Kenny Omega was interviewed by Dave Meltzer and Garrett Gonzales on Wrestling Observer Radio.
It was a lengthy interview that covered a bunch of topics including AEW Women’s Division, life in Japan, what it’s like to do shows during the pandemic, AEW’s video game, Stadium Stampede, his upcoming match with Jon Moxley and Omega reveals he’s struggling with an injury.
Here are some highlights:
Kenny Omega spoke about the struggle in the 100-degree heat at Daily’s Place: “People have seen our best performances when we are in the best conditions inside an air-conditioned arena in front of a packed hall of 10,000 people. Now we are immersed in this outer place. No one watching our show realizes that these guys are over 100 degree weather. It’s wet. It’s wet. The fabric of the ring is slippery. The ring is so bouncy compared to what I’m used to in New Japan where it’s like running through quicksand. I’m telling you this is the most destructive environment I know of for professional wrestling. You get the impression that you are going there for less time. I do 15-20 minutes instead of 30 or 40, but these performances are killing me. After the match I had with the Hangman where I really wanted it to look physical and I wanted to show something different than I expected and have a hot and fiery opening match, I went back and I remember that it was the same feeling I had had since drawing the hour. had with Okada the best two out of three falls where I felt overheated. I sat down with an ice pack on my neck just to cool off. I was just sitting there, melted in my chair for two hours. Finally, after two hours, I’m like, okay, my body temperature is coming back to normal. It’s dangerous there. I can’t stress this enough, but we all try to act like it’s under normal conditions. Now as of this week it’s the other way around where we walk there and it’s super cold. We go there and if you are not prepared for it you get goosebumps from the cold wind. It’s very strange and it’s a whole new experience that I’m not used to. No one who watches our show understands what our situation is. It doesn’t even matter. They just want to see the biggest show possible. “
Omega was asked how AEW can increase audiences: “I think it never hurts to experiment with new ideas. If you come out with the idea that we’re going to put on big matches with the cast of characters that we have and hammer the curb so to speak, we’re going to end up competing for the same hardcore fan base. It’s a nice feather in your hat to have taken the wrestling fan numbers, but I think that number is sort of over a million. If you can steal a million viewers, you have a million wrestling fans watching our show going back and forth between our show and NXT. Two great shows that offer a very similar in-ring product. Both have an amazing roster with guys who can go for it. What do the fans want to watch? They can say, “I think this game will be interesting. Let’s watch this one and then we’ll go back and see what happens with the other show.
We have fans like that and it’s cool if they support everything. They just want to watch a good fight. But, I believe that number peaks at around 1 million. I think once you’ve broken through that million dollar barrier, you’ve now attracted a new fan. He’s either a casual fan or now you’ve done the hardcore, the unchanging, unchanging channel fan. I think when we do that, that’s when you really won some sort of battle that means something. I don’t feel like we’re competing with someone else. I never feel that way. I always feel like we are competing with ourselves because if we don’t attract the wrestling fan who has already committed to watching the wrestling on Wednesday then we haven’t done our best. better because we have the ability to have the best game regardless of the quarter. This is. I always think there’s a possibility to do something more and attract even more people, whether it’s through the entertainment aspects of what pro wrestling allows or through someone on our list that we don’t. have not yet. I don’t know but we need to experiment more and time will tell because we are about to get very experimental. Whether it works or not, you won’t know until you try. The best thing that can happen is that it works. The worst thing that can happen is that it fails and we lose the 100 to 200,000 people who are going back and forth. I think the worst thing we can do is get complacent and exist in this constant battle for the same fans.
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