In 2016, Will Ospreay and Ricochet competed in NJPW Best Of The Super Junior XXIII, marking the first time the two men had battled in NJPW in a singles bout. The match blew up on wrestling Twitter thanks to GIFs of the match highlighting the athleticism of both men.
Most fans reacted positively to the GIFs and match, impressed by the speed and athleticism of the competitors. But some felt it was too choreographed and not "wrestling."
Speaking to Chris Van Vliet, Ospreay discussed the criticism of the bout.
"If you didn't know about me, that was the best way to introduce the first chapter in my New Japan story. Me and Ricochet were mirror images. It was like, 'You've met your match.' If you're going to put Ricochet and Will Ospreay in the ring together, that's the type of match you want to see. The backlash was the main thing. I didn't think there was anything wrong with it. 'This is what we do on the Indies.' But because it was such a large scale, everyone had an opinion on it. It was a conversation that needed to be had and this was the right match to start that conversation. I took a bunch of things that people said about it and thought, 'They are right to an extent.' But I didn't grasp it until I wrestled [Katsuyori] Shibata. I wrestled Ricochet and wrestled that same style. When I got in the ring with Shibata and I was like, "I wanna do this and this' and he's like 'No.' I was so scared of him. At first I was defiant against it, but as time went on, I was like, 'Okay, they do have a point.' Marty [Scurll] told me something ages ago before my second match against Ricochet, 'The fans will go crazy if you just wrestle for five minutes.' He was right. A lot of people saw that we can wrestle, we just wanted to do what we're known for." recalled Ospreay.
Ospreay and Ricochet would meet one year later in a rematch at Best Of The Super Junior XXIV. Ospreay was victorious in both contests.
Elsewhere during the interview, Ospreay discussed his Twitter feud with Seth Rollins. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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