POST NEWS UPDATE: Kenny Omega opens up about his NJPW run, IWGP Title win

Kenny Omega chats his NJPW run, WWE tributes to Jon Huber, wrestlers hired to throw chairs at mask-less people, Young Bucks interview.

Photo Credit: CEO Gaming

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** AEW World Champion Kenny Omega was the focus of Pro Wrestling Junkies’ latest virtual meet-and-greet session. Omega opened up about the passing of Jon Huber (Brodie Lee) ahead of AEW’s tribute show to Huber on 12/30.

“Yeah, absolutely [it was a tough loss]. I do however find a lot of happiness in just looking at my timeline and just seeing all these stories that everyone else had with him and I’m just happy that he was so universally loved by everyone that he worked with and everyone he’d met. It wasn’t something that was exclusive to us. It wasn’t something only we were able to see. So many people had been touched by him, so I’m just glad he was able to meet so many people, touch so many people and be a part of so many people’s lives.”

Omega was presented with the question of which title win meant more to him between the IWGP Heavyweight and AEW World Championships. He said that from a pure wrestling perspective, the IWGP Title win meant more and dove into his career in New Japan including Bullet Club, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura leaving along with that top spot in the company not originally being meant for him.

“All I can do is be honest. That’s the best I can do. To me, the win over [Kazuchika] Okada was more than just winning a belt. That was an accomplishment that… you know, in what we do in wrestling, it’s sort of like people look at belts as certain representation for all different types of things. It could be a reward, it could be a bargaining chip… it could be a tool and used in a storyline angle or something but for what that represented to me and what it meant for the company to trust that belt to me at that time when Okada was the most dominant IWGP Heavyweight Champion in all of New Japan’s history, it had really been an accomplishment that I know for a fact wasn’t at first meant for me and I knew it was something that wasn’t at first something that they felt they could trust me with and… it, for me was kind of a… for what I had to go through and I don’t necessarily just mean my entire career from day one to that time, but I guess I could say when I knew where my career was headed, to then where it ended up and that would date back to when [Doc] Gallows and [Karl] Anderson and AJ [Styles] and [Shinsuke] Nakamura, when they left on a day’s notice to WWE, everything changed after that day and I was kind of thrust in a moment’s notice into an angle that no one believed in me in, and it was really just kind of a placeholder angle, for lack of a better idea. It was panic booking and it wasn’t something that was meant to last and so for me to take that idea which is just — I was just being used as a tool to buy the company time, but then to make it my own, to start The Elite, to kick start something very fresh in the Bullet Club, to being able to convince the company to trust me with a ladder match, to then their top star getting injured, to then taking a lot of risks and putting myself on the line in a ladder match against Michael Elgin, to then doing everything that I could to have very separate and unique and standout performances in the G1 when they didn’t have a clear cut winner as to who would take it, to then doing what I could with the result of that G1 tournament and then the first Okada match, the second one, the third one when my knee was blown out and I had just a terrible head injury that I’ll go into at some other time in my career. It’s a long story.

The Western expansion, the U.S. Title, the thing with [Chris] Jericho and then finally, the best 2-Out-Of-3 Falls match with Okada. It was just — it was putting myself out there in all these situations that no one had seen, that I didn’t know I would be able to do. They are all just huge chances and it wasn’t just me, Okada was right there with me because we both had to take those chances together and I think we just sort of found this very sacred chemistry that you only find with certain people that you meet on the planet. So, yeah it was very cool, storied couple years and I think if there weren’t for all these pit stops along the way that led to these very notable matches and altercations and sort of unique happenings in New Japan, I would not have been awarded that belt and I think for the sake of the AEW Title, it was kind of like, people kind of thought like, ‘Hey, this is kind of…’ just, ‘Take that belt. This is your company, man’ and it was like, ‘No. No, no, no, no. No, that’s not me. This is about building new stars.’ Like everyone knows what I can do. I’ve destroyed myself. There are people around the world that are in positions like how I was who have these ideas, they’re still healthy, unlike me and they can give the world a lot that no one has seen and I wanted that to be first what we put on display with our company and now, I sort of have these new types of stories to tell and it’s gonna be very different from the Kenny Omega they’ve seen up to this point but, yeah. It’s not that I don’t call it an accomplishment. Holding that belt is a big responsibility and it’s a huge accomplishment because TV wrestling’s very difficult and just being able to have the responsibility of being a champion during the COVID era, it’s also very difficult because you not only have to worry about performing on a week-to-week basis but you have to worry a lot more about your own health and everybody else’s health, the fans’ health. There’s so many factors that go into every performance and it’s a very different set of challenges but I would say from a pure wrestling perspective, yeah, IWGP was gonna be the peak for me.”

