Kenny Omega discusses the pressure of performing in the ring

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Kenny Omega discusses the pressure of performing in the ring

Kenny Omega is primarily known for his background in the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), a Japanese federation in which he played between 2010 and 2011 and, again, between 2013 and 2019, once conquering the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, the IWGP United States Championship and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (with Kōta Ibushi); in the summer of 2016, he also won the main tournament of the federation, the G1 Climax, being the first and, to date, the only non-Japanese wrestler to have achieved this result.

In an interview with The Natural Aristocrat, Omega spoke about if he’s had added pressure on his in-ring performances after Dave Meltzer gave one of his matches six stars.

Kenny Omega: 'I’m trying to do is just diversify my resume'

“Yeah, I mean it’s a double-edged sword really because when you set that standard, that precedent that you can have a six-star match… For some people, there’s an expectation that ‘Oh, if I see Kenny Omega, this is what I expect and hope to see!’.

And there’s a lot of variables that go into making a 6-star match. Now, I’ve had I think four or five matches that have went over 6-stars or 6 and over. I’ve had more than that go over 5 stars. But I never feel the pressure to have to deliver what one critic deems over a 5-star match.

What I’m trying to do is just diversify my resume, I never want to have to give what in one person’s mind is a 6-star match. That 6-star match to him isn’t necessarily what I think is a 6-star match. It isn’t necessarily what my neighbor that was beside me thinks is a 6-star match.

It’s not what little Jimmy who lives across the world and generally likes watching Sailor Moon, maybe he doesn’t consider that a 6-star match. I’m trying to always have performances that can appeal to all sorts of different people, from all walks of life.

I think as long as there is somebody in the world, that looks at one of my performances and considers it time not wasted. Or one of the best things that they’ve seen, I feel like my job is complete. So, yes there’s pressure to always give a performance that I think merits somebody’s interest and high praise. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that one person’s praise" - Kenny Omega explained.