This year’s New Japan Cup winner Will Ospreay recently spoke with the NJPW Press to hype up his IWGP World Title opportunity against Kota Ibushi at the upcoming Sakura Genesis pay per view. Highlights are below.
How Ibushi has had several weeks off:
You’re right. I’ve done five singles matches anywhere between 13 and 30 minutes over the tour, plus tag matches. Ibushi’s had three weeks off. I think you could say that he does have a physical advantage going into Ryogoku. But mentally it’s a different matter.
Thinks he’s more focused than Ibushi:
I do. I haven’t stopped my training; as soon as we finish this phonecall I’m going to do some cardio and then hit the weights. My diet has changed to help that too, to help me get more oxygen into my body. On paper, maybe Ibushi has the edge, but I’m more than confident I’ll have the advantage in Ryogoku.
Talks his journey towards challenging for the IWGP heavyweight champion:
I used to be a kid working as an electrician, messing up wiring people’s kitchens. My teachers told me I’d never make a living wrestling. I make more in a tour than they do in a year! Now this is the biggest moment of my whole career. It’s five years coming full circle to me being IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.
How Ibushi needed multiple attempts to finally become the top champion:
But here’s the thing, he had chance after chance, and three G1 finals back to back before he finally took the top prize. He’s only fulfilling his destiny now. Me? This is the first time I’m competing for the top heavyweight title. And I’m taking it. Yes it’s poetic that it’s against Ibushi, but to my mind, it could be against anybody. It could be against my own dad and I’d still hurt them to get what I want.
On the new IWGP World Heavyweight title:
There’s only one top spot now. You could say at one time that the Intercontinental Championship was a workhorse belt, that the matches were more hard fought. Or you might say the top drawing name had the heavyweight title. There would always be that question of who is really best. Now, there’s no doubt. None of this ‘number 1’, ‘number 1A’ bullshit. The championship doesn’t make the man, the man makes the championship. Now me and Ibushi have to set a standard. We have to deliver, have to give people the incentive to watch and to compete. What I’m going to do is make sure nobody takes their eyes off the championship, be that fans or wrestlers trying to take it away from me. Because I won’t stop at anything to take it from Ibushi.
On the new member of the Empire:
It’s someone new. There are people around, believe me, that will be coming as soon as we can get them here in Japan. Some people that you might know already, some people wrestling in other companies right now. But this guy? This is someone that realized it was time to do things his own way and reached out very recently. That’s all I’ll say.