Kenny Omega is facing the biggest match of his life next week as he takes on Kazuchika Okada in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 11 in the Tokyo Dome. Omega never thought he'd be in this situation.
When speaking to Yahoo, Omega was asked about his high profile spot. With the departure of several major NJPW stars in 2016, Omega saw that a top spot was ripe for the picking.
No, I never did, and that’s just me being honest. I always had big dreams, sort of fantasy scenarios. “Wouldn’t it be nice if … ?” But given the stance of the Bullet Club members last year, we had a very clear heavyweight leader in AJ Styles. We had a dominant tag team in the heavyweight division with Machine Gun [Karl Anderson] and [Luke] Gallows. Everyone had their specific roles, and I was the junior heavyweight guy. I’d sort of come to terms with forever being the Bullet Club junior guy, so what I wanted to do was make that the best run I could. I wanted to be the champ, but I wanted to be the best champ I could be, the best champ the company has seen. And you know, the junior heavyweight title match would probably never headline the Tokyo Dome main event, so if anything, I had just seen myself bringing respect back to that division so it could be seen on the same level as some of the heavyweight title," Omega said.
As mentioned, the WWE plucked several talents from NJPW over the past year. Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson, AJ Styles, Doc Gallows all abandoned NJPW to join WWE. Omega thinks this is leading to a monopoly where WWE is just hiring talents to hurt other companies.
"It seems as though we’re headed towards a monopoly, if I were to speak honestly. WWE is hiring people just to hire them. That’s fine, and I’m happy for whoever’s happy to collect a paycheck from them. A lot of my good friends are now receiving work and receiving money. But sadly, a lot of those people are signing with WWE just to ride the pine. You can’t put all these guys on TV. On one end, you have these mom-and-pop indy superstars getting TV time, and people all around the world are able to see the art of what they do. And in a lot of cases, they’re enjoying it, which is fantastic. I’m really happy about that. But as everyone gets picked up, as all these independent promotions have to shut down and close their doors because of WWE scooping everyone up, everyone’s going to lose an option. And that guy you saw for that one tournament, you’re not going to see him anymore. You can’t put him on TV, there’s only so much time. So eventually, people are going to run out of options. I want to be one of the options for people. You want to go eat a McDonald’s hamburger? That’s cool. McDonald’s can be good. Do I like them every day? Do I want to eat McDonald’s seven days a week for every meal? Probably not. Eventually, I’m going to want to go someplace for a triple-A grade steak. I may not necessarily have the traffic flow of McDonald’s, but guess what? The quality is there, and it’s for the distinguished wrestling viewer. People who are wanting something more out of their programming. That’s what I want to provide for people in 2017," said Omega.
Fightful.com will have full, live coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 11 at 3 AM EST on January 4. Kenny Omega will face IWGP Heavyweight Champion Okada at the event.