Will Ospreay on Breaking into NJPW, TNA Stint, Dealing with TNA Management, Career Future



The Wrestling Compadres Slamcast recently interviewed NJPW star Will Ospreay. Below are some highlights (transcript via WrestlingInc.com).

Ospreay on learning from his time on NJPW: “I’m loving it. Loads of people have said, like, ‘once you get signed to New Japan, you just learn straightaway.’ I’ve gone there. I’ve slowed down. Like, I don’t even know if anyone notices, but I hardly ever use the top rope, so, like, I’m saving my body [from] a lot more damage. And the best thing is where you learn, you’re doing, like, big eight-man [and] six-man tags and ten-man tags all the time, so you’re, like, constantly learning on the spot, like, how to work with an audience along those lines and you’re working these, like, massive stars who’ve held the f–king IWGP Heavyweight Championship, who’ve held the Junior Heavyweight Championship, so they’ve been there [and] they’ve done it.”

Ospreay on how he broke into NJPW: “Obviously, everyone knows that I’ve faced Okada for Revolution Pro for the Global Wars UK, which was ridiculous. And I came backstage and Okada was like, ‘we need to get you onboard’ and then, I had the CEO say, ‘yeah, we’re going to bring you in for Super Juniors’. And then, obivously, the incident where [WWE] signed AJ, The Bullet Club, [Shinsuke] Nakamara, so they literally just stole, like, four of the main players for New Japan, so, like, [NJPW] wanted to just bring me in, like, permanently. I found out it was Okada who put me over, Tanahashi that put me over, and the winning person that I still can’t say enough good things [about and I am] literally humbled that he’d done it, but AJ was the person that said, like, ‘you need to sign this guy now’, which I was like, so blessed. Like, AJ’s my hero. AJ’s the sole reason I got into a wrestling ring.”

Ospreay on going to TNA just perform at the Wembley Arena: “I can’t say, like, anything bad about TNA because of the pure fact of, like, I refuse to bury a company. I’m too nice. I didn’t fit. I mean, I was welcomed with open arms. The guys there were fantastic, but I’d just done it for the pure, simple fact that I wanted to wrestle in Wembley Arena. Like, if everyone wants me to be brutally honest, I’d done it just to wrestle in Wembley.”

Ospreay on dealing with TNA management: “The way it all went down, which was like, they didn’t do their research. Like, they thought I wasn’t signed. Like, to be fair, I was lying out of my ass. Like, I said to them, ‘I’m signing with New Japan’. I was lying, like, through my teeth. I just did not want to be with TNA because for me, personally, especially with the recent, video that the Hardys released. It’s not me shooting, but I just don’t like it. I think it was so bad. I’ve been a fan of TNA from the start, especially with guys like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe. They have made those guys and they were the backbone, but if they’ve left, there’s a reason why. Personally, I don’t see any point of me going down there and, like, when I had New Japan lined up around the corner, I didn’t want to sign anything. I’d rather apply my trade in New Japan because I know what’s hot these days. I mean, think about it. A guy like [Finn Bálor] has gone over there. AJ has gone over there. They’ve all gone over there and they’ve all made such a good name in WWE. I’m not saying I want to go to WWE anytime soon, but I’m really, really happy with Japan and I’m happy there. I’m happy I got the opportunity with TNA to perform in Wembley Arena and to perform in Manchester and Birmingham Arena, so on that note, I’m happy I’d done it.”

Ospreay on planning to leave the independents in 2017: “By 2017, I’m going to start leaving the independents because my body can physically not take it anymore, so I’ll probably be wrestling for five promotions in Britain altogether and sticking with New Japan just because my body has started giving up on me.”