Will Ospreay confirms links to New Japan Pro Wrestling will continue after AEW signing

Originally published at Will Ospreay confirms links to New Japan Pro Wrestling will continue after AEW signing

Will Ospreay has said of New Japan Pro Wrestling, “I still need to have some sort of involvement.”

His comments, in an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, appear to confirm that an arrangement has been reached as part of his AEW deal.

Earlier in the week, Tony Khan said in a BBC interview that Ospreay will be “able to go back to New Japan virtually any time. We can always work that out any time he wants to go back.”

In the Sports Illustrated interview, Ospreay says, “That is very important to me. I grew up in New Japan. I’m not ready to let it go.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Ospreay opened up about how it felt to wait backstage at AEW Full Gear ahead of his in-ring contract signing. He said:

This was a new type of fear. It was completely different from wrestling. Even if you’ve never seen me wrestle, I’m confident that I can do something dazzling and make you remember me. But I couldn’t do that at Full Gear.

As I was waiting, I asked myself, “What if people don’t know my entrance music, Elevated?’” Then, when [Tony] Schiavone was talking, it went real quiet. That was scary. There was this murmur, then the music hit. That reception was truly overwhelming for me. People were genuinely happy to have me, and I felt it the moment the music hit.

He said of AEW President Tony Khan:

I’ve built a trust and respect with Tony. That’s very important to me. When Tony had me work matches for AEW, like I did this summer at All In at Wembley Stadium, he didn’t have to do that. He trusted me. That meant the world to me.

Now that I’m coming to AEW, I trust him with the aura of Will Ospreay and the character of Will Ospreay. Tony Khan has genuinely changed my life. In return, I am going to deliver the best matches I can deliver.

Looking ahead to All In 2024 at Wembley Stadium, Ospreay commented:

There’s even a chance I am in the main event wrestling the AEW Champion for the World Title. Imagine that. Wrestling at a place that was right beside where I used to work?

I used to watch fans coming out of Wembley Stadium. I never got to go inside Wembley Stadium until I wrestled there. Now I’m working there again, but this time right inside Wembley Stadium.

He also touched on his two stellar matches with Kenny Omega this year, at Wrestle Kingdom 17 and Forbidden Door:

I did stress myself about topping the first match with Kenny. When I came into New Japan, Kenny was the guy. After he left New Japan, I wanted to fill his shoes.

I have my way of preparing for a match, which is usually mentally preparing tucked away in a corner. I focus on who I am, and that’s what I did against Kenny. The matches against him meant so much to me.