Kenny Omega took on Will Ospreay in a well-received match at the recent AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door II pay-per-view. While fans have rushed to praise the athletic spectacle, one WWE veteran was less than impressed.
It's fair to say that Jim Cornette has not been the biggest fan of Kenny Omega's most lauded matches, both in AEW and elsewhere. Speaking on his recent podcast episode, the veteran manager compared The Cleaner's recent bout against The Aerial Assassin to the classic contest between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat:
“When I look at these two or any match that’s presented with that expectation, I say, ‘Okay, how does this compare to Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat?’ Because as we all know that is still the, pretty much the pinnacle of athletic competition in pro wrestling where it was believable enough to be a contest but exciting enough to be pro wrestling.” [02:07 – 02:31]
Cornette further claimed that the Forbidden Door match for the IWGP United States Championship fell short of this mark because of its lack of realism:
“[Omega vs. Ospreay] is an exhibition of video game moves by highly athletic performers with absolutely no basics and no psychology and all of their little sh*t looks phony. […] It was a series of moves and cool things they thought of to do strung together. [From 03:17 – 04:17]
Omega and Ospreay are expected to complete their trilogy of 2023 encounters at some point in the near future, with AEW All In at Wembley Stadium being proposed as a possible host for their rubber match.
Jim Cornette was not impressed by the New Japan stars at the AEW crossover event
Although Jim Cornette was critical of Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay's match at Forbidden Door, the WWE veteran did manage to sneak in a backhanded compliment about the two former world champions. He praised their ability to showcase fast-paced action but bashed some of the New Japan stars in the process:
“At least these two guys can move. The other Japanese guys on the show are so old and broken down or crippled or whatever because of all the stupid sh*t they do. These guys have just started crippling themselves with all the stupid sh*t they do so they can move, so it’s quicker.” [01:08 – 01:27]
Very few would argue that Japanese legends like Hiroshi Tanahashi, Minoru Suzuki, and Satoshi Kojima have their best years behind them. Nonetheless, they all put in a more than adequate showing at Forbidden Door and contributed to what was overall an exciting night for AEW and NJPW fans.
If you use any quotes from here, please credit the Jim Cornette Experience podcast and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription.