By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Note: This interview was conducted prior to Will Ospreay relinquishing the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship due to a neck injury.
Being fully committed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling: I mean, of course, I’ve committed myself to New Japan and I’ll say it time and time again, I could happily end my career here, just because it is — honestly my main mission in life was when I first started wrestling I was like, ‘When I’m 30 years old, I think I’ll just stop wrestling.’ I’m slowly hitting my prime, do you know what I mean? I’m 28, it’s two years away from hitting 30. I’ve signed a long-term deal with New Japan so I will be here past 30 so, I’ve already screwed myself over I guess. But, I’m happy here man and once again, before the pandemic hit, I was going back and forth to England and Japan, I was seeing my family, I could go to Australia and New Zealand, see my Mrs.’ family. There’s a little nephew that I need to go see as well so that’s one thing I’m looking forward to is going to see my nephew. That’d be cool. But I have so much free rein and I have so much that I enjoy working for this company. I enjoy doing everything I can and they’ve given me so much and in respect, me being a disrespectful little shit, I will always respect the company and want the company to do well. It’s just gotta be in my image.
Winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Title at Sakura Genesis: My thought process at first was like, ‘I had to hold back emotion,’ just because as much as I always say to people, ‘It’s okay to show emotion. It’s okay to not feel the best at times. It’s all good, you can speak about it, it’s all good.’ But I wanted to hold it back just for this moment just because this isn’t about my struggles, this isn’t about anyone else other than about that dream I had as a 14-year-old when I first watched [a] Japanese pro wrestling show and I found out that New Japan was the top of the top and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship was the pinnacle and I had to hold back those emotions. Even the moment when I’m about to hit him [Kota Ibushi] with the [Hidden] Blade, I wiped away a tear and that was the last thing of the 14-year-old Will Ospreay that you would’ve ever seen. This isn’t a dream anymore. This is a job. This is now my job and my responsibility to take on the challenges to be the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and I’m fully committed and prepared for it.
Other topics include his entire NJPW run, his feuds with Ricochet, Kushida, and Kazuchika Okada, his new style, and more.
You can listen to other shows apart of the TMPT Empire including Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat Podcast, Taking You to School with Dr. Tom Prichard, Talking Tough with Rick Bassman, Taskmaster Talks with Kevin Sullivan, Pro Wrestling 101 with Justin Credible and the University of Dutch with Dutch Mantell. H/T to POST Wrestling/Andrew Thompson for the transcription.