As we previously reported, NJPW has released a new 30-minute documentary on the reunion of long-time friends and tag team partners Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi, known collectively as the Golden Lovers. The two will team up to face Cody Rhodes and Marty Scurll in the main event of the upcoming ROH and NJPW Honor Rising tour on February 24th in Japan.
During the documentary, the “Cleaner” spoke at length about his relationships with Bullet Club and different members of the group, how his vision for professional wrestling has sometimes clashed with the faction’s “mission statement”, and what’s next for him and Ibushi now that they’re back together on the same page. Below are a few transcripts from the show.
On his original role with Bullet Club and how things have changed over the years:
“I’ve been with Bullet Club for almost three years. In the beginning I was the pawn. I was there to do a job, and my job was to be junior champion – junior assassin. My job was to protect the group. The Bullet Club was supposed to be a worldwide group, so we needed to collect the best foreign wrestlers and put them together. My job as a junior was to show everyone that I was the best. It didn’t matter if I had to cheat, it didn’t matter if I had to stab someone in the back, or turn my back on all my friends.”
On his vision for Bullet Club not exactly lining up with some of the other members of the group:
“When I became leader I was able to make some rules, and I was able to change our mission statement. All of us in the Bullet Club are so talented we don’t have to cheat. We don’t have to stab anyone in the back. Our message shouldn’t be that we are ‘bad guys’. Our message should be that we’re the best in the world. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, but some people in the Bullet Club resist that. They like the old ways.”
On how it felt when Kota Ibushi saved him from an assault by Cody Rhodes and other members of the Bullet Club:
“For so long I felt so alone. That no one had the same idea of what wrestling should be, and maybe even to a degree that no one cared about me. I felt that it was just my job, my existence to give everything to wrestling. My health, my body, my soul – just give everything to wrestling. It didn’t matter if I was broken. In the end, to feel that someone maybe cared for me more than that… How could I turn that away?”
Kenny on if he frequently trains and spends time with other members of Bullet Club:
“No. Big surprise right? We don’t. I’ve been alone and feeling alone for a long time. I’m not complaining, that’s just how it is. When you have me trying to change the wrestling world, there aren’t many people that can follow along. That’s a very lonely journey. There aren’t many people who can keep the pace, but Ibushi is one of them. If there’s someone who can change the world, change the way we think about wrestling, Ibushi is one of them. Same with the Young Bucks. That’s actually why we formed The Elite.”
On what’s next for Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi:
“When I say ‘change the wrestling world’ I’ve done that – or I’m doing that as a singles wrestler. I feel like I haven’t shown the beauty of tag team wrestling yet. I haven’t been able to. The Young Bucks have shown that they’re the best. But as a heavyweight tag team, I feel the Golden Lovers can show something different. I lost my belt. I don’t know what’s next. But what I do know is that if we bring it back, if we bring the Golden Lovers back, we can show the world an entire new and beautiful style of tag team wrestling.”