IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match made official for January 4 at press conference.
A press conference in Tokyo on November 5 made official the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match between Hiromu Takahashi and Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom 14 night one, January 4. Champion and challenger addressed the media in Tokyo, with the returning Takahashi speaking first.
Takahashi: Will Ospreay. He’s something else. As you all know, while I’ve been away this last year and four months, he’s been amazing. Perfect! A perfect human! He really carried the junior heavyweight division. From the bottom of my heart, I’m so happy to be able to face him. After November 3, I spent the last couple of days thinking. What am I better at than Ospreay? Power, speed technique, athletic ability, balance? There isn’t a single area that I’m better than him in. But like Will said after his match on the third, even after I broke my neck, I stood and didn’t give up until the very end. Thinking about it, I think I can win. Win. Yep, I think I can do it.
Ospreay: This is so cool. Nobody was happier than me to see you come back. I missed you. But while you’ve been away, I’ve changed. I’m not a cat. I got in shape, I’m heavier. I’m a damn sex pig. So I got a friend for Daryl. Percy the Pig. We need to have Daryl and Percy do commentary at the Tokyo Dome.
But on a serious note. When I first heard about the double header in the Tokyo Dome, I thought they would need something big. Every year the main event is the IWGP heavyweight Championship. Two nights in the Tokyo Dome, they need something big! Then, around the New Japan Cup, Naito started talking about wanting two belts. And I guessed it, in March! I said ‘I bet there’ll be the Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships one night and a double title match on the other. In Osaka, the fans didn’t make noise for a double title match. What if the fans hadn’t voted for a double title match? Somebody said Tanahashi and Chris Jericho should main event night two.
Stop right there. Tanahashi is a legend, Jericho is a legend. But why should it be that and not us? When (Hiromu) came out, it sounded like an earthquake hit. Are we being ignored again? I’ve been leaned on this year more than anyone else. I’ve done all the work. Opened the Tokyo Dome, main evented the Anniversary Show, went against Phantasmo, entered the New Japan Cup, was MVP in Best of the Super Junior and had match of the year. Australia, the G1, Super J-Cup, Destruction, junior tag league, nobody worked harder than me this year. This, this match is what people want to see. You need to have a sit down and think about what is going to happen when Hiromu Takahashi comes back and has a match with the wrestler of the year. Me.
I’m a dumb arse. I shouldn’t be on social media for hell, but I stepped up. When people left or asked for time off, I stepped in. Are we going to pretend the junior heavyweights don’t exist?
Takahashi: He isn’t wrong. that was excellent. Too excellent. Perfect! You are clearly the one to carry this division. I have nothing else to say. It makes me so happy that while I’ve been gone somebody has been here to say this kind of thing. I’ve said I wanted the junior heavyweights to main event, but couldn’t make it happen. I want the junior heavyweights to be above the heavyweights. So you, I love you.
Questions from the press:
–For Hiromu, we know that this title match is made, but there is time before January 4. Will you wrestle before then?
Hiromu: How about that? I want to know what you think.
–Well, going straight into a title match is tough and you may want a tune-up, but going straight into the title match would have more impact.
Hiromu: Hmm. Well, I’ll take all that into consideration.
–How will you approach Hiromu’s tricky style?
Ospreay: It’s wild and wacky, but that’s me as well. I might not come back off a broken neck and throw myself into turnbuckles and guardrails, but I moonsaulted off lighting rigs, of balconies. Combat fire with… more fire? Let’s just burn the place down, haha.
–We heard your thoughts on Ospreay, but what about the man who was in the ring when you were injured, Dragon Lee?
Takahashi: It’s been a year and four months, and I think in that time the scars in his heart have healed, and the same for me. It’s all good. So come on, come on to New Japan.
(in English) Ospreay. One more idea. How about you and me and the other juniors make a faction to take on the heavyweights?
Ospreay: Hell yeah, let’s do it.
Takahashi: Just an idea. Don’t forget it.
Ospreay: Let’s have a meeting. Talk about it over dinner.