Elsewhere during the Q&A, he named several people who he would face from any period of time in the business. Omega said he would like to work with Kurt Angle, Mick Foley and would like to do a storyline and match with Vince McMahon.

“That’s a good question. I honestly get that question a lot and when you add the living or not thing to it, that makes it really interesting. I would have loved to been able to mix it up with Kurt Angle I think. I think that would be a fun one for me. Again, for someone who has such a great mind for the wrestling end of things and how he puts his matches together, I would love to have any kind of match against any one of Mick Foley’s incarnations, whether it’s Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love. Any one of them, I’m sure [it] could be something really cool and really interesting. Yeah, and I’m gonna go with the dark horse, real oddball answer and this was my answer like ten years ago but, had there been the right story, if we’re able to tell it right and we’re able to get the right kind of emotion, I would’ve loved to have had a fun angle/match with Vince McMahon. It’d be fun. Say what you will about his in-ring skill, when push came to shove, when Vince finally had to step into the ring with whoever he was feuding with, whether it’d be [Shawn] Michaels or [Steve] Austin or The Rock, he had memorable clashes and he always put himself on the line to make the best performance possible. So, yeah I would love to have something memorable with either one of those gentlemen. That’d be great.”

** The Government of Irapuato, Mexico enlisted independent wrestlers Lepra, Moco, Gargajo, Costal Clown and García Jr. to promote wearing masks in public. If they were to catch people not wearing their masks in crowded areas, the wrestlers would toss a chair at said individual[s]. It’s being done as a way to encourage the public to wear their masks at all times while out.

** David Penzer welcomed Matt and Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks onto his ‘Sitting Ringside’ podcast. The current AEW World Tag Team Champions were asked how much longer they think they’ll continue wrestling and Nick answered. He is aiming for seven to ten more years but knows that circumstances as such change constantly in the wrestling business.

“Man, we talked about this quite often and remember Matt when we were at ten years to go? When was that? Two or three years ago? So I think if we did the math, if we’re still going by that, I think maybe seven more years but who knows. It’s hard to say. You know how this business is. It’s impossible to say no to things so, I don’t know. If I could do seven to ten more years at this rate and do the matches that I’m doing now and if I’m feeling the same way I’m feeling now, I could easily do it because I feel pretty good right now. Maybe that’s because of the limited schedule but, I think that has probably helped our bodies. This pandemic has healed us a little bit with being on the road less and doing matches way less than we were years prior. So who knows. Knock on wood, I hope I can do this as long as possible so…”

The Bucks discussed Sting’s arrival to AEW. The company’s EVPs knew about Sting coming in months prior and both Matt and Nick spoke about how exciting it was to have a genuine surprise in wrestling.

Nick Jackson: “Yeah, keeping secrets in wrestling as you know is almost impossible these days so, when you can keep one and make it exciting like that and it’s so worth it because man, people love it and you know what’s funny? There was a very limited amount of people that even knew about it. Probably what? Five to seven maybe, Matt? So we knew it was happening and you could feel — that show, we billed it as a big show so we knew it was gonna happen then but none of the boys knew. They just thought it was a big show. So when he walked backstage, every wrestler turned their head and went, ‘Oh my God’ and when you could pop the boys obviously, you’re doing something right.”

Matt Jackson: “We knew for what? A couple months, Nick? That he was doing it. It was Tony [Khan’s] idea and he wasn’t going to do it until he got the thumbs up from all the EVPs and we were in a room, I remember a couple months ago and he told us and immediately, we all literally gave the thumbs up. We were like, ‘Hell yeah, that sounds awesome’ and he was excited because Tony, he ultimately, he’s a fan. He’s probably the biggest wrestling fan I’ve ever met in my life. So him getting to work with a guy like Sting, someone who he grew up watching, I could just see his eyes just light up.”

