On the 6th March in the NJPW Anniversary Event, the NEVER Openweight Champion, Will Ospreay will take on the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Jay White in a special single match.
Despite being classified as a Junior Heavyweight, Ospreay is storming his way into the Heavyweight division and discusses his rivalry with Jay!
Jay’s win? It was unbelievable. Actually, it was more like I didn’t want to believe it.
Interviewer: First of all, congratulations on your NEVER Openweight Championship defence against Dalton Castle.
Ospreay: Thank you.
IN: It was kind of abrupt, but you ripped apart Jay White’s T-shirt last night backstage. Why did you decide to challenge Jay White?
Ospreay: I feel ready. I feel more than capable to be able to handle Jay White and his antics. The fact is, that he’s gone through Okada at Wrestle Kingdom and he went through Tanahashi at New Beginning. It’s kind of like there’s this new Jay White who’s formed right before our eyes, but I just remember those times when I was in ring of Honor and I was beating him. I was the one who won. If anything, I’ve got better since then. I’m in the best form that ‘ve ever been in. I just look at Jay and no matter if he calls himself the switchblade or cut-throat era or BULLET CLUB I don’t care. All I see if the guy I beat 1, 2, 3. I think I can beat him again.
IN: It was kind of shocking for everyone that Jay White beat Tanahashi to win the IWGP Heavyweight championship. What is your view of that match?
Ospreay: I was in England with my missus and we were watching it on TV, on NJPW World. The moment that Tanahashi went for the High Fly Flow and he caught him and hit the blade runner I sat up. He beat Tanahashi, I couldn’t believe it, in fact I didn’t want to believe it, but he’s right. We all didn’t take him seriously, we all didn’t think that Jay could beat him. Maybe Tanahashi thought the same, I don’t know, I wasn’t there. But the fact remains that Jay White is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and he did that by beating the Ace.
IN: Jay White has kept saying that it’s not a Switchblade shock or anything like that. What do you think, was it a shock?
Ospreay: I was shocked, I was. I feel like people don’t think I can beat Jay, but what if I did? Everyone would be shocked! A lot of it’s down how the wrestler feels. Jay feels like he is the best wrestler in the world right now but right now, but I also feel like I’m the best wrestler in the world. If I beat Jay White, it’s not going to be shocking to me. It might be to everyone else, but remember, I’ve beaten him before. As far as I know, right now it’s one to Ospreay, zero to Jay White.
“What if there’s a boy from England, a boy that’s already beaten you, a boy that since then has gotten better and a boy that has just become the man?”
IN: Could you tell us about your ROH match? That must have been a dominant win though right?
Ospreay: It was. I have to say It was back and forth, but towards the end you could see he was getting tired. He was going into his regular bank of moves that he was doing on every Ring of Honor show. He was desperate. At one point I slid out, I hit him in the face, he slid out, I went to the outside and he was catching dive after dive. Then, I hit a shooting star press, top rope to the floor. There was no protection. I saw an opening, got him in the ring and I hit him with the OsCutter one, two, three.
IN: So, you’re going to face Jay White on March 6th. This is a special singles match because Jay White is going to fight at Madison Square Garden as a Champion. What do you think?
Ospreay: It is what it is. Madison Square Garden is sold out. 20,000 people? That’s ridiculous! He’s going to headline this match, so he’s not going to defend his title at the anniversary show. He will be going into MSG as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
IN: I see
Ospreay: But what if I could put a little bit of doubt in his mind? Right now, Jay White thinks “I’m unbeatable” that’s what he thinks. “I’ve beaten the rainmaker. I’ve beaten the Ace.” He said back when he faced Kenny Omega, “Once I put the fear into Kenny that he can be beaten, the BULLET CLUB will fall apart” and it did. What if I do the same? Right now, he’s unbeatable. “Who can beat Jay White? Okada couldn’t do it! Tanahashi couldn’t do it!” But what if there’s a boy from England, a boy that’s already beaten you, a boy that since then has gotten better and a boy that has just become the man? I know in my heart of hearts that I can beat Jay White. If I do beat Jay White, I think that I thoroughly deserve to be put into that main event spot. I should be in there!
“There’s no one better to deal with him than me right now”
IN: This isn’t a title shot, but you will be fighting against the present champion. I think this is a very valuable and meaningful match for you.
