Will Ospreay jumped on Twitter to send a message to his upcoming opponent at New Japan Pro-Wrestling Wrestle Kingdom 13, Kota Ibushi. In the message, Ospreay expressed how appreciative he was for Ibushi's guidance while Ospreay was coping with the passing of Kris Travis, but he concluded the message by saying Ibushi is his idol turned rival.
On December 9, at the NJPW World Tag League Finals, Ibushi defeated Hirooki Goto to become the NEVER Openweight Champion. Ospreay would return from injury the very same night, defeating Taichi and afterward challenging Ibushi to a NEVER Openweight Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Ospreay addressed his friend turned rival in the tweet below.
"You have no idea how much you helped me this day," Ospreay wrote to Ibushi. "Only a few days before this photo/match, I lost a friend who helped me in British Wrestling, Kris Travis. To be in the ring with a man I would call an inspiration, helped me not focus on grieving but to celebrate his life. After this moment and how fans reacted to how we were in the ring, I knew this was the match I wanted. Now I'm under a week from my dream match on the biggest stage of my life. For a championship that has lost its place on New Japan but now shall live up to what it should be, an Openweight Championship. What I'm saying is thank you for helping me all those years ago, but January 4th, 2019, my idol is my rival."
Match 1.— "Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay (@WillOspreay) December 29, 2018
January 4th 2019.
Wrestle Kingdom 13.
NEVER Openweight Championship. pic.twitter.com/cNUy9Ai9SU
Ospreay was referring to his late friend, Kris Travis, who, after multiple battles with stomach cancer, passed away at the age of 32 in March of 2016. Travis was a featured performer in numerous UK and European wrestling promotions, including PROGRESS Wrestling, Insane Championship Wrestling, Premier British Wrestling, Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling, and many others.
Wrestling Inc. will have live coverage of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 next Friday, beginning at 2 am ET.
#NJPW WRESTLE KINGDOM 13 less than 2 wks away!! Join us LIVE Jan 4th 2AM EST on https://t.co/Tj7UBJ4PjP!! #njwk13 1ST MATCH: @ibushi_kota (C) vs. @WillOspreay !!#NJPWWorld Sign up about $9.99!!#newjapanprowrestling pic.twitter.com/R044yPnsp2— njpwworld (@njpwworld) December 27, 2018