Kenny Omega Reveals Original Wrestle Kingdom Opponent, Talks How No DQ Stip Vs. Jericho Evolved

Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho battled in a wild no-DQ match at Wrestle Kingdom 12, but neither that match nor the stipulation originally were planned for New Japan Pro Wrestling's marquee event.

Appearing on Jericho's podcast in the wake of their match in the Tokyo Dome, Omega revealed that before the Jericho match came together, Omega was slated to face Kota Ibushi, with no real build planned.

"They really wanted to shotgun me and Ibushi for the Dome," said Omega, who was in a long time team with Ibushi and had a prior rivalry when both were in the NJPW junior heavyweight division. "Huge history but it was kind of like, well, Kenny's had some good matches and this will be a good match so let's just do it. And, you know me. I'm not that kind of guy. I want a reason and the story is so important and the emotion is even more important than that."

The emotion definitely was in supply during both the build and the match itself, starting with Jericho attacking Omega during the finals of the 2017 World Tag League, and Omega retaliating against Jericho at the Wrestle Kingdom 12 press conference the next day. NJPW then announced the no-DQ stipulation but, as Jericho and Omega both noted on the podcast, the violent atmosphere for the Wrestle Kingdom 12 match came together organically.

"Since day one we've been gauging the thing by the feeling—the atmosphere of the building, the atmosphere of the people, the atmosphere of the people talking about it digitally on social media," Omega said. "And we changed things accordingly. We never knew where it was going to go. We sort of had an idea. But I think to allow the thing to evolve organically was probably the reason it was so successful."

Jericho refuted the notion that the no-DQ stipulation was added because the 47-year-old Jericho "couldn't keep up" with the fast-paced, highly athletic style that has come to typify Omega's NJPW matches.

"That was never the intention to do no DQ. It just got so violent and people responded to it so well we were like, this needs to not be what we originally wanted it to be, which was an Omega-Okada style match. … that was what we wanted," Jericho noted.

Click here to listen to Omega's entire appearance on Talk Is Jericho.

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