Will Ospreay Forced to Vacate IWGP World Heavyweight Championship After Devastating Injury

Published 05/20/2021, 7:57 AM EDT
TOKYO, JAPAN – APRIL 15: Will Ospreay shows the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship belt during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling at Korakuen Hall on April 15, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)


Will Ospreay won the brand new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship from Kota Ibushi at NJPW Sakura Genesis. This win made him the first British holder of the IWGP crown, but his reign has been cut short. Ospreay suffered a neck injury that forced him to vacate his title.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Will Ospreay suffers unfortunate injury

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 10:Will Ospreay enters the ring during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling G1 Climax 29 at Nippon Budokan on August 10, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.(Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

In 2020, Will Ospreay underwent a change in personality that made him more vicious. This new Ospreay hunted his former Chaos stablemate Kazuchika Okada and beat him at the G1 Climax. Although Okada beat him at Wrestle Kingdom, Ospreay triumphed in the New Japan Cup to book a date with Kota Ibushi.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

At Wrestle Kingdom, he beat Tetsuya Naito and Jay White to become IWGP Double Champion and held both the Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship. After his first defence against SANADA, NJPW announced they were merging the two belts to create the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.

Will Ospreay, the winner of the New Japan Cup, faced Ibushi at Sakura Genesis and beat him in an intense and physical match. Ospreay hit Ibushi with a V-Trigger like running knee and hit him with Stormbreaker for the win.

He even defended his title successfully against Shingo Takagi at Wrestling Dontaku in a match that received six stars from Dave Meltzer.

Unfortunately, it looks like he injured his neck during that match. This means he’ll have to vacate his title after just one defence, which is unfortunate for the youngster. His upcoming match with Okada is obviously off the table, and we’ll have to see how NJPW determines their new champion.

Does Will wrestle a dangerous style?

For those unaware with Japan’s cruiserweight style of wrestling, watching a Will Ospreay match will provide you with a clear cute example. From snap spulexes to 450 splashes, Ospreay’s offence is as brutal as it is flashy. However, the ability to deliver it smoothly makes him one of the world’s best.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

From his classic rivalry with Ricochet, we see him wrestling in a more choreographed style. This received criticism from certain sections of the IWC, but Ospreay changed his style completely.

Instead of just being flashy, he added a layer of physicality to his wrestling. Now, he uses a move called the Hidden Blade, which concussed Kota Ibushi the first time he used it.

However, the Brit is at the other end of the spectrum now. Due to wear and tear or negligence, Ospreay has suffered a devastating injury that could take years off his career. Will he adapt to a watered down style of wrestling, or will he return and begin falling on his neck immediately like Hiromu Takahashi?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Is Brock Lesnar’s UFC Career Overrated?

6 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Nathan Fulgado

1015 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT