According to IWGP Heavyweight champ Kenny Omega, New Japan wasn’t interested in using this intro video for his Wrestle Kingdom 13 title defense against 2018 G1 Climax winner and company ‘Ace’ Hiroshi Tanahashi.
That seems surprising, seeing as it’s a collaboration with Toby Fox & Temmie Chang, the team behind the iconic crowdfunded hit video game Undertale, and aimed squarely at the gaming audience NJPW has helped Kenny cultivate with things like The Elite’s Street Fighter showdown with WWE’s New Day at E3 and the When Worlds Collide! show at the CEO Fighting Game Championships. But it does present Tanahashi as an angry god representing the company against Omega’s mission to change wrestling, including invoking company president Harold Meij to power one of his attacks and... well, check it out.
Because it’s very cool, and because it won’t do anything to dispell notions Omega is leaving with The Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes and the rest of The Elite for the allegedy Khan-backed All Elite Wrestling promotion in a few weeks. I mean, when he got word that “due to circumstances outside of my [Kenny’s] control, this will not air during Wrestle Kingdom or any official NJPW channels”, the video went on the Being The Elite YouTube channel:
From the beginning, this Omega/Tanahashi story blurred work/shoot lines as it cast Kenny as an outsider frustrated with New Japan and puroresu culture overall. So NJPW “rejecting” his version of an intro video for their Tokyo Dome fight this weekend fits with the kayfabe. But it also makes sense as in reality. The company might not want to promote something which shows the guy who’s about to leave as the champion of the younger fans against a company-backed defender of the past.
Or maybe the would just want to perpetuate that idea if they were going to partner with All-Elite and run some interpromotional warfare angles?
Pro wrestling, everybody!
Anyway, enjoy “Kenny’s Quest”, and let us know what you think below.