Will Ospreay Details Backstage Conversation With NJPW Legend Prior To Facing Kenny Omega

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At NJPW Resurgence last night, Will Ospreay defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to book a date with Lance Archer at Dominion, with the winner set to challenge Kenny Omega for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship at a later date, presumably AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door.

Prior to Resurgence, Ospreay was in conversation with Fightful to discuss a wide variety of topics, and he shared his utmost respect for Tanahashi (check out here). He also acknowledged that while he may have let down the veteran at times, implying the Kenny Omega match Wrestle Kingdom as one instance, it’s now time for his redemption, and Tanahashi happens to be the one standing in his way. He said,


“I can imagine in his eyes, maybe I’ve dropped the ball at times when I needed to carry the company and maybe he’s got some type of heat towards me.  I’m just letting him know the respect is there. But this is business. This is bigger than Tanahashi. This is about regaining pride.”

Ospreay also shared that prior to his title defense against Omega at Wrestle Kingdom, an NJPW legend told him to remind Kenny what New Japan is all about. However, midway through the match, his body started giving up on him. He said,

“I’m not going to say what legend it was, but as I’m walking past down the hallway, he grabbed my arm and said, ‘Hey, make him remember what New Japan’s all about.’ It put a fire under my belly, and I was like, ‘Yeah, motherf**er. Let’s go.’ Then to get twenty minutes in and then my body wasn’t working. There was moments where I was coming back, but it wasn’t there. I knew half-way in that match that I had lost. I just didn’t want to go down, so I kept fighting. This for me is about regaining my pride, man.”

Sharing how he felt after losing his title to an outsider at Wrestle Kingdom, Ospreay said,

“I felt awful after Wrestle Kingdom. I felt like I let down everybody, my boys in the United Empire, all the New Japan fans that allowed this guy who abandoned ship to come back and steal my property.”

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