Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness Recap
Episode 23 with Kenny Omega
Recap By: Jeff Indelicato
“For The Benefit of Those with No Time” (Top Stories)
- Edge feels that leaving The Usos off of a main show is a negative and praises their work.
- E&C would like to see Finn Balor add some different move sets to distinguish his characters.
- Even after debuting in Deep South, Kenny Omega’s end goal was always to wrestle in Japan.
- After debuting in New Japan, Omega was initially booked to be a similar character to the Ringmaster, Steve Austin.
- While he enjoys working with Okada, Kenny hopes that there isn’t a fourth match anytime soon, as he wants the story to make sense and doesn’t want to run out of ideas.
- Edge predicts that Omega will be the first North American to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
“You Think You Know Them” (Recap)
Ad for Morgan Spurlock’s Podcast 00:00 – 00:35
Opening Intros/SummerSlam/Q&A 0:35-51:25
The show opens with Christian discussing a great documentary on Sweet Daddy Siki that he recently was able to watch. He says that you don’t have to be a wrestling fan to appreciate the story and encourages all of the listeners to check it out.
We then move on to SummerSlam thoughts. Edge feels that when the company leaves The Usos off the main show, it is a mark against the WWE, as he thinks they are doing phenomenal right now, and deserve to be recognized, as does The New Day. His issues with the PPV were that the matches were athletically great, but that there are fewer and fewer true heels. To him, it appears that the wrestlers are just working to get reactions from the crowd, and if this was the first time that he ever watched wrestling, he wouldn’t know who was a face or heel, or may not even care, which can be dangerous.
Edge does give props to Sheamus and Cesaro for actually acting like heels, and feels that their match against Rollins & Ambrose was proof that the concept still works. Christian adds that the wrestlers sometimes think that if the crowd chants, “this is awesome” they may think that they’re over, but it doesn’t necessarily equate to that as the crowd is just becoming more conditioned to say that. Both salute Cesaro for also tearing apart the beach ball during the match as well. Edge remembers being in the crowd at WrestleMania 6 and seeing people trying to start the wave. Even at a young age he wouldn’t participate in that because he recognized that it was disrespectful.
Regarding Finn Balor, Edge thinks The Demon character makes him special, but both he and Christian want Finn to have some distinguishing traits between his characters in the ring, besides just some mannerisms & face paint. They feel that adding just a few moves during his Demon matches will add to the character.
The boys congratulate Natalya on her title win, and note how happy they are for her. They talk about how she just kept plugging away, stayed the course and worked hard to get to this spot. Regarding the match, Edge likes Naomi, but feels that she doesn’t sell with her eyes open, and wants her to let the crowd in to make the people feel what she’s feeling. The only time that he really felt anything for her was after she lost, opened her eyes, and cried.
E&C enjoyed the Styles/Owens match, and felt that adding Shane as the ref made it better because it was different. They enjoyed that both got in his face during the match. Christian loved the ref shirt that McMahon was rocking.
Christian enjoyed the finish to the Lesnar/Braun/Reigns/Joe match, and thought it was surprising, given the rumors regarding Brock. Edge thought it did a great job pushing Braun, and that it’s the best he’s seen him look. He thinks that if Braun can stay healthy, he could possibly have the longevity of someone like the Undertaker or Kane. Christian’s only nitpick was that he would have liked to see Brock stay under the table instead of returning after the stretcher spot, since they did something similar with Nakamura during Money in the Bank.
Speaking of Nakamura, E&C also enjoyed his match against Jinder. Edge comments on the criticism of Jinder winning, but feels that if you’re whining and complaining, that means it’s working. He thinks that it is not “turn the channel heat” if you’re still watching. They both think Shinsuke will be just fine.
Regarding Jinder, they advise the fans to just let it play out, as he’s getting there, and that working a main event style is not easy. Christian says that you don’t know if a guy can be a main eventer until you put him in that spot. I understand what he is saying, but this has been their consensus on Jinder since he won the title months ago. There are ways to slowly build someone to the main event instead of just jumping to the top. In my opinion, the WWE Championship is prestigious, and you don’t just give it to someone who’s still learning the main event style. Edge thinks that Nakamura is struggling, because we’re not yet seeing the same guy from New Japan. He adds that there is a difference between NXT & WWE, and right now he’s not connecting with him. He is confident that he’ll work it out though, and uses A.J. Styles as an example.
Ad for Me Undies 40:00 – 41:30
Ad for Stich Fix 41:30 – 43:00
Interview with Kenny Omega 43:00 – 1:45:00
After the break, we jump right into a phone interview with Kenny. Edge warns him that they are going to be blowing some smoke, because his career is on fire. Christian adds that his matches against Okada were works of art, and loved how they went a considerable amount of time, as it’s sometimes hard to get a grasp of what guys can do in a 7-8 min match. Omega agrees and says he questions how he can get someone to believe and care in such a short amount of time. He likes lengthier matches, as it gives him the opportunity to tell a story.
