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Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Kenny Omega On Tiger Driver ’91 Criticism: Don’t Tell Me How To Wrestle

Kenny Omega is tired of listening to the “experts” critiquing what he does inside the squared circle.

All Elite Wrestling‘s Kenny Omega recently sat down with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to discuss a wide variety of subjects. Regarding the recent criticism he received for his match against Will Ospreay last month at Forbidden Door, Omega said many of these critiques are coming from people who don’t have his best interest at heart.

“There are a lot of people criticizing who do not have my best interests at heart,” Kenny Omega said. “They just want to put a dark mark on that match, which is a performance I’m extremely proud of. And performances like that will be few and far between as I get older and older.”

Omega went on to compare the dangerous spots he does in the ring to that of those who do Cirque du Soleil.

“In terms of a live and physical performance, I’ve never seen anything more mind-blowing—skill-wise, performance-wise, production-wise—than Cirque du Soleil,” Kenny Omega said. “To me, that’s the peak form of that style of entertainment. As I watch these shows and their stunts and their compositions for every scene, it is rare for me to go, ‘That looks easy. I could do that.’

“But there certainly are times when I watch what they do and know this is their identity, and that is the reason why they’re on that stage. During the high flying acrobatics, or seamlessly strung together choreography, I never go, ‘How stupid is this guy? If he falls, he’s dead.’ We’d be dead if we tried that. But here’s the thing. We’re not them. We’ll never be them. We weren’t meant to be them.”

Omega believes the Tiger Driver ’91 was a big pivotal moment in his match against Ospreay, and it was done to make sense and evoke emotion. Omega understood the risks and wished people who have never stepped foot into the squared circle would stop telling him how to wrestle.

“There are people who want to complain and put themselves on a pedestal by saying what we did was dangerous,” Kenny Omega said. “Well, you think? So I’ve been asked, why did we do it? It made sense in the match and evoked emotion. And we both knew I would end up coming out of the move unscathed. Is there a risk? Sure. There’s always a risk.

“Look at the way Mike Tyson boxed. His style was so dangerous, he stayed so close to his opponent. What was he doing boxing in-style? Shouldn’t he have fought more stick-and-move and waited for the counterpunch? Wouldn’t that have been better for his brain? Didn’t he understand how dangerous it was? But that’s what made him Mike Tyson.

“Don’t tell me not to wrestle the way I know how to wrestle. Is there a risk? Was there a risk when Mike Tyson was fighting within inches of space between another championship-level boxer throwing power punches? Of course. But Tyson was confident in his abilities, and he knew he was the best. So don’t tell Mike Tyson how to box, and don’t tell Tyson Smith how to wrestle. You aren’t even close to being qualified. Just shut the f— up.”

READ MORE: Kenny Omega On Tiger Driver ’91: I Wouldn’t Do Something I Didn’t Trust Myself To Do

What do you make of Kenny Omega’s comments? Do you think people who have never stepped inside the squared circle should be allowed to critique the dangerous things wrestlers do? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.