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Kenny Omega throws down the gauntlet to guys ‘happy to be a cog in the WWE machine’

Adam Cole on Twitter

Kenny Omega is coming off a pretty good night at New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW)’s Wrestle Kingdom 11 earlier today (Jan. 4). Without revealing whether he won or lost his shot at unthroning IWGP Heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada (find out here), we can tell you that he turned in a great performance in a match that, depending on who you talk to, fell somewhere on the scale from pretty good to greatest thing ever.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated from before that event, however, Omega was his usual outspoken self. The Bullet Club leader has gone on record before with his concerns about WWE becoming a monopoly. In this conversation with Justin Barrasso, he expounds on that while explaining how he’s driven to not just be a “cog in the machine”:

I’m happy that I dislike wrestling and where wrestling is at right now. I am happy that, when I watch something on TV that isn’t me, I hate it. That makes me try all the more hard to show people what wrestling can be. That’s not to say everything is bad, but a lot of wrestlers in a position on television—or guys thrust into a main spot—shouldn’t be. I take a lot of pride in what I do. There is a place for everyone, but if you are in a main position with a main company, you have to make those sacrifices to show people you are the man.

...I know there is a lot of younger talent floating around their roster—I’m wondering, “Why in the hell are these guys not rising up? Why are they not doing what it takes to be better? Are they so happy to be a cog in the WWE machine that they’re just happy to be where they are? Are they just satisfied to see WWE as the name on their paycheck every week? Why can I keep getting better and pushing the envelope to have these “Matches of the Year,” but no one else can even come close?” AJ Styles has been great, but he’s been great forever. Why is there no one else?

Sometimes I feel like there is no hope. There are guys that will get good real quick, and then they’ll stay that way—they’re happy to have a job and they’re scared to lose that job on top of it. Everyone is afraid to stand out, everyone is afraid to make history. They just want to be a normal motherf----- in wrestling, being a wrestler, collecting a paycheck, then telling their friends, “I’m a ‘WWE Superstar.” For me, that’s the worst shit ever.

I would rather be the legend that never stepped foot in WWE but was better than every single one of them and did something that none of those guys could do in their prime or could ever do if they left WWE and tried.

That’s not just me saying that because I’m a cocky prick. That’s me saying it as a challenge because I’m pushing the barrier every single day. I’ll take all my matches against WWE’s best matches, I’ll put it up against Ring of Honor’s best matches, or whatever promotion you want, and I guarantee people will be more entertained with my matches than theirs. That is the attitude I need to carry with me. If I lose my confidence, then I’ll lose my way. And yes, I’m saying controversial things, but I’m not purposely saying them just to be controversial. I’m just one of the only guys to be speaking my true feelings.

Some of this is self-motivational from a guy who didn’t love his experience in WWE Developmental in 2005 - 2006. Omega talks a great deal about his growth in New Japan and the sacrifices he’s willing to make to help make NJPW become a global brand which can compete with Vince McMahon.

But there are some “controverial things” here which seem likely to rub a few guys on the WWE roster the wrong way. How will they respond? Can they respond without fear of losing their spot?

Let us know what you think, Cagesiders.