NJPW News: Kenny Omega opens up on his IWGP Heavyweight Championship win
What's the story?
Following his historic IWGP Heavyweight Championship win at Dominion this past weekend, Kenny Omega sat down for an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated and opened up regarding his thoughts on the biggest win of his professional wrestling career to date.
In case you didn't know…
At NJPW’s Dominion 6.9 event at the Osaka-jo Hall, Kenny Omega and now-former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada competed in one of the greatest Pro Wrestling matches of all time, when two of New Japan's top stars once again went the distance in a 2 out of 3 falls match.
Prior to their showdown from Saturday; Okada and Omega competed against each other on three different occasions and stood at the record of 1-1-1 and their showdown from Dominion 6.9 was pretty much the tie-breaker between both men.
After a hard-fought back-and-forth match, it was Kenny Omega who finally stood tall and captured the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the very first time in his career, after defeating Kazuchika Okada by 2 falls to 1.
Okada’s defeat to Omega also marked the end of his 720-day reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
The heart of the matter
Despite losing his first encounter with now-former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11, Kenny Omega managed to stay true to himself and eventually went on to become the inaugural IWGP US Heavyweight Champion instead and despite not being in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 12, there is certainly no doubt regarding how resilient Omega stayed to himself.
Omega, as we all know, is arguably the greatest gaijin performer New Japan Pro Wrestling has ever seen and his true determination to make NJPW the best wrestling promotion in the world is what makes 'The Best Bout Machine' even a better competitor.
Omega said: "I think those are things always synonymous with a good team player. Of course, there will be moments when you ask for the ball or even take the ball by force but, in my case, I always kept the company's best interest in mind moving forward and put myself in positions to contribute positively even when I wasn't the focus of a story."
Additionally, Omega also stated that to him Pro Wrestling was certainly lacking something in terms of athleticism, entertainment, and most importantly heart and soul.
"Perhaps it was recognising that pro wrestling, for me, was lacking something. Athletic, something entertaining, with heart and soul. I never once felt I was close to being the best wrestler in the world, not by textbook standards, but I did what I could to represent a style that I thought could be universally entertaining. In small baby steps, I made adjustments and improvements and now here we are."
Furthermore, Omega also added that doubt is always there in his mind, but regardless of that, the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion never stopped believing in the fact that the type of pro wrestler he was meant to be is the one he is today.
Kenny Omega will make his first IWGP Heavyweight Title defence next month in San Francisco at the G1 Specials and for his first title challenger, Omega will square-off in a rematch against 'The American Nightmare' Cody Rhodes.