Kenny Omega has weighed in on the differences between New Japan champions Jay White and Will Ospreay, praising the former in doing so.
Although New Japan Pro-Wrestling isn’t quite as popular as it once was, the likes of Jay White and Will Ospreay – the reigning IWGP World Heavyweight and United States Heavyweight Champions, respectively – have helped maintain the promotion’s relevance.
Kenny Omega, who’s no stranger to either man, discussed the duo during a recent interview with Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp. Currently sidelined with a litany of injuries, ‘The Cleaner’ took time out of his schedule to discuss why, exactly, Jay White is superior to Will Ospreay:
“When you’re in a position like Will, someone who can do anything so easily, it’s tough to become very satisfied with the cheers and jeers of a small indie crowd, those little pick-me-ups, those start to mean more to you than focusing on ‘how do I reinvent myself to become a company guy and an investment for a million-dollar company,’ like what Jay White had to do.
Jay White wasn’t a freak athlete like Will, so he had to go into the think tank and come up with something that was marketable. Will just being Will gets crowds of a few hundred people cheering for Will Ospreay and he is satisfied with that. There is nothing wrong with that whatsoever.”
As Kenny Omega continued, he explained how Jay White made himself the face of New Japan just by thinking out of the box:
“When Jay White went to the drawing board and he’s looking at a guy like Will, who can do every single high flying move, who is younger, who probably has a more clean slate injury-wise, Jay probably thought, ‘I’m gonna have to think outside the box and I’m gonna have to come up with a way for this company to invest millions in me to market me in a way I want to be marketed so I can be valuable to this company.’
For Will, and guys like Will, where things come real easy, he just has to do all the moves that he knows and he kind of gets that false sense of ‘I am at the very top and pinnacle of the wrestling world because I get high ratings from one guy.’ It’s a tough trap to fall into.”
Kenny Omega ended the discussion by remembering when he received his first five-star rated contest, which came in August 2016. Omega stated that while he got over the concept of having acclaimed matches, Will Ospreay always “goes online and brags about his next five-star match”.
Omega has been absent from AEW programming since dropping the World Championship to ‘Hangman’ Adam Page at Full Gear. His list of injuries includes vertigo, a sports hernia, and “blown-out” knees. He’ll sadly be forced to miss AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door on Sunday night as a result.
Jay White and Will Ospreay will defend their respective championships during the pay-per-view. White will be met by three challengers in Adam Page, Adam Cole, and former champion Kazuchika Okada, while Orange Cassidy challenges Ospreay further down the card.