Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay are considered two of the best in the pro wrestling business. The two finally faced off against each other for the second time at Wrestle Kingdom 17, where Omega was triumphant and Will Ospreay returned the favor during the Forbidden Door pay-per-view. Ospreay has now revealed why he will never like Kenny Omega as a person.

Their feud carried overtones of real-life tension, especially when Omega criticized Ospreay for not really being able to maintain New Japan Pro Wrestling’s momentum after Omega’s 2019 departure to help form All Elite Wrestling. Ospreay’s bitterness over these remarks hasn’t really subsided, as he revealed in a recent interview on AEW Unrestricted.

Reflecting on his time in NJPW, Ospreay acknowledged Omega’s initial support when he left for AEW, recalling Omega’s words to him and Jay White about carrying on the legacy of New Japan.

“The respect I do have for Kenny — the story goes, when left New Japan to form AEW, he took me and Jay aside and said how much he cares about New Japan and how you guys have got to be the standard bearer, take the flag and run with it. I idolize Kenny, he’s the man, especially if you followed any of us stuff during that golden age of New Japan, nobody could touch Kenny. Then for him to just like — I felt like I was doing it man, especially as a junior heavyweight. You have no idea how hard it is be promoted as a junior heavyweight and I was put in the New Japan cup, I was put in the G1 Climax. I’m the only guy to do the cup, the super juniors, the G1 Climax, and the junior tag league within one calendar year. Nobody else has done that, it’s just me. That’s as a junior.”


However, the pandemic presented massive challenges, and Omega’s criticism of Ospreay’s efforts during this time left a lasting impact. Ospreay described the grueling conditions of wrestling in a pandemic, dealing with quarantine restrictions and performing in near-silence due to crowd restrictions.

Ospreay’s resentment toward Omega grew after enduring these difficulties. He expressed his frustration with Omega’s lack of empathy, emphasizing that Omega had not experienced the same hardships and made it clear he will never like The Best Bout Machine as a human being.

“Then, the pandemic kicked in, which was hell. I don’t even want to — it was the worst thing that could ever happen to New Japan. It messed up a bunch of the foreigners that were over there. But yet still, with our hands shackled together at the bottom of the ocean, I someone still managed to breathe life into New Japan. I was able to put on these amazing matches in flipping silence. The crowd weren’t allowed to cheer, doing 40-60 minute matches with just [clapping]. It rips your soul apart for what professional wrestling is because it is a concert, it’s about performing back and forth. To have him, who has never been under those situations, who has never been locked in a room for two weeks with a window that opened this much.

To be in that room with all of your thoughts and everything that’s dark inside of you. Everyone’s got mental health issues these days, everyone’s struggling. To be locked in Japan in a room where sometimes you weren’t even allowed to breathe for god sakes. You were just given these boxes, hope you enjoy your sushi, sometimes you didn’t. Sometimes it was real awful and to have him, he was there, he lived it and understood. Yet, no one could understand this. Somehow, we still managed to find a way of breathing. We still managed to find a way, kicking and screaming. For him to belittle my work, I’ve never looked at him the same, I never will look at him the same. I’ve all lost types of respect for him, I don’t like him as a human being.

He was my wall. When Wrestle Kingdom came around, he whooped my ass in there, it was 80% him and 20% me. By the time Forbidden Door came around, it was in his back garden. It was in Canada in front of his hometown, man. I just wanted to antagonize him. I just wanted him to feel even a fraction of what I felt during Tokyo Dome, man. I was the hometown boy. People were happy to see him, but people respect the fact that I stayed the course and breathed life into this place when he buried the company man on numerous times during Being The Elite with the Bucks. I’ve got no respect for him. I have no respect for the guy whatsoever now. Do I respect his ability, of course I do. Him as a human being? I couldn’t give a tuss about him anymore.”

On the May 1 episode of AEW Dynamite, Kenny Omega returned for the first time since December but was taken out by The Elite. Only time will tell whether Ospreay and Omega will ever cross paths again.

Do you empathize with what Will Ospreay had to say about Kenny Omega? Sound off in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

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