IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay sat down with members of the Japanese media this week in a press conference for the upcoming NJPW Dominion show on June 9th.
During the interview the British high-flying sensation discussed his title bout against Hiromu Takahashi, the injuries he sustained through the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, and even addressed the speculation that his days in the business are numbered, due to his high-risk style and attitude to always go out and steal the show every single night, no matter where he is on the card.
“Going into the match, I’m actually surprisingly very confident. I’ve been struggling and battling with a few injuries recently. And it has been hindering, and I think people have seen what happened during the Super Juniors every time I been hitting the ropes or something, taking a fall, my neck’s been playing up on me. I got sent something last night. Kept me up all night actually. I hope everyone can hear this. This is from Dave Meltzer, a guy I actually quite like listening to”
Ospreay then played a clip from a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio where Dave Meltzer compared him to the legendary Dynamite Kid, who for much of the 1980s was regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers in the world. Many of the great junior heavyweight stars that emerged during the 90s boom period list his pioneering style as one of their primary influences.
While he doesn’t deny the comparisons, and later in the press conference even admitted that he “shouldn’t be wrestling” right now given the damage his body has taken, Ospreay is adamant that the risk is his to take. And it seems that the risk is gladly one that he will take to be considered among the greatest of all time.
“If nobody knows the story Google it, but I’ll give you a short version of it. The Dynamite Kid was a British wrestler, ahead of his time, and he is confined now to a wheelchair because of his reckless style. And didn’t get the career that he deserved. A lot of people are actually looking at me now, and they’re saying that my reckless style is going to be putting me in a wheelchair very soon. That does scare me a little bit, but that’s the sacrifice that I want to make. That’s the sacrifice that I want to leave behind to know that I threw my body to put the Junior Heavyweight division on the map. And I feel like I’ve done that. I feel like there has been more talk about this Junior Heavyweight division than every before. And me being at the forefront of it, me being on the frontline of this, I believe this is the greatest Junior division that’s ever been.”
On Saturday Ospreay will step into the ring with Hiromu Takahashi, the winner of the 2018 Best of the Super Juniors tournament and a former champion in his own right. While the two have wrestled some of the absolute best matches of the year, and are expected to tear the house down in Osaka this weekend as well, their position on the card must be somewhat intimidating considering they will perform directly before one of the biggest “Double Main Events” in company history.
“Without being funny, I feel like my reign as the Junior Heavyweight Champion has made this one of the second most prestigious titles in New Japan. I feel like everybody’s talking about this more than the Intercontinental title. Naito can’t even be bothered to bring the title out with him. Chris Jericho’s in it, so yeah it’s a big deal. It’s huge. Kenny and Okada is a big deal. But me and Hiromu are going to go out there, and we’re not going to like – not give our all. This is a big deal for us.”
“Yeah, I’ve expressed having interest in going up to the Heavyweight division, but that doesn’t mean I don’t give my all to the Junior Heavyweight division. For god’s sake I shouldn’t even be wrestling to be honest, but I want to do it because that’s the sacrifice that I want to do to put this title up higher. Yeah I do feel like we should be in a triple main event. We’re going to give just as hard as Naito and Jericho, and we’re going to give just as hard as Kenny and Okada. We’re going to try and steal the show.”
NJPW Dominion airs this Saturday, June 9th kicking off live on New Japan World at 3:00 a.m. EDT. We will have complete live coverage of the entire event, including this HUGE “triple main event”.