Will Ospreay: NJPW Needs A Distinction Between Heavyweights And Junior Heavyweights

Count Will Ospreay among those who believe that there should be a junior heavyweight and heavyweight division in NJPW.

In an interview with NJPW before he defends his IWGP Junior Heavyweight title against Hiromu Takahashi, Ospreay talked about the future of the junior heavyweights down the road and if there will come a time where a distinction between the two weight classes will no longer be needed. Ospreay said there should be a distinction and while he knows that any junior heavyweight can beat a heavyweight, the heavyweights has a size advantage heading into that kind of matchup.

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He also added that he doesn't want the history of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title to be erased if the divisions ceased to exist. He wants the legacy of those who have made the belt what it is today, such as Jushin Thunder Liger, to remain intact.

"100% there is a need for that distinction. There are some people who will never graduate to heavyweight status, and while I know anyone can beat anyone, a heavyweight has a distinct advantage in size and weight. So we need the distinction, and the legacy and history speaks for itself. You can’t throw away years and years of Liger’s work for instance. But the Junior Heavyweight Championship needs to be here forever. This title needs to be here forever. I mean, we should update the belt! There’s only so many nameplates on here, so BUSHI’s name is there but me and Marty and Hiromu aren’t (laughs), but I can’t imagine a world where that legacy is erased. Plus with so many more opportunities in the US and Japan next year, there are more main events and more chances for the juniors to main event," Ospreay said.

While Ospreay feels there should be a distinction between the junior heavyweights and the heavyweights, he does believe something needs to be done with the NEVER Openweight title. 

Ospreay added that there should be a bigger emphasis on the NEVER title and on the openweight division concept in general. Ospreay, who once held the NEVER Openweight title himself, noted how KENTA will defend the title against Hirooki Goto at Wrestle Kingdom 14 and that the division should be a bigger deal than what it is now.

”I do think the NEVER Openweight Championship needs to be rethought. KENTA and Goto will face each other for that in the Dome, and that’s two heavyweights. It’ll be a great match, but the Openweight nature needs to be a bigger deal," Ospreay said.

Fightful will have live coverage of both nights at Wrestle Kingdom, taking place on January 4 and 5.

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