Kenny Omega Responds To Criticism Of His Run In AEW So Far

The Best Bout Machine speaks...

While in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Kenny Omega captivated the professional wrestling world with his epic matches with the likes of Chris Jericho, Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi. He regularly competed in singles bouts lasting over 30 minutes, and his match against Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11 is considered one of the best matches in the history of professional wrestling.

Omega's run in All Elite Wrestling has been heavily criticised, however, as many expected him to continue being The Best Bout Machine. The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion responded to these criticisms in an interview with Sporting News, in which he argued that he was still the same wrestler that people saw in New Japan, but he has been trying to "round out" as a performer and make himself "a complete package in all of professional wrestling," by competing in different types of bouts like his Lights Out match against Jon Moxley.

Omega said: "It's funny because I feel like when people...I could compare it to when your favourite player perhaps gets traded to another team. When your favourite player gets traded to another team, and he's initially not the top scorer or leading in assists or playing the way that he used to play like he did for the home team, your team, it's easy to criticise them and say that you made a big mistake, and that you'll never be the same guy again and that it's all downhill.

"Because I decided to take a different path in my career, because I'm not doing these long, drawn-out 45 minutes to one-hour matches in singles competition, it doesn't mean that I'm not the same guy. This isn't about tooting my own horn, but it's like I'm now helping run a company that has live television every Wednesday. I'm part of a very successful tag team with Hangman Adam Page, a guy that I have a lot of chemistry with, and I'm existing within a division of guys that are amongst the top of all the tag teams on all of the planet and showing that it takes more than just having a good long singles match to be called the best in the world.

"You've got to be a good tag team wrestler. You have to be a good six-man tag team wrestler. You have to be good at your gimmick matches. You have to be able to appeal to the non-wrestling fan. So, I'm not only proud of sure, "The Best Bout Machine" version of Kenny Omega that had the wrestlers wrestling matches the 60 minutes classics with Okada. I'm just as proud of that as I am with my mixed tag team with Riho. I'm just as proud of those matches as I am as the Lights Out match with Jon Moxley.

"In ways, this is all me in my creative peak. I mean, I'm talking about my storyline with Kota Ibushi. I don't know if you call that "The Best Bout Machine" Kenny Omega or not. But to me, that's something different. It's these layers of these things that go into making what I think makes a true best in the world, not just one guy that has the same kind of match over and over and over again. Because I do not have that same match over and over again, does that not make me just as good?

"It just makes me something different. I'm trying to round out. I'm trying to fill the gaps around the edges and make myself a complete package in all of professional wrestling. That even goes beyond what I do in the ring, but actually behind the scenes too. There's a business aspect to it, to balance all of that and still trying to kind of check off these boxes. Now, I even have a belt in AAA. I've went to a country that I never thought I'd be able to perform in and won "Match of the Year." I went back to my first promotion in DDT and go into Soloreal Goku when they haven't been able to do high numbers there and did a good number. These are all things I can hang my hat on, and I'm very, very proud of it. My critics will say I have done nothing, and that's OK. They can say it, but the truth is far from it."

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Cultaholic's resident newshound.