Kenny Omega took time before Wrestle Kingdom 11 to speak with Sports Illustrated about his mindset at this point in his career and whether or not he sees any real competition coming up in his rear view mirror. Omega did not pull any punches.
“I’m eating, breathing, and s—-ing wrestling right now,” said Omega. “When I’m waking up in bed in the morning and my bones and my joints are aching—and I know that I’m not ‘old’ old, but I know there is a lot of younger talent floating around their roster—I’m wondering, ‘Why in the hell are these guys not rising up? Why are they not doing what it takes to be better? Are they so happy to be a cog in the WWE machine that they’re just happy to be where they are? Are they just satisfied to see WWE as the name on their paycheck every week? Why can I keep getting better and pushing the envelope to have these ‘Matches of the Year,’ but no one else can even come close?’ AJ Styles has been great, but he’s been great forever. Why is there no one else?
"Sometimes I feel like there is no hope. There are guys that will get good real quick, and then they’ll stay that way—they’re happy to have a job and they’re scared to lose that job on top of it. Everyone is afraid to stand out, everyone is afraid to make history. They just want to be a normal motherf—– in wrestling, being a wrestler, collecting a paycheck, then telling their friends, ‘I’m a ‘WWE Superstar.’ For me, that’s the worst s— ever. “I would rather be the legend that never stepped foot in WWE but was better than every single one of them and did something that none of those guys could do in their prime or could ever do if they left WWE and tried.
"No one is going to win ten ‘matches of the year’ in Japan, no one could. I’ve already won ten. No one could go from WWE and win one – if you did, you’d have to have a better match than me, and that isn’t going to happen. That’s the kind of pride I bring to my work. AJ is the closest guy who could do it, but I’m talking about their roster as a whole. It’s just not going to happen. That’s not just me saying that because I’m a cocky prick. That’s me saying it as a challenge because I’m pushing the barrier every single day. I’ll take all my matches against WWE’s best matches, I’ll put it up against Ring of Honor’s best matches, or whatever promotion you want, and I guarantee people will be more entertained with my matches than theirs. That is the attitude I need to carry with me. If I lose my confidence, then I’ll lose my way. And yes, I’m saying controversial things, but I’m not purposely saying them just to be controversial. I’m just one of the only guys to be speaking my true feelings."
Omega faces Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Title at Wrestle Kingdom 11 tonight at 3 am Eastern Time.