This Sunday, Will Ospreay is heading into what could be the biggest match of his career. Will is facing off against another top athlete, Kenny Omega for the IWGP United States Championship at the AEWxNJPW crossover PPV, Forbidden Door. Omega has already beat Ospreay for the title earlier in the year at New Japan's biggest show of the year, Wrestle Kingdom. Now it's time for a rematch on North American soil, uniquely in Kenny's home country of Canada.
Ahead of the event, I emailed a few questions to Will and he was kind of enough to offer some thoughtful responses. Here are Will's answers, edited slightly for clarity.
How did your shoulder feel after the match with Lance Archer at NJPW Dominion?
As good as it physically can be, the weight difference was for sure a factor facing Lance. The sheer mass of the guy and it not being fully healed was extremely difficult to be able to hit any type of power moves, so had to go for strikes instead.
With your first encounter with Kenny Omega already a frontrunner for match of the year, do you find there is more pressure to follow it up or less pressure?
There is way more pressure as everyone will always want to be able to top it. This time, I’m more motivated to get the right results and have answers to his offense
When you have such a high-profile match and then do a rematch, how to try to keep things fresh?
It’s all about the training camps, we have to review footage and see where the holes are in his game and exploit them. We are two of the finest pro wrestlers in the game now.
When you’re not wrestling, do you watch wrestling? What are your go-to eras or matches to watch?
I always watch wrestling whether it’s GIFs, music videos or full matches. Currently, my favorite matches to watch this year are in NJPW, AEW and I occasionally will pop into WWE, but more on the PPVs. Nothing beats big singles matches in Japan. Whether it’s Marufuji, classic Tanahashi,
What have you learned recently that you wish you could go back and tell yourself five years ago?
Don’t use social media as a diary.
Do you have a favorite match you’ve competed in?
Shingo Takagi - Best Of The Super Juniors 2019
What does Will Ospreay do when he needs a break from wrestling?
I don’t really have breaks but I’m going to start I promise, I do… go home to my family and do school runs.
Are you watching any TV shows currently?
I watch Netflix films more than I do TV shows. I love The Super Mario Bros Movie, I like stand-up comedy as well. But I, more or less, watch YouTube wrestling matches.
What music do you listen to when training?
Instead of songs, I’ll put an album that legit changes my mood to happy every time it’s on.
Purple Disco Machine - Exotica.
Watch AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door, this Sunday, June 25th on traditional PPV or on Bleacher Report.
KNITRO Reviews WCW Halloween Havoc '95 with Special Guest AEW's "The Butcher" Andy Williams
We had to bring in a special guest for this monumental review of the infamous WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 pay-per-view. Colin, Jordan and Rob are joined by The Butcher, Andy Williams of AEW's The Butcher & The Blade. We go through the entire PPV, including the infamous monster truck sumo match, Sting and Flair vs. Arn and Pillman and Macho Man vs. Luger. Andy provides really great insight from a wrestler's perspective and we all have some laughs.
Colin Young and Rob Pasbani are lifelong wrestling fans, and Jordan Olds is a newer fan who has never seen one episode of WCW Monday Nitro. Join the trio as we chronologically watch the entire series, week-by-week on our new show, Knotfest KNITRO. Watch on Youtube.
What's on TV this week?
WWE NXT, tonight at 8 pm is advertising the Gold Rush special on USA Network
- World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins defends vs. Bronn Breakker
- Carmelo Hayes and Baron Corbin face-to-face
- NXT North American Champion Wes Lee defends against Tyler Bate
- Brooks Jensen & Josh Briggs vs. Edris Enofe & Malik Blade vs. Hank Walker & Tank Ledger in a triple threat to determine #1 contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championships
- Dana Brooke vs. Cora Jade
- Jakara Jackson & Lash Legend vs. Valentina Feroz & Yulisa Leon
- Chase U pep rally for Thea Hail
Dark Side of the Ring is on Vice at 8pm tonight focusing on the life of Matt "Doink the Clown" Bourne.
