Will Ospreay Sidelined With Neck Injury, Vacates IWGP Heavyweight Title

New Japan has revealed Will Ospreay suffered a neck injury earlier this month, resulting in him having to relinquish the IWGP Heavyweight Title.

New Japan has released a statement revealing the now-former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay has suffered an injury to his neck. Since the injury will keep Ospreay on the sidelines for an undetermined amount of time, the decision has been made to strip the British star of New Japan’s richest prize. What will now be done with the vacant title has not yet been announced.

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Stripped Of The Title

“There is no timetable for Ospreay’s return to action at this time, and as a result, his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship will be vacated,” New Japan’s short statement reads. It also reveals Ospreay sustained the injury during a successful defense of the title on May 4, 2021. The match took place on night two of Wrestling Dontaku against Shingo Takagi.

Ospreay won the IWGP World Title back in April by beating Kota Ibushi. Ibushi had won the title at this year’s Wrestle Kingdom, later unifying it with the now-defunct IWGP Intercontinental Title. Ospreay made history by winning the title as he was the first British wrestler to ever lay claim to it. It also demonstrated New Japan’s faith in him, signifying that the company would be built around Ospreay going forward.

Back To The UK With Bea


Plans will now change as Ospreay will return to his home country for treatment on his injured neck. There may well be a silver lining for Ospreay, even if he doesn’t see it right now. Ospreay is in a relationship with fellow professional wrestler Bea Priestley. It has been heavily rumored Priestley will be debuting for NXT UK any day now. If true, the two of them will not have to live thousands of miles apart, at least for the time being.

As for the now-vacant title, odds are New Japan won’t wait around when it comes to making plans for what’s next. While a number of the promotion’s shows were postponed recently due to the pandemic, it has been given the green light to resume business later this week. It will run three shows at Korakuen Hall next week, which feels like the perfect setting to announce plans for its biggest prize

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