My translation of a short interview with Kenny Omega that appeared on the Tokyo Sports website. As always, my annotations are in [], and annotations by the original publication are in ().

Original text and images © Tokyo Sports.

Note: pull quotes may differ from actual answers. This is part of the editing in the original.


(New Japan) Kenny Reveals It All! His International Plan for the IWGP Belt

The G1 CLIMAX winner Kenny Omega (33), who will challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion Okada Kazuchika (29) at next year’s 1.4 Tôkyô Dome show, gave an interview, and mapped out his blueprint for 2017. The boss of the villainous foreigner stable Bullet Club received the Technique Award at the 2016 Tôkyô Sports Puroresu Awards, and has definitive plan to hold titles matches for the IWGP championship overseas. Behind this plan lies a sense of impending danger and rivalry, as the world’s biggest promotion, WWE, pursues their global expansion.

With the show in Kôrakuen on the 17th, your schedule for this year has come to an end. The preliminary skirmish with Okada is also done with.

Kenny: I’m ready. I’ll go into the Dome in my best condition.

After the match, you knocked Okada out with a One Winged Angel on the apron.

Kenny: He was going home on a stretcher, and surviving the table clash must have opened even Okada’s eyes. I’m already the most legendary gaijin. And I want to try and make New Japan and Japanese wrestling more popular. Me winning at the Tôkyô Dome is for my own sake, and for New Japan’s sake. It would be best if everyone involved supported me more (laughs).

What are your plans for the IWGP [belt] after you win it?

Kenny: Maybe this is going to be disappointing for the Japanese fans, but I want to decrease [the number of] shows in Japan [I take part in], but increase the number of titles matches abroad. America, UK, New Zealand, Asian countries. Anywhere is fine. I want to [defend] the belts Bullet Club is holding in the whole world. We have to spread [wrestling]. Do you know why?

Does it have to do with WWE’s global strategy being well underway, and them establishing a UK Championship and such?

Kenny: Exactly. We’re doing the same thing on a worldwide stage, but we are better, we’re more interesting. That’s why I want to create a situation in which the fans can compare [us with WWE] live at the venue.If WWE is doing matches in England, then I want to fight IWGP title matches under the New Japan banner in England as well.

From the perspective of a Japanese promotion, there is a sense of danger to the continued outpour of wrestlers into the world.

Kenny: Nothing changes if you do it only once. But I have faith our place will continue to get bigger as long as we keep having different matches. This pride is what is going to protect New Japan.

Which wrestlers are you looking out for to defend your belt against?

Kenny: I guess Ishii. I’d be happy to have a challenger right match with him too. Ishii won against Okada in the G1. If I take the belt and he challenges me, I’ll fight him anytime. Aside from him, is Tiger Mask W always the same person? I saw his match at Ryôgoku (in October). He seems a little bit green, but his moves were pretty good. If the next one is the same person, there’s a possibility he’ll become the next challenger if he keeps at it (laughs).