Will Ospreay Says He Has The Utmost Respect For Hiroshi Tanahashi

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At tonight’s NJPW Resurgence event, set to emanate from the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California, Will Ospreay will face Hiroshi Tanahashi, with the winner set to face Lance Archer at Dominion for a shot at Kenny Omega’s IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.

Ahead of Resurgence, Ospreay was in conversation with Fightful, where he shared that he has nothing but respect for Tanahashi. He said,


“Once again, business as usual. There’s nothing but respect for the guy. This house that I live in is mainly because of the work he’d done with New Japan when they were about to file for bankruptcy. The company put all of their weight on his shoulders, and he swam with it, carved a mountain with it. He’s done incredible things. So, I do have the utmost respect for him. I remember when I faced him last. I’ve only wrestled him once; it was in the G1. I was able to score the win.”

Ospreay then recalled how he was the clear underdog when he faced Tanahashi in the G1 Climax back in 2019, but having established himself as among the best in the world since things are different now. Ospreay also said that the stakes are now much higher, with a shot at Kenny Omega hanging in the balance. He said,

“It’s a lot bigger to me because you’re talking about the Kenny match. To be honest, I got my ass handed to me, man. It’s embarrassing. I’m meant to be the guy representing the company.”

Will Ospreay then declared that he needed to get past Tanahashi and Lance Archer, so he can reclaim the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship, not just for himself, but also for New Japan Pro Wrestling. He said,

“As much as I respect Tanahashi, he’s got to be put to the side after Resurgence. After that you’ve got Lance Archer. He’s the biggest c**t I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The obvious course is there. It’s not going to be an easy day at the office by either standard, but it’s gotta be done. For my sake, for New Japan’s sake. It’s got to be done.” 

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