Will Ospreay has always been known as one of the best super juniors in the world. But over the past few years, he's put on weight and transitioned into the heavyweight division.
While Ospreay has reaped the rewards of being a heavyweight in New Japan, he decided to put on weight for a storyline in PROGRESS that never came to fruition.
"I started putting on more weight after Wrestle Kingdom 12. I had an idea that I pitched to PROGRESS; they didn't go along with it. They had the Atlas Title, which is the super heavyweight title. You have to be over 93 kilos. At the time, I was 85 kilos. 'I think I can make that.' But they didn't do that. Instead of putting on weight for PROGRESS, I just decided to do it anyway to see if there are any benefits. I've always had neck problems and body pain. So I thought it would protect my body. Within a month, month and a half, I shot up to 90 kilos. I was just eating. Not good stuff. Just pizza, fish. I must have a good metabolism. People would be like, 'Are you on the gas?' No, I wouldn't know where to start with that. I've just been eating," Ospreay said in an interview with Chris Van Vliet.
"The bookers in New Japan saw I was trying really hard to put on weight, so they started edging me towards the Openweight Title. After I did a good job with that, they saw that and wanted to edge me towards heavyweight. I'm out of the junior division now and officially a heavyweight."
Ospreay said he could move at similar speed at heavyweight, though he did have to cut out some of the double flips he had been doing. He also revealed that he broke his rib in October 2018 because he had put on too much mass and didn't adapt his style enough.
Ospreay eventually found a happy medium, blending more hard-hitting strikes with his speed and athleticism.
"There's a controversial clip where I brought back the Hidden Blade, I did it to Ibushi and he was concussed. A lot of people were like, 'Will really fucked him up.' I think a lot of people assumed that because I do the flips, I can't get dirty and throw certain strikes. I finally realized that I can throw...I evolved the style. Kept the same speed, kicks, and tricks, but a little more nitty-gritty," he said.
Ospreay lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title to Hiromu Takahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 14. He was scheduled to compete in the 2020 New Japan Cup before it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Elsewhere during the interview, Ospreay discussed his battles with Ricochet. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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