TSN, which is the biggest sports network in Canada, aired a documentary on Kenny Omega. It was part of their “Engraved on a Nation” series where they essentially spotlight a Canadian that has had global impact.
For those that don’t know, Kenny is from Winnipeg where Chris Jericho also grew up. When TSN started running ads for this mini documentary, I was super interested and got to watch it.
Here are my thoughts on Omega Man: A Wrestling Love Story.
The documentary starts out with Tyson Smith (ring name Kenny Omega) introducing himself, and you can tell how awkward it was for him to do that. He talks briefly about his early career and how he started wrestling at a local bar at 17 years old. He discuses how Wrestling, Hockey (because he’s Canadian), and Video Games shaped his early life.
The 48-minute mini documentary highlights a few big moments of his career.
They highlight him turning down WWE as a young man, going to Japan, the original Golden Lovers story, him joining Bullet Club, his Okada feud and the doc ends at All In. However, the documentary focuses mainly on one aspect of his career, and that’s him and Kota Ibushi.
As the title suggests, this documentary focuses on a wrestling love story, referring to the Golden Lovers.
They discuss the story itself and provide a really good explanation of the story from start to finish. It’s obvious that this documentary was marketed for non-wrestling fans and they really catered it to people that didn’t understand wrestling. It goes over the original Golden Lovers and the story behind them tagging, it also shows clips of them training throughout. It is amazing how Kenny and Kota are different in every way, one grew up in Canada, one grew up in Japan. They grew up in different surroundings and different cultures, yet they are like one person. The synchronization the two have in the ring is just amazing, and that was mostly natural.
They really do a fantastic job explaining every little detail in his story with Kenny, and they don’t just talk about the story itself, they talk about the impact it had. Of course there are undertones of Kenny and Kota being gay and while they’ve never said one way or the other, it impacted many people. I think just about every walk of life has a superstar that they can hang on to, but generally storylines of that nature have not been good. The fact that Kenny and Kota can have a storyline that walks that line and isn’t a comedy act is huge for wrestling fans of that community.
They talked about how Kenny and Kota grew apart after their original tag team run, and go through all the drama before they reunited. They talk about a lot of the real life stuff surrounding the situation regarding the two. What I love is at one point Kenny talked about how when Kenny was a bad guy and Kota was a good guy, they had to stay apart. They couldn’t travel together, they couldn’t eat together, they couldn’t hang out in their personal life, kayfabe is so strong over there. It reminded me of the Owen vs Bret feud where they stayed away from each other during their entire feud.
I really liked that they showed Kenny the person, because most of the time wrestling documentaries are about the wrestling. This was really about Tyson Smith. There were various interview clips including Kenny, Ibushi, Don Callis, Chris Jericho, Dave Meltzer, and even Kenny’s parents at one point. They showed a lot of the Japanese culture and how big wrestling really is over there which is so cool to see. I love how it’s presented like a real life anime, it’s such an interesting culture.
I had some minor issues with the documentary, but overall this was extremely well done. The production value was high, the moment’s they showcased were real, they displayed professional wrestling extremely well. The backstage footage they showed was amazing, especially stuff from All In. There was one girl that did most of the talking who was described as a “culture critic.” I have nothing against her however, I would’ve wanted a wrestling personality to be in that role, I think it would’ve been better. Also, I don’t know if it was just my version, but they had a narrator that said everything that was going on, like a described video. It got on my nerves so much, Kenny would pose for the crowd and the guy would say “Kenny poses for the crowd.” However, if you are in Canada and have access to TSN, I urge you to seek this documentary, whether you are a wrestling fan or not.
This documentary gets 4/5 stars from me, a few minor issues that took away from it in my opinion, but overall it was a fantastic little documentary by TSN on the legend of Kenny Omega.