Kenny Omega was the guest on a recent episode of Talk is Jericho and he spoke about the matches that Jim Cornette says "exposed the professional wrestling business," namely a match with a 9-year old girl and a match with a blow-up doll.
As far as the 9-year-old girl goes, Omega says that it was his favorite match of that year. The story was that the girl wanted to become a professional wrestler for Dramatic Dream Team Wrestling (more commonly known as DDT), but she wasn't willing to wait to grow up. They wouldn't sign her to a full contract and she was very upset. To placate her, they gave her one match--against Kenny Omega.
"(DDT was) a small company. Eventually, we had grown as sort of the mainstays of the company to become this number two, three promotion in Japan. We were running Ryogoku Sumo Hall and we eventually even ran (Nippon) Budokan when (Kota) Ibushi and I had that rematch in 2012 in front of a sold out Budokan. But yeah, we were running Ryogoku, and there was this promotion that had a lot of money back behind it. And they were using a lot of, like, kickboxing girls who were just getting into becoming Joshi pro wrestlers. And, for whatever reason, when we were scouting talent and recruiting talent, in the beginners class, there was this little girl and I believe she was seven years old. And she was a huge wrestling fan and she was really jealous and heartbroken that all these girls were getting scooped [up] from the shoot boxing academy to become pro wrestlers because she was the biggest fan of them all. So they felt bad and they wanted to find something for her and so they had asked me because I had done some mix (gender) stuff before in Japan on the indies and said, 'Kenny's really good. He's safe. He [has] helped some of our developing talents become better and maybe you could work with him for a couple of weeks and see if we can get you to a point where you could do something in the ring.' And so, I said, 'yeah, sure!'"
Omega understood that the match would have been career suicide the girl had gotten injured, but he felt it was worth the risk; if it went perfectly, he knew it could be an unforgettable match.
"They had said, 'okay, well, on the day of your big show, we're hoping that you could do an exhibition with her' and it felt like time had moved to a standstill because I saw this grand opportunity in front of me where I could show everyone something special and something real fun and funny. But at the same time, it's a huge risk because that's a permanent black eye on your career. It's possibly career suicide. If you hurt a girl in front of a huge, sold out crowd and then that goes online and you know how things work. And then, I just become a laughing stock if I wasn't already. Do you know what I mean? But I think the positives outweighed the negatives."
When it came to wrestling an blow-up doll, Omega explained that the inanimate inflatable sex object was featured in matches at DDT, but that he and Kota Ibushi were the first wrestlers to actually face the doll in in-ring competition.
"We had both done the blowup doll 10 or 12 times." Omega recalled, "and Ibushi and I are really strange and having a fun time and we like innovating when we can and where we can. Then we decided, 'let's have a more competitive match with these. We're top guys in this company. In this crazy world that is DDT, which is kind of a world that exists within itself, let's have a match where this guy takes us to the freaking limit.' And it got so over that we ended up having to do this match over and over and over.
"If you're willing to enjoy the match for what it is, I really try to structure it in a way where, 'yes, this thing is defending itself, it's attacking, it has a chance of winning. We make people feel sorry for this thing and make people feel as though it's a human being putting its life on the line for the entertainment of the fans."
Omega still believes he and Ibushi turned these ridiculous exhibitions into some they could be proud of--something that entertained the audience and plastered smiles on their faces for the duration of the match..
"We took a lot of time and effort to come out with a way this is going to look legitimate and a way that people are going to be sucked into this world where you could believe it. And yeah, the more I talk about this subject, the crazier I'll sound, so I'll leave it at that!"
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