Kenny Omega sat down with New Japan Pro Wrestling recently for an interview. During the interview, Omega looked back on his rivalry with Hiroshi Tanahashi, dating back to when Omega beat Tanahashi for the vacant IWGP Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship in 2016. Omega felt that match showed that “I am better than that guy.”
“It was such a good feeling, that was the start of it all. I finally had the stage to show everyone just how good I was. There’s this image, right? Where Tanahashi’s the Ace. Where he’s the savior of this company. In one match, I showed everyone – I am better than this guy. I’m better than your savior. From there, I went to the G1 and I proved I was better than every other heavyweight.”
Omega also took exception with Tanahashi’s criticism of Omega’s heel antics, saying that Tanahashi wrestles “like a f***ing coward.”
“I’m not doing this snooze-fest bulls**t and calling it ‘Old-school style.’ Calling it ‘New Japan Strong Style’ what an excuse, oh my God! The new Tanahashi? It’s the same old Tanahashi. The only difference that I see, it’s that he’s trying to be trickier. Everyone is evolving. I’ve become an inspiration to everyone, and people are trying to follow my lead. Tana just can’t accept that. He wants to be the leader. He wants to do it in his own way. The truth it, it’s not his own way. He’s fighting like a f**king coward. He’s wrestling with tricks, stealing other people’s moves, so many roll-ups…I’ve even seen him cheat and use low-blows! You’re criticizing me for not being a heel?! What are your f***ing rules Tana?! You can do whatever you want because you’re the Ace? What a b**ch!”
Omega ended the interview by giving a grave warning to Tanahashi’s fans, ahead of their Jan. 4th showdown.
“I want them to make preparations for their hero to fall. I’m going to use Tana’s words because he would probably use it this way: I’m going to destroy your babyface and I’m going to do it like the heel that Tana wants me to be. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to enjoy it, but I realize it’s something that I have to do.”