** Amanda Huber, wife of Jon Huber, posted photos and videos of her late significant other on Instagram. Former WWE talent Brian Myers tweeted out that more could’ve done by WWE on the tribute front on RAW. PWInsider ran a story which read that more tributes to Huber were taped prior to RAW going live on the USA Network.

** Hiromu Takahashi spoke with NJPW1972.com to promote his match[es] at Wrestle Kingdom 15. During the conversation, Hiromu expressed his desire to wrestle Lio Rush and described Rush as “amazing”.

“He’s amazing. He isn’t unlike Taiji Ishimori, actually. Small, but with so much power and so much speed. He might be the fastest guy I’ve ever wrestled.”

** Sami Callihan was one of several guests to join Busted Open Radio to discuss the life and career of Jon Huber (Brodie Lee/Luke Harper). Sami talked about how calm Huber always was and recalled a time when he accidentally kicked Huber hard in the head during a match for EVOLVE. Huber did not take it personally and turned it into a joke between the two for years to come.

“It was a blast [working with him]. He was a guy that I think it took a lot to get him angry. I still remember that match we had at EVOLVE Style Battle and there was one time, towards the end of the match, I kicked him in the head harder than I’ve kicked anyone in the head [in] my entire career. He’s a seven-foot tall dude. He could’ve ate my lunch right after that and no, he just smiled, laughed it off and it became a joke. Every time I see him, for years he would always bring it up. He’s like, ‘Oh yeah, remember when you almost gave me a concussion by kicking me in the head in EVOLVE?’ And it was no bad blood. It was always just being a good person.”

** Poppy, the musician who has played several NXT shows and played NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai to the ring did an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment. She discussed her appearances on NXT programming and collaborating with Io.

“I’ve played ‘Scary Mask’ now twice on Halloween. The first time was awesome — that was in the middle of a marathon run, but I absolutely wanted to do it. I played a show and then went to Florida to play ‘Scary Mask,’ ran to the airport to fly to London and play an NME event, came back and played another show to pick up on the rest of the tour. It was awesome — I didn’t sleep for like four days.

I played the intro music for Io Shirai, and we’ve become friends. She’s one of my favorite wrestlers now. She had a bit recently where she put a trash can over her head and jumped into a group of girls during a match, which was awesome. I love wrestling, so when I had [an] invitation to come play, I had to do it. That was also one of my side dreams from a very long time ago — I wanted to work with WWE. I got the idea after I saw Paul Reubens, Pee-Wee Herman, make an appearance on WWE back in the day. They used my music in a video game and for a couple of intro songs, and then invited me to play. I think I’ve done it three or four times now. I had to go through some pretty intensive testing and screenings because they run a very tight ship. Everyone had to wear masks — it was a whole process. But I was cleared, and it happened!”

** Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston shared their thoughts about the passing of Jon Huber during RAW Talk.

 

** AEW pushed back the debut of their gaming show ‘2.Show’ to January 6th after Dynamite.

** Here’s the first episode of the Superstar Gaming Series featuring the likes of Ronda Rousey, Liv Morgan, Wale, The Miz and many more.

 

** PCO was the most recent guest on the ROHStrong podcast. He reflected on his ROH World Title win at Final Battle 2019 and shared that he wasn’t aware he was winning the title until the day of.

“Yeah, that day. That day. Maybe 3 or 4 PM, late in the afternoon.”

PCO is on record on several accounts speaking about the issues that unfolded between himself and The Kliq, primarily Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash. As the story has been told, there was back and forth between the two sides about the finish of a headlining match between PCO and Kevin Nash in PCO’s hometown of Montreal. Since then, PCO has gone on to bury the hatchet with Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash. He first discussed patching things up with Nash.

“I think it was crazier for him than for me. For me, it was time for more or less redemption. Just to be cool with him. Just to apologize sincerely [for] my bad actions in the past. I will tell you exactly what happened and why I say ‘bad actions’ but it wasn’t — it was bad actions but also, it was bad blood between two groups, you know so…”

PCO then spoke about Shawn Michaels and noted that the tension between the sides began with Michaels possibly feeling like PCO disrespected Nash. Their route to hashing out their tension began overseas when PCO returned to the WWF in 1998.

