A few years ago, Kenny Omega was in Kota Ibushi's shoes as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Now he's trying to pass along advice to his former tag team partner, who's currently the face of New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Kenny Omega recently sat down with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to talk about Ibushi's current run at the top of New Japan. Omega says there are three expectations for Ibushi and went into them all in detail.
“For me, I learned there are three places of expectations as champion. There is the expectation of what the fans want from you, there is the expectation of what you want for yourself, and then there is the expectation of what the company wants you to be. I always found that, when I was wrestling for myself, I was able to take things to a certain point. When I was wrestling for the company, I barely made any headway at all. I lost myself. I never found out who I was. It wasn’t until I tuned into what it was the fans were looking for—there is always something the fans are left wanting. If you can satisfy the hunger that hasn’t been satiated by the fans, and give them what they hunger for, or do it better than the person before you, that’s where you find your most success. That’s where you’ll find the passion, and then you can project that in your own performances.”
Kenny Omega has some advice for Kota Ibushi
Barrasso asked Kenny Omega if he had any advice for Kota Ibushi, and the current AEW World Champion said being a company man isn't what makes Ibushi special.
“I don’t mean this in an offensive way, but what I would say to Ibushi is, he’s done a great job of delivering everything that the company has asked him to be. He became, on the exterior, everything that they’d asked him, everything they’d wanted him to be from the beginning, everything that [Hiroshi] Tanahashi wanted him to be. I think that, if he wants to ascend to another level, he has to leave that behind and become the person he was destined to become. Company man Ibushi is not what makes him special, and that’s not the reason he’s champion.”
Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi are both the world champions of their respective companies right now.
What do you think of Kenny Omega's opinion on Kota Ibushi's IWGP Heavyweight title reign? Do you think these two will come face to face with one another before the year is over? Let us know by sounding off in the comments section below.