Kenny Omega Talks AEW Forbidden Door, The Tiger Driver 91 Spot, ‘Fight Forever’, And All In

Kenny Omega has spent the last four years since headlining AEW’s first pay-per-view scratching, clawing, and doing everything he can to remain in the conversation as the best pro wrestler in the world.

Omega put on a match of the year candidate against Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Title earlier this year, but with Forbidden Door around the corner, he felt the pressure to deliver in the rematch. Being on Canadian soil in an AEW ring, and with so many other great matches on the card, Omega says he wanted to be in the same conversation as guys like Bryan Danielson and Kazuchika Okada, who were slated to main event the show.

So on a night where greats like Danielson, Okada, MJF, Jon Moxley, and CM Punk took their respective places across the Forbidden Door card, it was Omega, alongside a perfect dance partner in Ospreay, who did everything they could to set their match apart from the crowd.

“I feel that magic when I’m in there with Will. I feel that pressure to perform, to deliver, to give the type of performance that I guess I’m known for. So I’m thankful for people on the planet like Will who can awaken that part in me, that as time goes by, it is harder to summon,” Omega told Uproxx Sports.

“Will had his moment in the sun. But I’m proud of the performance. I’m proud of everything that I was able to do in preparation for the match, the sacrifices to keep my mind in a good place for that match. So I was firing on all cylinders. Before the match, during the match, and I’d say after it was all done, I lost this belt. You are that guy now, Will, I’m just going to kind of let it go.”

Omega also went in-depth on the move that drew visceral responses, the Tiger Driver 91.

Kenny Omega

“That’s what I do,” Omega said. “There were a number of things that were designed to elicit a response from people, whether it be positive or negative. But I wanted to take people on an emotional rollercoaster.”

Omega played into his injury background, spending more than eight months on the shelf in 2022, before making his grand return alongside The Elite late last year.

“Hopefully it leaves fans questioning is he okay? It’s all about the match. We’re battling in that ring and I want you to go along for the ride with us. If they thought everything else in that match was just the worst shit they’ve ever seen in their life, but that one moment, got them for a second, ‘He’s not going to kick out, he’s not going to get up, they better get the gurney, call in the fucking airlift,’ that’s perfect. And if I had a whole match of those types of reactions, even better,” Omega said.

“It’s all part of my job, it’s all part of my profession. These are things that I take a lot of pride in and I think that’s why when I went into this match, there’s a lot of physical and mental preparation that goes into it because I was really preparing myself to wow the crowd to this kind of level.”

Omega said he knew such an emotional response was coming specifically from that move, but he doesn’t think it’s from people looking out for his best interests.

“People that wanted to shit on something or people that want to frown upon something, or for people that want to say, ‘Well, if it were me, I wouldn’t have done that.’ I didn’t get to where I was by being able to do things that everyone else could do. I realized, and I recognized that I do have special talents that maybe not everyone else can do,” Omega said.

“Without revealing too much, I think a lot about my health. I think a lot about life after wrestling. I think a lot about my current life. I think about next week’s Dynamite and the week after that. I would never do something I didn’t trust myself in performing 100 percent.”

Omega’s life after wrestling is to be determined. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see him build off the successful launch of AEW’s first video game, Fight Forever, earlier this week. He was heavily involved in the game from ideation to execution, spending countless hours on business calls and creative meetings despite living in the Japan time zone. With his finger prints all over the game, it’s no wonder why it plays much like AEW’s presence in the current wrestling environment — something that feels different from other major promotions.

“I think that if [the game] can stand apart as something different, but something special and something that people enjoy and that is fun, then it’s kind of mission successful,” Omega said. “We had to build something new from the ground up and it was very hard to get everything that we wanted. You can only get what’s possible and what time and budget allow for.”

While the game was released last week, Omega admits there’s more to come.

“There is always going to be additions to this game. You haven’t seen anything yet. You’ve seen a little bit, but you haven’t seen a lot of things that I’m very excited for,” he continued.

“There’s something in particular coming up that, it’s sort of been leaked a little bit, so the Stadium Stampede mode I’m very excited for and I think people are going to have a lot of fun. It’s something so incredibly unique and I think it’s going to be great. The roster, we’re going to add bodies to the roster as well. Custom parts for create a wrestler, all that stuff. I can’t wait to share more announcements with people and to see more of the roster, more match types and see the videos turn up online for how people are enjoying it.”

Omega added that with the relationships AEW has with New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor, there are “a lot more possibilities for what we can include and what we can design for the game.”


With Forbidden Door and Fight Forever’s release in the rearview, there’s no slowing down for Omega. He’ll instead turn his attention to All In from Wembley in August, followed by All Out in Chicago a week later.

“When you go into the building, it doesn’t hit you until you actually arrive and you see the ring, and you see the empty chairs, and you see the setup and the ramp and the screens. I’ve been in front of 10, 20, 40,000 people, and I’ve been to arenas and stadiums all over the world. So, how is it going to be when we’re in front of 70, 80,000, possibly more people (at All In)? I don’t know. But I know that it’s going to feel really special when I walk into that stadium before all the fans are in the building,” Omega said.

“I feel like the atmosphere and those situations allow you to go to a place on the inside. And I think that Wembley is probably going to be very similar in that regard, where I will be prepared to a certain degree, and then being in that environment is going to allow me to ascend to an even higher place.”

Omega says this feels like a bit of an experiment for AEW while the promotion’s stadium show draws WrestleMania comparisons. He’s never taken part in an experience like this, with two shows connected across the ocean a week apart. How they differentiate All In from All Out remains to be seen, but Omega believes there should be a “heavy focal point on both shows.”

“Not to say that it should be a split roster and you see completely different people on both shows, but I do think that there needs to be matches that are featured and very special for one evening. And I think you need matches that are featured and are very special at the other one,” Omega said.

“I want every show to kind of have its place in history as a special moment. I do think that it helps to sort of spread the opportunities out. We have such a large roster of so many individuals that are very special in this business. If you’re just using the same 20, 30 guys over and over and over again you’re going to have a lot of these special athletes just sitting on the sidelines waiting for their chance to perform. But I think for sure you’re going to see some people on one show that aren’t on another. And I look at that in a positive way because I do want the AEW fans or just fans of wrestling to be able to see more faces.”

All In takes place live from Wembley Stadium on August 27 in London, while All Out takes place a week later on September 4 from Chicago.