Kenny Omega is set to go to war against El Hijo del Vikingo on tonight’s episode of AEW Dynamite.
While speaking with Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso, Omega discussed why the match is so important to him and addressed the criticism of it having no on-screen build.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On why the match is so important to him: “Every Vikingo match has something embedded in it that we’ve never seen before. It’s a very exciting time. I thought our eventual clash would happen in AAA on Mexican soil, but it’s an opportunity that fell into my lap. I’m not the booker, I’m not the matchmaker, I don’t make the rules, but I have been given a chance to wrestle someone that’s going to change the way people think about wrestling and change the way we think about lucha libre. There is a sense of pride to help with this introduction of a new power player in professional wrestling. The way Vikingo’s captured people’s attention and conquered AAA, he deserves a world stage to show what he has to offer.
“I love showing different wrestling cultures. Lucha libre is an art unlike any other. Vikingo is a modern-day innovator and an incredibly talented practitioner of lucha libre. People are going to be in for a treat. This is also a personal test for me. He’s made a couple stops here in the United States with GCW and Impact, and had a couple barn burners, but I want to offer a different experience visually. I’m hoping that the marriage of styles will create something very unique looking.”
On criticism that the match has not had any on-screen build: “AEW is somewhat of a gateway drug for people that want to see new types of wrestling and these types of unique matches. We’ll always be accommodating to any talent on the planet—it doesn’t matter where they’re from, their shape, size, color, gender—who can display pro wrestling at its best. Pro wrestling is not just one particular style. A big motivator in creating AEW was unity. Coming together for one common goal, an open door to a platform for the best pro wrestling. By seeing two different sides clash, I hope people receive a different kind of experience from the encounter.
“The two times I was most blown away were by individuals I’d never seen heading into the match. One was Rey Mysterio versus Psicosis in ECW, and the other was Great Sasuke versus Taka Michinoku when they first appeared for WWF. That took me down a rabbit hole so far that it helped create the wrestler I am today. So the people that want to cast this match away because they’re not too familiar with the name Vikingo, I hope they give it a shot. Allow this young man to display what makes him so special. We’re going to more than earn our spot in the show, and you get to be part of that experience.”
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