Wrestle Kingdom 17 is just around the corner, and as usual it will be celebrated on January 4th at the Toyo Dome. The show promeses to be one of the best of 2023, and with one of its most-talked about matches being Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay for the IWGP US championship.
The match between Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay is not only going to be an early match of the year contender of 2023 but has other implications besides the IWGP US championship, but a passing of the torch between the two, and that passing of the torch is one of the main themes of this match and story.
Before their upcoming Wrestle Kingdom match, Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay only faced each other on singles competition once, and this was for PWG back in 2015, with many things changing during the last time they faced each other. Both wrestlers in some ways are now in the same position they were once, as the gaijin ace of NJPW
The paths of Omega and Ospreay crossed many times, especially when Omega as leader of Bullet Club collided with Kazuchika Okada’s CHAOS, group were Ospreay was a member. parallels to both can be made regarding their careers in NJPW, as both started in the Juniors divisions and later went on to be leader of factions and world champions for NJPW. For many, once Omega left NJPW for AEW many thought that that Jay White and Will Ospreay would be the successors of Omega as the top gaijin of NJPW, and with most fans having the believe that the mantle belongs to Ospreay.
Ospreay for a long time has been referencing Kenny Omega on his matches, this last year, with several attempts on using the One-Winged Angel, especially on his G1 Climax finals match against Kazuchika Okada. Both Omega ad Ospreay did cross paths on an AEW ring this year in the Eliminator tournament to crown the first AEW trios champions, and with the seeds of their match being planted there.
After a difficult title defense against Tetsuya Naito at Battle Auttumn, Kenny Omega challenged Ospreay for a watch on Wrestle Kingdom. These events shook the wrestling world, but the words of Omega about Ospreay being a pandemic champion and blaming him for the quiet crowds of NJPW were words that cut Ospreay deep.
Ospreay wants to prove to Omega he has surpassed him already and wants no debate that he is the gaijin ac, meanwhile, Omega wants to prove not only Opsreay but NJPW that there’s no other Kenny Omega and that NJPW made a mistake by letting him go. The story is very deep and with different layers to it.