Will Ospreay has recently answered the question that has been pressing fans of New Japan Pro Wrestling for years – can he speak Japanese?
The Kingpin of Pro Wrestling is one of the top stars in the top promotion in Japan, making a big name for himself as one of the best wrestlers of all time. He has had some of the best matches of all time and has achieved more five star matches than both Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada, despite being under 30 years old. It is very likely he will go down as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time if he continues on his path and has unlimited potential in his future.
However, one thing that may hold him back in New Japan is the language barrier. You can never truly being the face of the company without speaking the language of the country – that is why WWE never put the WWE Championship on Shinsuke Nakamura. He may leave NJPW when his contract expires in WWE to sign for AEW, but if he does learn Japanese fluently then he has the chance to become a legend in Japan for his in-ring work.
Does Will Ospreay Speak Japanese?
Will Ospreay has confirmed that he does not speak Japanese, although he did try to learn the language and has a deeply found respect for the language and culture of Japan.
Despite being part of the New Japan Roster for 7 years (he signed his first deal with the company in 2016, Will Ospreay has tried and failed to learn to speak Japanese. While he admits he is not good at learning languages, Japanese is known to be one of the hardest languages to learn, especially with him tonal the language is in speaking form.
Speaking to New Japan before his Wrestle Kingdom 17 match against former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega, Will Ospreay revealed that he didn’t speak Japanese despite trying his best to learn. He also admitted that the Japanese culture “scared him” but that he couldn’t help but respect the Japanese work ethic.
“I tried to learn the language and I can barely speak English bro. I’m not gonna hide the fact that I’m not very good with the language and I’m not very good. Even the culture scares me a little bit. It intimidates me.”
“I won’t sit here and pretend that I’m fully educated about how the Japanese culture works, but I’m fully aware of the work ethic we have in Japanese professional wrestling and even the Japanese culture. The work ethic is next to none and I do believe that even though I can’t speak the language you can’t help but admire the work effort and the the amount that I put in.”
The question about his language skills came from an accusation from Kenny Omega. The former AEW Champion insulted the English wrestler, claiming that he used “Google translate” insults to garner “Cheap Heat” from the crowd. This is the opposite to Omega, who learned Japanese and ingrained himself in the culture, despite refusing to speak Japanese for years in the ring to keep himself as hated as he could.
While he does not speak Japanese, Will Ospreay has managed to become one of the biggest stars in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He became the first Englishman to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion in 2021 and will go down as one of the greatest British wrestlers of all time, even if the 29 year old were to retire tomorrow.
Will Ospreay is set to take on Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 17. Click below to see a video hyping up that match.
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.