Kenny Omega recently spoke with Inside The Ropes about the “forbidden door” phrase and how it’s been oft-used to describe the developing relationship between AEW, New Japan Pro-Wrestling and IMPACT Wrestling, and where it can go from here. Despite people jumping to the conclusion that the door has been ‘kicked’ open, Omega says it’s more like the door is ajar. Despite that, he says no matter what the case may be, the fans are the real winners here.
“You talk about the forbidden door and you talk about it being open. People have said it’s been kicked open, it’s been blown open. The way I look at it as you know, you see this gigantic door in the distance and I feel like it’s opened a crack. You can see the light shining through the heavenly light. So you know, couple things slip through the cracks, you know what I mean? You might get a guy here and there sneaking in from one side to another but it’s not gonna be a full-out talent exchange or it’s gonna be a free for all going both ways. Not because the talent doesn’t want to do it. Everybody wants to do it. I will say that one of the major obstacles and hurdles is that all companies involved have travel schedules and the major major hurdle on the one side, if things were to happen over in Japan is that there is the mandatory two-week quarantine when you can’t do anything. So when an athlete comes here, we’re a little more lenient…but when they go back to their home country, there’s still that mandatory quarantine,” Omega said. “There’s no way around it. And that just becomes a nuisance and a hassle for someone who has a touring schedule like New Japan. It’s more the travel restrictions and the things that make traveling between countries difficult is actually what’s sort of hurting us. But in the same way, it helped this whole thing become a possibility. Because now that we’ve taken a step back and looked at the world, everyone has kind of realized that there’s something a lot more bigger than company pride or competing with everyone else around you and trying to maybe make yourself the number one brand. It’s about the fans first and foremost.”
Omega also addressed the potential for this “forbidden door” meaning they worked with WWE, noting that the wrestlers themselves are all for it, but people need to remember it’s still a business.
“The way I like to look at it is that there’s two perspectives and there’s the perspective of the boys and the wrestlers, the people that don’t really have to take the business calls and have to go to the marketing meetings. And they’re all for being able to work with new and exciting talent and with a lot of people that are their friends,” Omega said, “so all the boys are completely 100,000% up for it. However—wrestling isn’t just wrestling, it’s also a business. And a lot of people live and die by how the business is going for a said promotion.”
“When I did speak at length with Triple H, it really felt like he understood a lot of my thought process and that not only was I looking to unite and sort of unify the world of professional wrestling but no, he definitely got it. But the thing is I also understand their side of things, too. There is no right or wrong way anymore in wrestling. I just think, to me,” Omega noted, “the outlook that I take on everything is if we can make the fans enjoy what we do more, that’s the right way. But I do try to get into the heads and see things from a different viewpoint where I’m not a suit in a business meeting. I’m not punching a clock and I don’t have to look at the numbers and crunch all the data that goes from day to day, month to month. I’m just a performer and I kinda do have my hand a little bit in these types of things but I still find myself worrying about the quality of the show and making our fan and consumer and happy.”
“And I think Triple H is still, being one of the boys for the better part of his career, I’m sure that a big part of what he, how he runs his business and how he looks at WWE and NXT and all those things he has a finger in, I really do think that he does it for the sake of the fans as well, which is why, when he does say things like we are open for business,” Omega said, “I do think that if there’s a situation which could maybe eliminate some of the worries and fears from the other people that have a say in making these types of things happen, I do see it being a reality.”
If you use any portion of this transcript, please credit Colin Tessier of WrestleZone.com
The full interview is available here: