NJPW superstar and former IWGP World Heavyweight champion Will Ospreay recently appeared on the All Real Wrestling Podcast to discuss a number of different topics, including how much he misses top WWE talent Ricochet, and how his new faction, the United Empire, was formed in NJPW. Highlights from the interview are below.
How a lot of his friends have signed exclusive deals with other companies, and why he believes Ricochet should have held IWGP junior gold:
It’s one of those things where just like I was seeing all my friends going and it was almost like I was like the guy on the ship and I was like, ‘Is anyone else here? Who else is here?’ And I’m proud of everyone that has ever done anything when they sign just because, man, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t live in America. It’s just not for me, I’m a homeboy and we’ll probably get into it a little bit later but just like, I miss so many of my friends. Honestly, I miss Ricochet. Like I really miss him. He’s one of my friends. I remember the day that he was leaving, I won the Junior Heavyweight Title and to this day, I always think he should’ve won that belt and we went into a club in Roppongi man and honestly, I just at one point, I just hug him and I was crying because I know he’s going. ‘I know I’m not gonna see you anymore’ and it just happens. It’s that rinse, cycle and repeat. Every time someone gets signed, I’m missing one of my friends and know I’m proud of you and I want you to go and succeed. I miss you.
On his United Empire faction and who came up with the name:
I mean that’s like a whole trip in itself [United Empire] because once again, that was sprung at me like out of nowhere. That came like completely [out of] left field. That’s why I didn’t really — I had a name for the group that at the time, I think it was very inappropriate and I didn’t want to be making fun of something. I didn’t want it to look like I was making fun of something so like, we went with ‘The Empire’ and then there was a copyright infringement on something so we couldn’t have that. So I was trying to be like, ‘Oh, can we take the ‘I’ out and put a ‘Y’ in?’ Or so we’ll make it into this and then apparently Marvel’s got something called ‘The Empyre’ with a ‘Y’ and I was like, ‘Well, we can’t use that either’ and then — this is why I don’t like saying I’m the leader of the group at all. I hate saying that. I would like to say that we are a unit and whoever’s got the ball, just go behind them and if I was gonna say anyone is the leader of the group, it’s the Great-O-Khan, because he came up with the United Empire. It was his idea. So like, I fully like it. I think it’s cool. It reminds me a lot of football so like, I like stuff like that because it comes from obviously like, I get [my love of football] from my dad and my uncle and like, I quite like the fact that it’s so many guys from different nations representing their culture and I like that about it so, it isn’t a leader but [if] someone’s got the ball, we’re all gonna go behind him.
(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)