Will Ospreay versus Kenny Omega is a big match for Wrestle Kingdom 17

NJPW, Kenny Omega (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)
NJPW, Kenny Omega (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images) /

The wrestling world is still catching its collective breath after what was a strong AEW PPV with Full Gear. From start to finish, the show delivered in a way that the promotion needed. But the news didn’t stop there. Fans woke up to news on Sunday that Kenny Omega is set to make his return to New Japan Pro Wrestling to take on a key rival in the company, Will Ospreay.

Omega made an appearance during the NJPW X STARDOM Historic X-Over event via video broadcast to make his challenge known.

“It’s been a long time, New Japan Pro Wrestling,” Omega said during the video. “Once AEW was built, nothing was keeping me in New Japan. So, I had to be replaced. And just who was that replacement? Oh, it just had to be the masterful William Ospreay. And how did that turn out? The crowds have gotten smaller. We can’t hear them cheering. You see there’s one real virus here, and that’s you Will.”

This continues a storyline between the two where Omega recognizes that Ospreay was the man that was tapped to replace him, but Omega is not impressed with his performance. This came up during Ospreay’s time in AEW when United Empire was in the tournament to crown the inaugural AEW Trios Championship, a tournament that The Elite walked away with the victory.

“All of you are second-rate, Kenny Omega knockoffs. But one more time, for the fans, for the good of pro wrestling, I’ll show you what separates Kenny Omega from a Will Ospreay. I will save the promotion. I haven’t forgotten what you’ve done, and I’m coming for you.”

Ospreay immediately responded, setting the match for the NJPW United States Championship in stone.

“The way I see it, he left and I stayed. I stayed when it got bad and I kept the heartbeat going,” Ospreay said to the crowd. “So, if you want to come back, be my guest.”

Ospreay versus Omega is as “must-see” that professional wrestling can be to set off 2023. They’ve been involved in multiple matches, but the last time they squared up in a singles match was back in December of 2015 at PWG All-Star Weekend 11. Omega picked up the victory in 16 minutes.

This is an interesting match for several reasons. Omega is one of the biggest names in AEW, and it’s rare that he takes a loss in any wrestling ring. So, does that mean he’s going to pick up a victory over one of NJPW’s biggest stars in Ospreay? Is this match also setting the stage for what could be Forbidden Door II in 2023? There’s a lot of opportunity that segues in the lead-up and from the fallout of this coming match.

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Kenny Omega versus Will Ospreay is a match that immediately grabs the attention of all wrestling fans. New Japan is looking to start 2023 hot and this is a great way to set the tone.