From the moment Will Ospreay was announced as the newest member of the New Japan Pro Wrestling stable Chaos on March 3rd, fans of wrestling across the world wondered how he would impact NJPW. Appearing by video he would challenge Kushida for the IGWP Heavyweight Championship but, would taste defeat in a hard hitting match. However afterwards he would be offered a contract to become an official part of the roster which he signed on late April.
After being entered into the 2016 Best of the Super Juniors Tournament, many considered him to be an outsider to win the event but after a record of four wins defeating Bobby Fish, Jushin Thunder Liger, Volador Jr. and Ricochet within Block B sending him to the final, the possibility of Ospreay being the first man to win the tournament on his debut had a chance of becoming a reality.
Today, Ospreay joined the ranks of previous winners, Finn Bálor, Ricochet, Kushida and Kota Ibushi by defeating previous BOSJ 2012 Winner Ryusuke Taguchi in an superb match and fans will remember of his journey to get to the top with fondness, his match with Ricochet has without a shadow of doubt got fans talking about wrestling again. The bout being praised by many including William Regal criticised by Vader, but regardless in contrasting options it remains a match that all wrestling fans should watch.
What of Taguchi? Former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion & finalist in the glorious campaign to hold the Trophy he held in 2012. He may have lost but in a tournament where he also broke records by defeating world class opponent’s Matt Sydal, Rocky Romero, Kyle O’Reilly and Gedo, he certainly won’t be out of the Title picture for long.
This tournament has energised fans for all who has witnessed it and NJPW has made a bold statement to the world showing the faith and the potential it has in making Ospreay the BOTSJ Winner. This result will however come as no surprise to fans in the UK who have already witnessed him climb to the heights of Progress Champion in Progress and British Cruiserweight Champion in Rev Pro who knew when seeing him in action, he was a star of the future and that future has arrived.