Will Ospreay wants to bring NJPW back to the top.
In recent years, Ospreay has become one of the top stars in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He had a particularly successful year in 2022, as he won the Best Bout award alongside Kazuchika Okada for their match in the finals of the G1 Climax. Ospreay also won the IWGP United States Championship, and he defended the gold against Kenny Omega in a dream match at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17. While Ospreay lost the bout, it was still a buzzworthy match for the ages.
Speaking with Tokyo Sports, Ospreay looked back on his remarkable 2022. He acknowledged the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and noted that it was a fulfilling year, as he won the IWGP United States Championship. Ospreay stated that he aimed to get more attention for NJPW, and he feels like he achieved that goal.
"It's been a very intense year. I think it was fulfilling because there were some hard times. Although [I] was still isolated due to the influence of the corona virus and had difficulty moving around, [I] won the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship. I had a goal of getting more attention for New Japan, and I'm happy to have achieved that," Ospreay said.
When asked to describe his goals for 2023, Ospreay emphasized that he wants NJPW to return to being the top wrestling company in the world. He noted that he was frustrated when he won the Best Bout award as it came for the finals of the G1 Climax, and the venue was not sold out. Ospreay made it clear that, in 2023, he wants to sell out all of the arenas.
"Japan has finally gotten out of the corona [pandemic] and is starting to cheer at the venue. I want New Japan Pro-Wrestling to return to being the number one organization in the world. I was able to win the best bout, but it was very frustrating that the final match of "G1 Climax" was not sold out. I want to fill all the venues this year, and of course Tokyo Dome," Ospreay said.
Ospreay also looked back on some of the obstacles he has faced, including losing the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship and getting extremely sick due to kidney disease. He referenced his loss to Omega and vowed to bounce back by returning to the top. Likewise, he stated that he wants to help NJPW return to the forefront of the wrestling world.
"Over the past two years, I lost the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship due to an injury, and last year I almost died from a kidney disease. Finally, I got to the match that the world was paying attention to at the Tokyo Dome, but I was completely defeated. It was a very frustrating defeat. So I had to set myself some tough goals. 'Do or die.' During this year, not only will I return to the top, but I will also return New Japan to the top of the world. I think that I can do it in the sense that I will go through this year with that thought," he said.
Ospreay recently discussed the injury he suffered before he lost the world title. Check out his comments here.
In a recent interview, Ospreay opened up about being diagnosed with ADHD and regretting some of his tweets. Click here to see what he had to say.
Rocky Romero shared his thoughts on helping Omega return to the Tokyo Dome. More information is available here.