Will Ospreay has revealed that he will NEVER sign for WWE and wants to continue his run as one of the best wrestlers in the world in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The Kingpin is a former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and currently leads his own faction (United Empire) in the promotion. He would be a huge coup for WWE if they managed to sign him, but sadly for them he has “no aspirations” of that.
Speaking to Fightful, Will Ospreay revealed he had no plans to go to WWE and that it had never been a dream of his.
“I have no aspirations of going to WWE, at all. It’s not because of the product or anything, I’m not a fan of it, I will happily say, but my lifestyle, I never wanted to be the big star pro wrestler. Japan allows me to do a tour and come home and live my family life. If anybody has ever spent more than a couple of days with me, family to me is everything. I love my mom, I love my dad, no shame in saying it. Love my nan and granddad and will bend over backward and fold myself in half for those guys. If you are part of that friend circle that I consider family, I’ll do the exact same thing. It’s important for me to have those breaks away from wrestling to be able to live that life because one day I wish to be like my dad or granddad or even my mom because they are the people that made me. I want to do that one day. New Japan, for me, is the enhancement and the focus is professional wrestling.”
However, back in 2016 Will Ospreay came close to signing with the WWE. He was scouted by William Regal to be part of the Cruiserweight Classic, the tournament that sought to reignite the under 205lb division in the WWE.
Will Ospreay turned down WWE in 2016
He revealed in an interview with Chris Van Vilet that he was offered a spot in the tournament by fellow Englishman William Regal, and that he was even keen on competing in it. However, he had agreed to wrestle for New Japan in the April of that year which would have caused a conflict of interest for himself in WWE.
“Yes I was [close], but not really. Like nowhere near, to be honest. It was just phone calls, it was just like [William] Regal called me while I was filming a commercial for Virgin Trains or something like that. And he was just like, ‘Do you fancy doing the Cruiserweight Classic, we have this tournament happening, you’ve got to be under 205 lbs.’ And I was like, ‘I mean, I’m interested yeah but I am going to New Japan in April.’
And there was nothing signed saying that I was legally New Japan’s property at that time, it was just, ‘Yeah, I’m doing this, would you have a problem if I did New Japan?’ And then Regal just drops the one line where he’s like, ‘Let me ask Triple H and I’ll get right back to you.’ And me being the kid, I’m like, ‘What the f**k is going on?’
“So it was just one of those things where Regal asked Triple H, and he was like ‘Yeah, I’m fine with him doing New Japan, I’m fine with him doing the Super Juniors and then he can come do the Cruiserweight Classic, and then he’s free to do what he wants to do.’
But then as it started getting closer to April, there was a call in February — no, March, in fact. And they said that they wanted me full-time, and I would have to go over there and be a part of the system. And I kind of wasn’t ready for that, for me.”
Instead, Will Ospreay rejected WWE and took the booking with NJPW instead. This was clearly the best move possible as he became a huge star with the promotion, wrestling his own style of wrestling rather than having to wrestle the WWE way of fighting in the ring.
He recently was awarded two five-star matches in one week, wrestling in AEW and Rev Pro. He also was given another one the week prior in his G1 Climax final loss to Kazuchika Okada, making him joint second on the list of most five star matches of all time.
Will Ospreay currently wrestles for a number of promotions, including New Japan Pro Wrestling and All Elite Wrestling. He is one of the best wrestlers in the world and it considered to be a main eventer in NJPW despite only being 29 years old. He has altered his style from the reckless ways of his youth and now is a technical, vicious fighter.
He is currently on a trajectory to become one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, something that could be hampered if Will Ospreay signs for WWE. I’m sure Triple H will try to get him to sign a deal again soon, but based off previous comments it seems unlikely that Will Ospreay signs for WWE.
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Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.