Will Ospreay: Nobody Would Know My Name Without NJPW

Following the expiration of his NJPW contract, Will Ospreay is set to become a full-time member of the All Elite Wrestling roster. This news was confirmed during Saturday's AEW Full Gear event, where Ospreay signed his official AEW contract. Before Ospreay fully transitions to AEW next year, though, he spoke about his extensive journey in NJPW – the company Ospreay believes put his name on the wrestling map.


"I've spent eight years of my life with New Japan," Ospreay said on the AEW Full Fear post-show press conference. "I was a very immature young man. I came into the business I don't think really prepared for what was to come. With everything, with New Japan, I've grown up in front of them, man. I can't tell you enough, it's a true blessing, the fact that I got to just be a wrestler there ... I can't tell you the gratitude that I feel right now because like none of you guys would know my name without New Japan. That's a reality. When I've done that match with Ricochet all those years ago, people just thought that was it. That was who I was. I've evolved, I've changed, and the best thing about it is I've matured now. I understand the responsibility that I'm in."


Ospreay first came aboard to NJPW in 2016, facing KUSHIDA at NJPW Invasion Attack. After claiming three reigns as IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, Opsreay elevated himself to the heavyweight division, later winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in April 2021. Through the budding partnership between NJPW and AEW, Ospreay, then the IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, began making appearances for AEW throughout the summer of 2022. In the summer of 2023, Ospreay returned to AEW, setting up notable matches for Forbidden Door, AEW All In, and AEW WrestleDream.

If you use quotes in this article, please credit the AEW Full Fear post-show press conference and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.