Edge wants to start with Kenny’s time in Deep South, and wants to know what led him to leaving there. Kenny felt like he was a nobody, and really wasn’t recognized as anything more than enhancement talent. He talks about when you went to Deep South, the company had a way of breaking everyone down with the goal of bringing them back up. He was told to forget about the moves that he’d been doing, and that they wanted to work on creating a specific character with him. He basically felt like a programmed robot, and didn’t feel like himself. He says that when he’s not allowed to be himself in the ring, it’s hard to pretend to be someone else.
Surprisingly, even though he was in Deep South, his end goal was still to go to Japan. He questions at the time if he was mature enough to be there. In his mind, wrestling was still a passion, but he didn’t love the business part. To further explain, he didn’t lose confidence in himself, but in the system. One of the final straws was that he tried to get creative and come up with some storyline ideas to submit. After not hearing anything with regards to feedback, he realized that there was no light at the end of the tunnel, and decided to go to Japan.
He first started with a smaller company called DDT Pro Wrestling, with the company’s expectation of him just working on one summer tour; however, in his second match, he found a great opponent in Kota Ibushi which led to them bringing him back, and eventually working full time with them until 2015.
After this run ended, he signed with New Japan. Originally, he was supposed to have a gimmick that was similar to ‘The Ringmaster’ Steve Austin, including him having a manager. Then he moved up and was pegged to be the Leader of the Bullet Club, but A.J. Styles ended up being signed, and the decision was made to make Styles the leader instead. This further fueled him to work hard, and he realized that he is better when he has limitations placed on him.
After losing the Junior title, Omega was told he was being moved into the heavyweight picture. He remembers questioning why the fans would believe that he was worthy; however, he worked hard to prove it, and within a month, people were believing. In fact, he was the first North American to win the G1, which was an honor.
Regarding his matches with Okada, Edge commends him and talks about how well the story was told. Kenny talks about how he put all his faith into Okada, and the amount of trust they have in each other. In fact, Omega went into those series without even worrying about injuries. He quotes, “If I do a moonsault, I trust that Okada is going to be there. It’s not just trusting yourself, but trusting those around you.”
The first match was such a success that Omega knew that there would probably be a second one, but expected it to be much later in the year or the next year. So he was surprised when the rematch happened so quickly. He was told that the parent company was putting a lot of pressure on New Japan to sell out the Tokyo Dome, which is why it was booked so soon afterwards. The expectations were through the roof, but they succeeded. He just hopes there isn’t a Part 4 anytime soon, as he loves working with him, but also wants the story to make sense, and doesn’t want to run out of ideas. Edge liked how all of the matches were different from each other.
Christian commends Kenny for his wrestling style and how he sells. Omega notes that he questions and thinks about what an injury would actually look and feel like. He doesn’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence that has been injured, and tries to think of things in pain levels. Christian adds that selling is becoming a lost art, but believes that it’s the drama and emotion that brings people in. Kenny completely agrees, and says that with today’s wrestlers, there are so many guys that have the athletics to put on a good match, but it’s the little things, (like how you sell and how you convey emotion) that turns it from good to great. He thinks that some stars place too much emphasis on how cool their moves are, and worry more about getting them in the match than the actual story.
Edge reiterates that his warning came true, and that they blew a lot of smoke. He predicts that Kenny will become the first North American to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. To make things more even, Christian criticizes the way Kenny tapes up his wrist tape.
They quickly talk about Omega’s friendship with Xavier Woods, who Kenny calls a “real cool guy, and proud to call him my friend.” They put over his wrestling skills in the series against The Usos.
They wrap up the interview by talking about the success that New Japan is experiencing, including getting Bullet Club shirts into Hot Topic stores. Omega appreciates that additional success, and teases that there could be more products arriving in stores in the near future.
Wrap Up & Close 1:45:00-1:52:00
E&C close the show and commend their guest for everything that he’s done. They feel that he will be able to go wherever he wants, and are happy for his success. They equate his success in New Japan to Nakamura winning the WWE Championship at a future WrestleMania. They encourage everyone to follow the show on Twitter @EandCPod, E-Mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org, and to call their Voicemail at 929-367-8204.
Jeff’s Take: 7 Kazoos out of 10
Good episode this week. This was another phone interview, and unfortunately, Kenny had some connection issues throughout the discussion, so it could get irritating from time to time, but they made the most out of it. It was also good to get Omega’s insight into the business of professional wrestling. I love hearing from someone who has a deep passion about wrestling, and it was great to hear about his thoughts on selling and working hard. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @the_Indel or send me an email at email@example.com. See you next week!
“5 Second Pose of Timestamps”
0:00: Sponsored Ad
00:35: Show Introduction/SummerSlam Thoughts
40:00: Sponsored Ads
43:00: Interview with Kenny Omega
1:02:00: Move to New Japan
1:07:00: Feud with Kazuchika Okada
1:27:00: His wrestling & selling style
1:45:00: Wrap Up & Close
About the Author
Jeff has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was knee high to a grasshopper (little kid), after coming across the Wrestling Challenge episode after WrestleMania 7, and has not looked back. His passion has led him to winning wrestling trivia contests in his city, and even won him his Senior Talent Show by dancing to Shawn Michaels theme song. When not annoying others with wrestling talk, he loves spending time with his family and friends, and focuses on his other passion: movies.
For more, check out last week’s recap of E&C Pod of Awesomeness with Daniel Bryan.