AEW World Champion Kenny Omega spoke with TalkSport’s Alex McCarthy recently, with talk eventually turning to the partnerships AEW has in place with IMPACT Wrestling and NJPW.
With Omega teasing to become ‘The Belt Collector’ many fans are eager to see Omega go after IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kota Ibushi, Omega’s former partner in The Golden Lovers. But on a potential match, Omega said the following:
“So you talk about the ‘forbidden door’ and people talk about it being open. It’s been ‘kicked open!’ or ‘blown open!’ Do I look at it as this gigantic door in the distance… I feel like it’s opened a crack and there’s this heavenly light shining through.
“A couple things slip through the cracks, you know what I mean? You might get a guy here or there sneaking in from one side to another, but it’s not going to be a full talent exchange where it’s a free-for-all going both ways.
“Not because the talent doesn’t want to do it. Everybody wants to do it! It’s almost like between three major companies, how do you even have a show that could encompass all of that talent and make all those dream matches become a reality.
“Back when there was All Together, it was New Japan, NOAH and All Japan and they did like a five hour supershow. Even Tokyo Domes and WrestleManias in the past have been seven hours, even nine hours – just not realistic!”
While Omega doesn’t want to rule any cross promotional dream matches out, he did stress a need to keep things realistic during these unprecedented times:
“I don’t want to say that these things are not going to happen or will happen. But, I will say one of the major obstacles and hurdles is that all companies involved have travel schedules and the major, major hurdle on the one side, if things were to happen over in Japan, is the mandatory two-week quarantine where you can’t do anything.
“When an athlete comes here, we’re a little bit more lenient in America as you’ve probably seen on the news feed [laughs]. But when they go back to their home country, there is still that mandatory quarantine, there’s no way around it. That just becomes a nuisance and a hassle for someone who has a touring schedule like New Japan.
“And places like IMPACT who when they film their TV, they must be there for their TV because they’re knocking out three-to-six weeks per taping. For us, We’e kind of contractually bound to making sure we have a weekly television show that goes live on TNT.
“So it’s more the travelling restrictions and the things that make travelling between countries difficult is actually what is hurting us. But, in the same way, it helped this whole thing become a possibility because now we’ve been able to take a step back and take a look at the world we’ve realised there’s something a lot bigger than company pride or competing with everyone else around you trying to make yourself the number one brand.
Omega continued: “We sort of made lemonade out of lemons because of the COVID-era. Now that we’ve all sort of huddled together and realised that maybe this is the best for our fans because a lot of fanbases do watch everything.
“It’s now what caused us to come together is now what’s stopping us from taking it another step forward and that’s just a shame.”