Will Ospreay On His 2021 Neck Injury: "I Was F****d"
The diagnosis wasn't good on Will Ospreay's neck injury in 2021
Will Ospreay's first reign as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion didn't exactly go to plan as the leader of the United Empire was forced to vacate the title due to a serious neck injury only 46 days after he defeated Kota Ibushi to win the belt.
Ospreay did defend the title on one occasion, defeating Shingo Takagi in a 44-minute clash at Wrestling Dontaku, and The Commonwealth Kingpin reflected on the match with Shingo and the neck injury during an appearance on The Sessions with Renee Paquette.
"Shingo tests me when it comes to the ring of trying to find new intricate ways of being able to perform our style of match. I do feel like we have a different way of looking at pro wrestling. We did a match in May at Wrestling Dontaku and that was one of the most hellacious nights for us because the night before, all the card was fine, and then a couple of COVID breakouts, and this is brand new, a couple of wrestlers got COVID, we were like, 'Ah s**t.' We had to defer everyone's brain away from that and we just went out there for like 46 minutes. It was a real long match, but it was constantly moving. To do that in silence is some of the hardest sh**t I've done in my life," Ospreay stated.
"It was hard as well because that's the one I got injured in. There was a point in May where I had performed a shooting star press in that match, I guess it was a little further than what I usually had, but instead of my body hitting [flat], it hit [up] and I kind of scorpion'd or cobra'd in a weird way. I felt this pop go off in my back and I had never felt it before. I injured my back and I've had an injured neck for ages. By the end of the match, I was proper f*****g battered," he continued.
"Japan did a mad national lockdown, and I was like, 'I'm going to take time off' and go and see what the injuries were. I went home, got it looked at, got MRIs, I was f****d. I'll keep the actual full extent of the injuries to myself because I don't think it's anyone's business, but it's one of those ones where I was so mangled. I could have gone through with it, I could have done the naughty way of going about it, but for the first time I was like, 'I'm hurt, I need to go home and sort this out.' It was building upon things, there was a lot of mental pressure on us and all these injuries, it was so bad."
Ospreay would return to the ring in September of 2021, proclaiming himself to be the real IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. He would compete on NJPW STRONG in the United States, as well as on the indies for the likes of RevPro and OTT before returning to Japan for Wrestle Kingdom 16 in January 2022.
H/T to Fightful