Kenny Omega recently took part in an interview with GameSpot during which he discussed AEW’s upcoming Fyter Fest, his match with Jon Moxley at All Out, learning from Double or Nothing.
Below are the highlights:
On what lessons they learned from Double or Nothing:
“I mean, you really have to take a look at the good and the bad, the positives and negatives, and you have to be very constructively critical about your own performance. Now that we’re essentially running the show, we have to be critical about what we can improve moving forward. So for me, I’m a real tough critic of myself. And, so, I unfortunately always look at what can we improve moving forward. So, for me, some production issues. We can clean up some of the camera work. Some of the audio issues. I didn’t like that I could barely hear my theme music. You know what I mean? But these are things that are such an easy fix. The things that we got right, were actually the hardest things on the show to get it right. We gave a full show, from start to finish, that looked completely different from start to finish. No one match appeared similar to one another. And especially the last three, four matches, they were all so visually different from one another. Different in feeling, different in atmosphere. And that’s something really tough to do in wrestling because when you really dumb down the idea of wrestling, and when you think of it at the bare-bones level, it’s… People think, ‘Okay, it’s two guys, and they’re oiled up, and they’re wearing Speedos, and they’re grappling with each other, rolling around.’ Wrestling has evolved to a point where it could literally be anything, and that’s kind of what the whole idea of AEW was founded on, was that wrestling can be anything, and we can expand those ideas. We can expand the entire universe of wrestling beyond what people have come to expect and beyond what people are used to seeing, even. So, in America especially, people associate professional wrestling with one company. And that’s fine. That’s totally cool. We want to be an alternative to that, and we want to expand on that entire idea. So if you like what they’re doing, that is great. I’m happy you love it. But, if you come over and watch what we’re doing, we’re going to give you not only what they’re doing, but we’re going to give you a bunch of flavors and types of wrestling that are much different than that. And I think, based on the first show, we’re on the right track.”
On the crossover between wrestling and video game fanbases:
“Yeah, you know what? It’s funny because I was really surprised myself. When I actually first contact Jebailey, who runs CEO, I said, ‘Hey, man. Look, I know you’re a wrestling fan, and I just want to know, is there space for me to join your tournament? Could I just come down and hang out? Could I compete in Street Fighter?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah, sure. Of course, you can.’ And I just wanted to be a dude. You know what I mean? I want to try my hand to competing. We don’t have any locals, really, where I’m from in Winnipeg. No majors, especially. No premiers or majors. So I just wanted to go to what people would consider one of the more fun events. And when I showed up, thinking I was just going to be a guy, you know, I had people come to me telling me, ‘You know, I saw your match. I loved it. I saw this match. I loved it. You’re doing great stuff in Japan.’ I was blown away. For this whole new community, this group of people that I’d never met before, they were so inviting and so kind. I just really felt like I found kind of a new family, in a way. So that’s what sort of inspired Fyter Fest, and even the first CEO-cross-New Japan show. As a gamer, I can play at a decent level, but it’s not like I can offer groundbreaking tech. You know what I mean? I can’t offer things that are going to help people improve their game. I can’t offer new software. I can’t offer new hardware. So I thought, if there’s anything I can give back to the community, it’s my wrestling. So we planned the first ever crossover event last year. It was successful. And then this year, we just want to build on that and groove on it. And, hopefully, whether people are competing or non-competing or whatever, we can give them something to do at night, just to kind of relax and have fun and not worry about, you know, where their standings are or if they drown in pools or whatever. Yeah.”
On his match with Jon Moxley at All Out and Moxley’s arrival in AEW:
“Yeah, it’s crazy because I remember seeing him on TV. I saw something there. I knew that there was something magnetic about him, something special about him. WWE never showed it. And then when I see him nowadays, when I see these backstage promos, when I see the stuff that he’s done in Japan, when I see the stuff that he’s doing around the world, I see this new enthusiasm. I see the spark. I even see the physical condition that he’s in. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. This is not the Moxley that came from that other place. This is a Jon Moxley that’s reborn. I have to assume that this is a new entity, that this is a new person, and he has a type of enthusiasm and that sort of never-say-die attitude. And, with the skillset that he has, that magnetic charisma, with that ability to sell a match with this promo skills, with that ability to be incredibly physical, he’s kind of like a new-age Terry Funk. You know what I mean? He brings something very new to the table that people clearly enjoy. But the problem is, is that he’s kind of coming into my world. And, I don’t want him to think that it’s going to be easy for him. I don’t want him to think that he’s going to get a free ride. You can talk the best game in the world. You can. You can brawl like the best of them. But the fact of the matter is, I made my name by being the best. I made my name by having the greatest 20-minute matches, 30-minute matches, 60-minute matches, and I’ve shown that I can do it in all styles of professional wrestling. Now, finally, he has the platform to show if he can be that multifaceted tool. So this is going to be the grandest stage for him, and this is going to be the biggest test for him as well. Yes, he can brawl. Yes, he can talk. But now, can he wrestle? Now, can he win? Now, can he fight? Now, can he have the type of performances that AEW is going to command from him? This is the real test.”