During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, AEW wrestler Kenny Omega commented on the decision to have a big entrance at AEW Full Gear for the Elite, tribalism among wrestling fans, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On the decision to have a big entrance at AEW Full Gear for the Elite: “We knew we had to make it special for the fans. It felt like we left people in limbo, so we had to come back emphatically. Our goal is to make wrestling feel like a rock concert. We wanted people to focus entirely on the match, and whether you were rooting for or against us, we wanted people to enjoy it. As soon as the music hit, we wanted it to be a spectacle. We wanted people to know they were in for a ride. Hopefully everyone enjoyed the performance.”
On tribalism among wrestling fans: “The day after the [All Out] pay-per-view, I was absolutely devastated by the loss of Jason David Frank. He’s one of my childhood heroes. That evening, there was a mass shooting at an LGBTQ club where five people died. It’s absolutely terrible. After such tragedy, it puts everything in perspective. This isn’t Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks against CM Punk. It is people trying to show off their craft. You can boo Kenny Omega, or the Young Bucks, or CM Punk, but I hope people don’t forget we’re human beings struggling to show our art.”
On training during his time away: “I’m finding that I really have to push hard past my limits to create change. Sometimes that means I push myself too hard. I was able to get myself into better shape in the time away because I had a goal and a vision. But it almost came to a screeching halt when I strained a tendon in my knee because I was pushing too hard. The time away wasn’t time to rest. That was time for me to put in the work. It was time to train two or three times a day, increasing the intensity of those sessions. I wanted to come away from the time away with something positive.”
On AEW Fight Forever: “It’s a lot of fun. For people looking for an accurate representation of AEW and our characters, wrestling style, and feel, this is going to be the game for them. If you played the old SmackDown! vs. Raw game, it has that zaniness, some of the same control schemes as No Mercy, and times have changed since 2000–so there are sequences and moves that have never been part of a wrestling game before.”