In case you missed it on a busy, busy pro wrestling weekend, issues between Bullet Club’s president and vice-president came to a head on Sunday in Sapporo. Even more noteworthy than the Kenny Omega/Cody Rhodes divide, however, was who rescued Kenny from a chair shot by The American Nightmare... his old Golden Lover’s partner, Kota Ibushi. You can watch the whole scene unfold here.
New Japan’s been teasing a story about the reunion between the former KO-D Tag Team and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champs since last Summer’s G1 Climax tournament, at least. For the uninitiated, the Omega/Ibushi relationship is one of, if not the, most progressive LGBT-themed stories in pro wrestling history. Especially in the more sports entertainment-focused world of DDT-Pro, the main promotion they worked for as a pair, their relationship played out like something from the early chapters of a yaoi manga, the popular genre of Japanese comics also known as “boys’ love”.
Omega’s first comments to Tokyo Sports (translation from the always excellent Chris Carlton) after their emotional moment in the ring at the end of the appropriately titled New Beginnings show definitely continues that theme:
“When he came to help me I had a flashback to our time as Golden Lovers. Ibushi’s always been kind of hard to figure out, but I kind of understood something. The real Kenny is always at Kota’s side.
I said I wanted to face him [in the G1 final] but the truth is what I wanted was to stand in the ring with him.
[I didn’t go to WWE] because I was waiting for him. If we aren’t together, there’s no point. I want us to change the world together. I took the belts with Bullet Club, did a lot, but that was all the job. Golden Lovers transcends wrestling. This is real life. As long as there was a chance for this to happen, I wasn’t going to say goodbye to NJPW.
I don’t know if he wants what I want. But if he does, we can do something amazing together.”
What’s next for Golden Lovers and Bullet Club? We’ll await responses from Ibushi, The Young Bucks and others.
In the meantime, be careful if you decide to Google anything related to Kenny and Kota at the office. There’s a lot of fanfic and art out there, and not all (or even much) of it is safe for work.