AEW Dynamite is Wednesday at 8pm on TBS:
- Orange Cassidy & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Daniel Garcia
- TBS Champion Kris Statlander vs. Taya Valkyrie
- Concession stand brawl: Jeff Jarrett vs. Mark Briscoe
- Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara & Minoru Suzuki vs. Action Andretti, Darius Martin & AR Fox
- Blind eliminator tournament for an AEW Tag Team title shot
- The Hardys vs. The Gunns
- Adam Cole will speak
Impact Wrestling Thursday at 8pm on AXS announced:
- oVe (Sami Callihan, Jake Crist & Madman Fulton) vs. Brian Myers & The Good Hands (Jason Hotch & John Skyler)
- The Design (Kon & Angels) vs. Jonathan Gresham & Mike Bailey
- Taylor Wilde vs. Killer Kelly
- Bully Ray & Steve Maclin vs. Eddie Edwards & Frankie Kazarian
The official matches for AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door this Saturday:
- IWGP World Heavyweight title: SANADA defends against Jungle Boy
- AEW World Championship: MJF defends against Hiroshi Tanahashi
- IWGP United States Championship: Kenny Omega defends against Will Ospreay
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Bryan Danielson
More Wrestling News
The big news coming out of Raw is that Logan Paul is officially entered into the Men's Money in the Bank match, one week from Saturday. He joins Ricochet, Shinsuke Nakamura, Butch, Santos Escobar, Diamian Priest, and LA Knight. All the competitors came out last night on Raw, and the real story is the huge pop LA Knight got for his entrance… YEAH! I would've said Knight has the best chance of winning it, but I think it's a pretty sure shot that Paul wins the briefcase because WWE loves getting that mainstream rub. Paul can take the briefcase all over the place for them and show up occasionally to tease a cash-in. I can see Paul eventually having a rematch with Seth Rollins for the title. The segment was really fun:
Meanwhile, Trish Stratus earned the final spot in the Women's Money in the Bank match, and will face Becky Lynch, Bayley, IYO SKY, Zelina Vega, and Zoey Stark. I can see Zelina or IYO taking the match. Other matches announced this week include Cody Rhodes vs. Dominik Mysterio and the Bloodline Civil War with Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa vs. The Usos.
Tomosso Ciampa returned on Raw, attacking Miz and winning their short match. Expect Ciampa to be aligned with Johnny Gargano and Dexter Lumis.
Finn Balor attacked Seth Rollins ahead of his big title defense tonight on NXT. I wouldn't be surprised if Balor shows up again tonight on NXT to prevent Breakker from winning the title, ahead of his challenge against Rollins at Money in the Bank.
If you missed the epic, cinematic segment with the Bloodline from Smackdown on Friday, here it is in full.
Kenny Omega will not be appearing on any more television leading up to Forbidden Door this Sunday. F4W reports that Kenny won't be on Dynamite, Rampage or Collision. There will likely be a video package hyping his big main event match against Ospreay on AEW TV this week. PWInsider reports that the match is scheduled to close the show. No word on if Hangman Adam Page or The Young Bucks will be at the shows. There is a rumor that CM Punk might appear on Dynamite this Wednesday as a result of the Elite's absence.
Punk made his return this past week on AEW Collision, and as always, created a lot of headlines, for what he said when cameras were rolling and when they were off. During the show, he made reference to his fight with the Young Bucks and his previous feud with MJF, saying he has scores to settle. The Chicago crowd was behind him:
It was perhaps what he said after the show stopped airing that is getting far more mainstream attention. Punk brought in a fan with a sign that read “Support LGBTQ+ Kids” and told a very passionate speech to the crowd:
"The reason I support trans kids, trans grown-ups, gay, straight, lesbian, whoever, is because I know when I was growing up, I didn’t fit in anywhere. That it was because of the clothes I wore, what my hair looked like, the music I listened to. Those are all things I can rectify. I can cut my hair, I can listen to jazz, I don’t know what. But to be somebody who’s gay, lesbian, and especially trans, I don’t know what it feels like to be trapped in a body that I don’t feel I belong in. That is why I support that. Because I know I didn’t fit in anywhere until I found pro-wrestling and all the freaks and geeks in the locker room who are just like me. Maybe because they’re a little psychotic and they couldn’t hold down a real job, but that’s another story. Support trans kids, support gay and lesbian rights. I want everybody to be themselves. Just do no harm to everybody else."