Even before he realized it, Kenny Omega loved the culture of Japan.
The New Japan star was interviewed by ESPN.com and talked about his accomplishments in pro wrestling and his fondness of Japanese culture. From anime to his favorite wrestlers, Omega was interested by things that came from the Asian country.
"I loved Japanese culture before even realizing it was, in fact, Japanese culture. The cartoons and anime I was watching as a child, my favorite video games and even in pro wrestling -- my favorite wrestlers and matches originated in Japan. Learning Japanese was certainly a task, but my passion for the culture, as well as my will to communicate with fans and friends, always encouraged me to continue," Omega said.
It's no wonder that the 33 year old Winnipeg, Manitoba native ended up wrestling for NJPW. Since debuting with the promotion in 2010, Omega has won the IWGP Intercontinental, Junior Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. But those are only a few of his accolades.
"I'm very proud to say I have won six match of the year awards in Japan. I main-evented a sold-out Budokan Arena show, I participated in the first-ever ladder match in NJPW, made the transition from junior to heavyweight and earned a G1 win with a series full of performances that I'm personally very proud of. Any time I broke through the 'glass ceiling' by accomplishing things that foreigners weren't apparently able to do, they've been huge personal victories and career highlights for me," Omega said.
Omega defeated Hirooki Goto to win the 2016 G1 Climax tournament, becoming the first non-Japanese winner under the tournament's current name. The Canadian wrestler has excelled in other promotions as well. In Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, he won Battle of Los Angeles in 2009 and is a former PWG World Champion.
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