Originally published at Will Ospreay thinks he'll be with NJPW for life
Ospreay deep dives into what New Japan has helped him with over the past several years.
For over 700 days, Will Ospreay has been in possession of the RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship. During the time period since winning that title, Ospreay went on to become IWGP World Heavyweight Champion but had to relinquish the title due to injury.
Ospreay dove into his New Japan run while guest appearing on the All Real Wrestling Podcast. He spoke in-depth about the mental health struggles he dealt with in 2019 and in 2020, citing the loss of Hana Kimura and Ryan Smile as low points for him. Ospreay expressed what he was going through to the higher-ups in New Japan and they looked after him and provided him with what Ospreay described as “the best doctors”.
For what New Japan did for him, Ospreay believes he’ll be with the company for the remainder of his wrestling career.
I got a phone call from Alex and just like man, I’m so grateful to be alive. I’m so happy to be here and I just wanna — although I’m playing a bad guy and I love my job, I love playing that role because there is a bad person inside me sometimes that just wants to go, ‘Well yeah? Well f*ck you.’ But like, a lot of the time, it is just like I’m so grateful just to be able to perform under the New Japan banner. I’m so grateful to have everyone backstage who’s supported me. I’m so grateful to Revolution Pro Wrestling, I’m so grateful to all my friends. The locker room at RevPro right now is phenomenal. I’m so grateful to be here.
In 2016, Ospreay joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Prior to signing exclusively with the company, he had an opportunity to work for WWE and IMPACT Wrestling offered him a deal.
Ospreay decided on New Japan without having a contract being offered to him and after his tour, he was presented with a one-year deal. He signed it and then after a match he had with KUSHIDA, Tiger Hattori ripped Ospreay’s contract up and offered him a two-year contract.
The next day, I was wrestling , ‘I do’ and I took a gamble and there was no contract that was offered to me or anything. It was just one tour. Went over, they said, ‘Do you mind bringing a suit? We’re gonna do a bit of a documentary about you,’ which is actually available to watch on YouTube. It’s all real. Like I have no idea what’s going on, that’s why I’m so bloody awkward and then they brought me to the office and they said, ‘What do you want?’ I went, ‘To be honest, I just want to wrestle here. This seems like a real good gig. I think I really enjoy this, I think this is where I’m gonna learn. I think all I’ve done is just some couple of indies in America and some indies in the U.K. and not that I can’t learn anymore but to be — become the full package, I need to be here’ and Hattori left the room, came back, put a contract in front of me, it was only one year. I was like, ‘Okay, cool,’ sign it. Went out, did my match with KUSHIDA in front of 10,000 people which was like the biggest crowd I’ve ever been in front of. Came backstage, Hattori ripped my contract up. I thought I’ve done something wrong; two years. So I was just like, ‘Oh yeah!’ I got like two years worth of guaranteed money right there and just like, my dream just came true. I became a professional wrestler. I went home to England and then went back to work the next day.
The 28-year-old Ospreay is the midst of the New Japan Cup tournament. He defeated BUSHI in the first round and next on the docket for him is El Phantasmo on March 12th.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the All Real Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.