Will Ospreay talks about his upcoming match with Hiroshi Tanahashi at NJPW Resurgence.
Will Ospreay is wrestling Hiroshi Tanahashi at NJPW Resurgence as part of the tournament to crown a new number contender for the IWGP United States Championship.
Hiroshi Tanahashi is "The Ace" of NJPW and Will Ospreay has a great deal of respect for everything Tanahashi and everything he's accomplished, as he explains in a new interview with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp.
"Once again, business as usual. There’s nothing but respect for the guy," said Ospreay. "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.
"I remember going head to head with him and I’ve always loved his saying his ‘attack for the next generation.’ I remember saying, I think the words were, ‘You can lay down your sword. I’ll take the load now.’ I think he took it as a little bit of, ‘Hey, you think I’m retiring, slow it down, I’m not.’ 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," Ospreay continued. "I don’t know. I don’t talk to him ever. I’m just letting him know the respect is there. But this is business. This is bigger than Tanahashi. This is about regaining pride."
Speaking about the difference between their match in the G1 Climax Tournament and the one coming up at Resurgence, Ospreay says the difference is this time he's determined to regain his pride and Tanahashi is just a step along the way into getting another shot at Kenny Omega
"It’s because in the G1, I already knew I was on the outside. I just wanted to beat him back then," he said. "I wanted to show I was still on his level. Surpassing him was amazing. This time it’s a lot bigger. I can imagine it’s bigger to him, but 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.
"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, motherfucker. Let’s go.’ Then to get twenty minutes in and then my body wasn’t working," he added. "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. 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."
Once Ospreay is finished with Tanahashi, he then has to defeat Lance Archer in order to earn the opportunity to face Kenny Omega for the title he lost at Wrestle Kingdom 17. Ospreay has nothing kind to say about the giant Archer either, saying that while it's not an easy path, he has to end this tournament on top.
"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 cunt 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," said Ospreay.
Ospreay recently stated that he doesn't know how much longer he will be able to be a professional wrestler, but he plans on giving it his all. Read more about that at this link.
Fightful will have full coverage oft NJPW Resurgence on May 21. Check out the card here. Tickets for the show can be found here.