Will Ospreay Pays Tribute To Hayabusa With Special Attire, Chris Jericho Responds

Will Ospreay as Hayabusa

On November 20th, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Stardom co-promoted their first-ever event together named “Historic X-Over.” As part of the show, Will Ospreay successfully defended his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against challenger Shota Umino in the semi-main event.

That wasn’t the only headline-worthy event from the match, however. Will Ospreay had a unique gift for the viewing audience which was revealed while making his entrance at Historic X-Over.

Will Ospreay’s Tribute to Hayabusa

During his entrance for his title defence against Shota Umino, Will Ospreay donned a very special mask as a tribute to the late, great wrestling legend Hayabusa. After the match, Ospreay took to Twitter to share how the tribute came to be.

“Ok costume last night has a lil story. Hayabusa is one of my favourites of all time. In May this year I wanted to wear the mask as a tribute but I wanted to have the families blessing instead of not giving back to them. I took Hayabusa daughter out for lunch and asked for the blessing and how much it would be an honour to wear the mask. She was so kind she allowed me to pay tribute to her father. No hesitation said yes immediately.

The mask is made by the original mask maker himself “Kuniharu Yamagata/Naughty Boy” and is helping by selling the mask on the fans and the money going towards the family.

It was meant to be in May but I got covid and the timing was a little weird giving the circumstances. But it was either today or never. So happy and blessed that you enjoyed the costume.

Please buy “Hayabusa” official merch so they get the money and show everyone how much I love him.

Thank you so much for the biggest honour of my life.”

Will Ospreay’s tribute attracted the attention of the wrestling world. Perhaps most notably, it caught the eye of current reigning Ring of Honor World Champion Chris Jericho. Jericho quote tweeted Ospreay, giving his approval.

Hayabusa was best known for his time at Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling in the 1990’s. He is credited for innovating the Falcon Arrow and Phoenix Splash, two moves which are now widely used in professional wrestling matches around the world. A fan favourite whenever he wrestled, he dazzled audiences with an array of high-flying moves and serves as an inspiration for many modern-day wrestlers.