Kenny Omega recently sat down with Rolling Stone Japan to hype his upcoming match with Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Tanahashi had called out the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, saying that Omega’s style had no grace. Omega responded to this criticism, and gave more thoughts to the Japanese publication.
Translations via author Chris Charlton. Transcriptions via Joshua Gangon at WrestlingINC.com.
“I understand that Tanahashi must feel disappointed that a wrestler like me is at the top of the heap. But to say I have no grace? I’d say that applies to him, not me. To suggest that mine is a style that isn’t New Japan-like is a big problem. It’s saying Tanahashi’s style, the style that presents himself as ‘The Ace,’ is the only style that’s correct. I absolutely understand and respect that Tanahashi did so much to pull NJPW out of the dark ages, but from there, recently, the ones that have brought us to this awesome level have been Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, and of course, the best bout machine, Kenny Omega.”
Omega also gave his thoughts on what it takes to be at the top of wrestling into 2019.
“The three most important things for a top wrestler? First, passion. There are too many matches that get over in the moment, but a few days later, nobody remembers. Well, that’s not just in New Japan. That’s caused by a lack of passion. Then, intellect. IQ, maybe. For high level offense, you need to be smart, read things three moves ahead. I like to say I’m playing chess while others play checkers. There’s something to checkers, it’s a fine game, but someone playing that is not on the level of someone that can play chess. Then, physical ability. A lot of people read into that wrong, and try and become bodybuilders, but in wrestling today, you need to have a body that can give and take some violent punishment. You have to be an Olympic level athlete. You can impress some people with a gigantic body, but you can’t move people with a top class match like that.”
Kenny Omega will defend his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13 on Jan. 4th in Tokyo, Japan.
— chris charlton (@reasonjp) December 18, 2018