of AEW and one of the names in charge of the women's division.
Recently, the promotion held an Eliminator Tournament to determine Hikaru Shida’s next challenger at AEW Revolution. The tournament was held in both America and Japan and was won by Ryo Mizunami.
Speaking with the New York Post, Kenny Omega gave his thoughts on the tournament, the fan feedback, and the fan-favorite coming out of the tournament, Maki Itoh.
“We’ve had shorter segments on TV before where matches would be five, six, seven minutes. Now we are getting in the 15-minute range and it’s really difficult to go from these short, really quick bursts to having these longer matches. They were all ready for it and they’re ready to assume the responsibility to go in there with the kind of energy and the kind of hunger that you need to start a match fresh and continue that sort of drive and that energy throughout that entire segment and just kill it until the finish.
“I was so happy to hear a lot of the feedback that everyone was enjoying those matches as well as (me) and for some of our characters. For some of our wrestlers, people would write them off, maybe, [they'd say] 'they’re too old' or 'I don’t like their character' or 'they have no charisma.' Now that we got to see them in a more competitive capacity the opinion has changed on almost everybody, which is great.”
Regarding Maki Itoh specifically, Kenny Omega says he knows that there is a demand for her but due to the current state of the world, he cannot guarantee when we will see her again. Due to the demand for her, Kenny did say that we will at some point if it is up to him.
“We have been able to see Yuka Sakazaki on more than one occasion for AEW. People really took to her and they like her and she’s got some very unique qualities that make her special and a star. I also thought that Maki Itoh was one of those types of people I always thought, is this too much? Is this going to be too much for American television? She gets a little profane at times, you know what I mean. But I was always a firm believer that she would rise above it and she would translate.
“I loved that one of the qualities she had in the match was you actually had moments in the match where you thought she could win. I think that’s why people were a little disappointed; maybe she didn’t because she wasn’t just a complete pushover and comedy character. She actually took the fight to a respectable athlete.
“Will we see her back? It’s not something you really answer with a yes or no because there are so many hurdles to clear to get people from country to country in this day and age due to all the travel restrictions, and she has another schedule she needs to follow in Japan which requires the mandatory two-week quarantine where you have to do nothing. But we’re not stupid. I’m not stupid. I do know there is a demand for her and I’d love people to see her live as well. It’s not even for me to decide. If I can snap my fingers and have her appear in Florida and then yeah I could easily say yes you are going to see her, but it’s more complicated than that.”
Fightful recently interviewed Maki Itoh, you can check out the full interview at this link.