Former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay has recalled almost signing for WWE in 2016 while discussing his NJPW tenure.
Over the past few years Ospreay has established himself as one of NJPW’s top gaijin (non-Japanese) talents, notably winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Title in 2021.
Speaking on Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Ospreay confirmed that he passed up on offers from a number of promotions while with NJPW, including WWE in 2016.
Explaining why he chose to stay with NJPW, Ospreay said:
“The selling point of New Japan was I got to come home. WWE — I had to move there. TNA, most likely the same thing and it wasn’t a guaranteed money.
“With New Japan, I got to come home … So, the fact that I got to come home was incredible.”
“But in the same sense of, I’m not going to lose sleep if I never (wrestle at a WWE WrestleMania style event).
“I never wanted to get to this level of fame with wrestling, I just enjoyed doing it on the weekends and New Japan offered me a lot of money and I was like, ‘Woah, you can make money from this, can’t you?'”
Ospreay previously confirmed that his NJPW contract expires in February 2024.
With Ospreay set to face off against Lance Archer in an IWGP US Title #1 Contender’s bout, many fans have predicted that Ospreay will challenge for Kenny Omega’s title either at AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door later this month, or at AEW All In in August.
Transcription via Wrestling Inc.
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