Former IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Will Ospreay recently spoke with the NJPW press to hype next month’s WrestleKingdom 15 pay per view, where the Aerial Assassin will be taking on long-time friend turned rival, Kazuchika Okada. Highlights are below.
How he has nothing left to do in the Junior Heavyweight division:
Well, I felt like I had new ambitions at that point. I was on the rise. I felt there was nothing left to do in the junior heavyweight division, so I wanted to take the time to achieve something that had eluded me for seven years.
How Okada changed and this led to their feud:
He changed, man. He was clinging to me, putting his arm around me. You watch our tag match from (New Beginning in )Osaka. He’s putting his arm around me, invading my personal space, because he knew that his star was burning out as mine was burning brighter.
How Okada is a glass ceiling for the members of CHAOS:
Look, you saw what happened while I was a junior heavyweight. I won Best of the Super Jr.! And where was my face on the poster the next month? Nowhere. I was hardly advertised, because of Okada’s glass ceiling. So I struck out on my own, and what happened? Have you seen the truck driving around Tokyo?
Says if not for the pandemic this would have been his year in NJPW:
It took a global pandemic to stop it being my year. If it wasn’t for COVID no question I would have won New Japan Cup, I would be double champion by now. As it turned out I came back for the G1 and I was a little rusty. But I still felt that jealousy, that distance from Okada.
How The EMPIRE function as a faction:
There’s no leadership, only direction, and that direction is that things are going to change around here. It’s been so long since there’s been something new and fresh around here. I devoted my life to NJPW. I moved to Japan for this company, but I did that knowing that where I was in CHAOS, no matter how hard I worked, there would be favourites above me.
Compares himself to Chris Jercho:
I liken myself to Chris Jericho. When Chris Jericho came into NJPW, he went straight for the biggest names at that time- Omega, Naito, Okada, Tanahashi. He targeted those names and got rewarded for it with those big matches. He didn’t wait in line, he did things his own way, and now I’m going to do things my own way. A lot of people see things that way too. You’ve seen a few already, but there’s more. Trust me.
Says Okada and Tanahashi’s era is done:
The golden era is done, now it’s the platinum era! Jeff Cobb will win the NEVER Championship, O-Khan will destroy Tanahashi, send him packing, and I will end the Rainmaker.