“Yeah, yeah. I was in England and I was supposed to meet with John Laurinaitis for a dark match and was also supposed to end in a scenario for a big main event at WrestleMania and John Laurinaitis had some personal affairs to attend [to] so he couldn’t make the trip in England. I was already in England. That’s why I was meeting with — because I was in communication with John by email, but he didn’t [alert] me that he was gonna no-show. He did for family reasons or whatever so I still showed up at the arena and my package, my scenario all written down, and I was supposed to talk to John and get a tryout match that night so finally, nobody was there so I went up to Shawn [Michaels] and then we had a long conversation and they took my package. I’m gonna make sure this goes in the right hands and then they spoke to Vince [McMahon] and I had a match against Tommy Dreamer that night. So, everything that he said to me, he did. So to me, from that point on, he proved that all the past was behind him so, a lot of people say Shawn hasn’t changed that much, but for me, he proved that he had changed quite a lot.”

** Rocky Romero took on Tom Lawlor in the opening round of the 2020 MLW Opera Cup tournament. According to PWInsider, Romero will be a part of MLW regularly going forward.

** Episode 68 of AEW Dark:

 

** WrestleZone’s Dominic DeAngelo caught up with Arn Anderson for an interview. Anderson reflected on Sting’s AEW debut and praised Sting for having the ability to walk around a ring, not say anything or make a facial expression and still have a crowd invested.

“One of the most important things in our business and it’s something that the young guys, one of the last things that they pick up are the nuances. What you do between the physicality and how you let me know that you’re hurt or you’re excited or that you’re disappointed. All those things are so important and the best nuance that Sting has mastered is the ability to do nothing. Walk around the ring with that baseball bat, flatline for an expression and just stare because you know he’s capable of exploding at any moment. Less is more and I tell ya, I’m not sure how many people we had that night, but I was down on the mat obviously after getting knocked on my can and all I had to do was listen and that’s what I did. The reaction, it was disbelief.

It was one of those moments on a show that if you’d have wrote down that, ‘Okay, tonight we’re going to have a surprise guest, give me your top five picks.’ Sting would have not made that list I don’t think just because it’s so iconic and you hadn’t heard a word about it. It did not get out. No one knew, we didn’t know—the talent and that just made it so cool and there’s so few surprises anymore because of social media. And I feel bad again, for the fans like you and I, that like surprises on the show. That’s what we work for is entertaining the audience and that was one that was huge and when I looked at Sting in the ring it took me back 30 years. It was a great moment for me. I was just in awe of the whole scenario.”

** ‘Democrat & Chronicle’ have a story up about the tributes to Jon Huber (Brodie Lee/Luke Harper).

** Scrump and Stank welcomed The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) onto the PWTCast.

** Ryback is a part of a non-profit group that distributes vegan meals to those in the Los Angeles, California area.

** In the latest write-up of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s Ace’s HIGH series on NJPW1972.com, Tanahashi stated that he was not aware that Riki Choshu would be returning to New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 2005 after leaving several years prior.

** Calvin Tankman vs. Lee Moriarty is official for Game Changer Wrestling’s ‘Good Riddance’ show on 12/31.

** “Dr. Death” Steve Williams passed away 11 years ago today.

** Rob Schamberger’s latest Canvas 2 Canvas episode is about Undisputed ERA (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong & Bobby Fish).

** Here are the results from the latest episode of Ring of Honor television:

– Dante Caballero & Joe Keys def. Eric Martin & Ken Dixon
– Jay Briscoe, Flip Gordon, Brawler Milonas, John Walters & PCO def. Mark Briscoe, Beer City Bruiser, Dak Draper, Tracy Williams & Dalton Castle

** AEW’s Justin Roberts turned 41-years old on 12/29.

** Daily DDT has an interview with Kaia McKenna.

** Tony Quant released the video version of his interview with Drew McIntyre that was conducted before the 2020 WWE Draft.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 1115 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.