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Kenny Omega Talks Challenging The New Day, Compares The Elite To Bullet Club, Says Nakamura Should Have Debuted At Wrestlemania

Kenny Omega recently spoke with Justin Barrasso for Sports Illustrated Extra Mustard, talking about making challenges to WWE’s The New Day, what he wants to achieve in Japan with The Elite, and much more. You can read some highlights below: 

Kenny Omega comments on The New Day, challenging groups in other promotions: 

“New Day rocks. I can’t lie. What would it do and what would it prove if they sucked? We’re The Elite, so we have to challenge the top act on the planet. You don’t see us challenging some other three man unit–we’re trying to make history, and we’re challenging the best–New Day rocks.”

“The New Day can respond to us–everyone can respond. But can they respond without getting in trouble? Could we have issued that challenge and not gotten in trouble? No, of course not. We got in trouble–but we don’t care. We’re trying to change the business. Everyone [in the WWE] is walking on eggshells, they’re so scared. They’re afraid to live their lives and be themselves. Of course they want to respond–I know they want to. The fans want them to respond and they want the company to let them respond. They want the match too–and I know that whether they say it or not–but it’s the corporate forces behind it stopping them.”

Omega says he’s been offered a deal to come to NXT:

“I have spoken with the heads at NXT, and they’ve all said, ‘If you want to come down, let us know–the second your visa is in place, you’re on TV the next week.’ I thought that was really cool of them to say and I appreciate they recognize that I’d add some value to their product, so I always kept that in my mind as an option. But this is going back to my Deep South days–I still haven’t quite shown them what I can do on my own, and that’s what I think this year is going to do for me.”

Omega says not debuting Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania was a mistake: 

“I certainly think it is. A lot of people heard the reaction that AJreceived when he came out of nowhere at the Royal Rumble–if Nakamura debuted at WrestleMania, knowing that fans in that crowd travel from around the globe for that weekend, Nakamura’s reaction would have dwarfed AJ’s. That’s not saying Nakamura is better than AJ, but that atmosphere is built for someone who eats it up like Nakamura.”

Omega explains the origins of “The Cleaner” character: 

“When you hear ‘The Cleaner,’ and when Japanese fans hear it, you don’t think, ‘Oh, this guy is an assassin.’ They think I clean up stuff. I started to realize there was a little bit of a disconnect, and it was beginning to become difficult to say, ‘Don’t you get it? We’re the Bullet Club–there are ‘guns’ and ‘The Cleaner’ cleans up the crime scene afterward.’ I had to explain that so often, I felt it was easier just to take the literal form of it. Sure, I can look the part of the assassin, but what if instead of a sniper rifle, I’m carrying this huge broom? Every venue has a broom, so I don’t need to put a broom in my gear bag.

“The first time I used the broom, I was about to make my entrance and we had this huge, long ramp. I hate the boring long walk, and I wasn’t going to do the Ultimate Warrior sprint, but I wanted to make the entrance more interesting. I asked myself, ‘How am I going to make that element of Kenny Omega stand out?’ So I added the broom. There are so many things you can do with a broom–I’ve used it as a sweeper, a microphone, a guitar, I’ve put it on a headset. Those are just things I think of on the spot. Sometimes I’ll even sweep away [Kazuchika] Okada’s‘Rainmaker’ money because, if we’re going to be honest, I had seen Matt [Jackson] almost slip on the money–so I thought I should clean it up before someone else slipped on it.”

Comparing The Elite to Bullet Club: 

“We were sort of forced into the role we were in with Bullet Club. I wanted to be in New Japan, the Young Bucks wanted to be in New Japan, and we showed up and they said we were in the Bullet Club. It had already sort of been a ‘Too Sweet,’ ‘Suck it’ parody of the NWO. I’d never done anything like that, but I was written into that storyline, so I had to do it. So especially now where our ranks have been really watered down, it is now–more than ever–left up to us to make it something new. It doesn’t have to be the forced ‘Too sweet’ or the forced ‘Suck it.’

“We want to make it less about that part of the Bullet Club and more about what The Elite is doing, which is what you see in everything that we do. No matter where the other guys show up, they’re not going to do what we do. They’re not even going to be able to do what we do–there are only three people on the planet that can do what we’re doing, and it’s us. When you say the Bullet Club has been doing some really cool stuff, people ask, ‘Which ones?’ If you hear, ‘The Elite was at Ring of Honor and tore the f—— house down,’ you won’t even need to ask–you’ll know it’s me, Nick, and Matt.”