Will Ospreay delivered a touching video message talking about his NJPW departure and his rivalry with the legendary Kazuchika Okada.
The year 2024 means that New Japan Wrestling standout Will Ospreay, who is a former IWGP World Champion, is heading to All Elite Wrestling as a full-time performer.
After eight years in NJPW, Ospreay is going to be All Elite although due to AEW’s connection to NJPW, Ospreay will still be able to wrestle at NJPW shows just like current wrestlers like Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson and others like Chris Jericho in the past.
At NJPW Battle in the Valley in San Jose on Saturday night, Ospreay’s longtime rival Kazuchika Okada beat Ospreay in a singles match in what was considered Ospreay’s last singles match in NJPW while under contract.
Following the match, Ospreay spoke to the crowd and also spoke into the camera talking about Okada.
“I guess this is kind of just a message to Okada, really. I’m sorry for what happened. I feel like back in 2020, I was so vengeful and fixated on trying to be like you, but maybe even trying to be bigger than you and better than you. Instead of filling it with competition, it kind of filled me with vengeance and animosity and anger. There’s part of me that doesn’t regret that G1, when I turned my back on you because I feel like I couldn’t have been the man I am now standing by your side.”
“I feel like I needed to be opposite you to learn and to push myself and to try and overcome the obstacles and to become the wrestler that I am now. What I do regret is, I’m really sad that I threw away what we had. I can’t tell you enough, the type of person that Okada is.”
As he continued, Ospreay spoke about Okada’s kindness.
“I have so many examples of your kindness and your generosity. My first tour with New Japan, my bank card got shut down for some strange reason, and I couldn’t get my card to operate while I was over in Japan. Being who I am, a fucking idiot, over in Japan, it f**king panicked me, and I couldn’t get any money out, and you looked after me the entire tour. Never asked for any money back, just took care of me. Every single haircut I ever got, you looked after it as well. Every time I wanted to dye my hair a stupid color, you always looked after me in that retrospect.”
“Even my partner previously, when we were out living in Japan, had a medical issue, and being two gaijins over in Japan, it’s scary because we don’t really know who to talk to or where to go. So I contacted you, and not only did you sort out a doctor near us, you sorted out a doctor that was also a woman that spoke English. If the roles were reversed, I couldn’t have done that for you. I have no idea how to pull those type of strings or make that possible.”
“But your kindness and your generosity showed. Maybe this is because I’m now in a position where I’m a parent, and everything that I’m doing as a man is to try and teach this little dude that’s surrounding me all the time, and I can’t help but feel like everything I’m teaching him is stuff that you taught me without even realizing it.”
Will Ospreay Learned A Lot From Kazuchika Okada
Ospreay would continue talking about learning from Okada in their time together in NJPW.
“You gotta remember, at 22 years old old, I’ve spent eight years of my life in Japan where there were certain things that should have been taught to me by my parents, and they weren’t there. Not that they weren’t there, but they couldn’t teach me those things. You taught me that.”
“Every time that I’ve ever f**ked up, whether it was social media or just being a fucking idiot when I’m out and about in Japan, I felt ashamed coming into the locker room when you was there because I felt like I’d let you down or embarrassed you. You never showed any type of face to it. You always asked how I was, and you were super kind to me. So that’s why I’m gutted that I threw what we had away, but in the same sense, I’m glad I got that moment with you. I’m thankful that I knew you, I’m grateful that I had my time with you.”
“It’s weird now even saying this because there’s a fucking high chance that you might end up in the same area of work that I’m in. But there’s a chance that you’re not. There’s a chance that these are like my last words to you. So thank you. I really do appreciate everything that you’ve ever done for me. I can’t tell you enough, I don’t know who I would be if you wasn’t a prominent figure in my life. So if this is a genuine note to you, I’m sorry, and thank you for everything.”
Will Ospreay’s last NJPW match will be on February 11th when he teams with United Empire will battle Bullet Club War Dogs in a Steel Cage match. After that, Ospreay will be in AEW.