Ospreay: Yes it is, very important. I’ve been in this situation before. Last year I was against Okada, who was the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. What if I beat Okada? I would have gone straight up there. Maybe this is the same thing? Maybe everyone’s thinking “Will’s done this before, he’s already lost, he can’t do it again” – why can’t I? Everyone looks at me like I’m just a junior. I’ve beaten Taichi, I’ve beaten Ibushi, I’ve beaten Dalton Castle, why can’t I beat Jay White? I’ve done it before!
IN: I think Jay’s style has changed since he fought you in America, he’s gotten nastier, dirtier, so how will you approach him?
Ospreay: Well, that says everything about the person doesn’t it? He couldn’t beat a boy at his best. Every day he’s working out and every day he thinks “I lost to Will Ospreay”. So every day, he thinks to himself “If I lost to Will Ospreay, there’s no way I can beat guys like Okada like Tanahashi fairly.” He can’t! Doesn’t that say a lot about the person that he’s so insecure that he’s so scared of fighting someone one-on-one that he genuinely has to fight dirty to win his matches? The difference is, I’m not afraid to get dirty. Tanahashi is so pure, Okada is so happy now. I’m the type of guy who, if you’re going to poke me in the eye, I’m going to do it right back to you. If you’re going to slam me into the fence, I’m going to do it right back to you! Not only will I do it right back to you, I’ll one-up you!
IN: In the past, I believe you spoke about Jay White and you guys used friends. So back when he was with Chaos, were you good friends with him?
Ospreay: There is a photo of the two of us [shows photo on his smartphone]
Ospreay: He’s whispering in my ear and strategizing in the ring. When he was backstage, Okada wanted him in Chaos but he didn’t trust him, no one did. As much as I hate admitting this, I liked having that violent side in Chaos. I felt like we were missing it, we were missing having that person who would do anything to get the win. I quite liked it. I felt that it was almost as if I was edging towards Jay’s philosophy in a weird way. But, I know the difference between right and wrong and as much as you like something, it doesn’t mean its right.
IN: I see
Ospreay: I met Jay ages ago in York Hall, England, when he was introduced to Prince Devitt. I wasn’t around in New Japan at the time, I was just performing in the UK indies and we didn’t really talk to each other. We just said “Hi” that was it. I always remembered Jay and every time I saw him, he was getting better and better. I feel we’ve got this weird bond as well. He’s from New Zealand, my girlfriend’s family are from New Zealand, so we’ve got a bit of a bond. Jay knows my missus and her family and I did quite like Jay. I truly think that no matter how down or broken somebody is I always believe in my heart of hearts that they can be fixed.
Ospreay: But when Jay stabbed us in the back, when he stabbed Chaos in the back, I got told time and time again, to “stay out of this, this isn’t your fight.” It annoyed me because I wanted to help Okada, I wanted to help YOSHI-HASHI, I wanted to be there and to be part of it, but they kept saying “stay out of this, this isn’t your fight.” Now, it is my fight. There are no challengers for the NEVER Openweight Championship. I don’t want to be sitting on my arse at home any more. I want to be in the spotlight. I want to be in the main event. Once upon a time, I might have called Jay White my friend, now he’s a rival and one that needs to be dealt with. And there’s no one better to deal with him than me right now.
IN: My last question regarding Jay White, what do you expect against Jay White and what do you think the fight is going to be?
Ospreay: I think he’s going to underestimate me because he has Gedo in his corner. Now, Gedo helped me out a lot when I was growing in the Junior Heavyweight division and perhaps Gedo thinks he knows everything about Will Ospreay. I think Jay’s going to go into this fight super confident. But, I’ve kind of changed since Gedo left. There are some elements I’ve kept doing since those days, but there are other elements that have changed me and because of that I think I’ve become a better person and a better wrestler. Whatever strategy that Jay White brings, the moment that he turns his back on me and I bring this out [points to elbow] and I put my hidden blade right into the back of his head and knock him spark out that’s not enough for me. I will then hoist that guy up onto my shoulders and deliver the storm breaker. He’s going to hear it. This quiet voice saying “One, Two, Three”. My awesome music will play and all you hear is “Winner: NEVER Openweight Champion, Will Ospreay”. That’s something that’s going to set in, that Jay White isn’t unbeatable.