Earlier this month, Will Ospreay was pulled from NJPW’s Road to Power Struggle tour so he could recover from an injury he sustained at a New Japan/Revolution Pro Wrestling Global Wars crossover show. Though the British high-flyer would miss the customary tag team matches building up to his title shot against NEVER Openweight Champion Taichi, the company said that championship bout would still go on as scheduled. However, on October 24, NJPW announced that Ospreay will not wrestle at Power Struggle due to injury. With no other challengers currently in line for the NEVER belt, the championship match was pulled from the card.
NJPW released this statement about the match cancellation with the heading “(Announcement and Apology)” on their English-language website:
It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that Will Osprey will miss the event in Osaka on November 3rd (Sat). As such the NEVER Openweight Championship match has been canceled.
Having become injured in the UK, Will Ospreay has been undergoing treatment. However, his treatment has not progressed as quickly as we had hoped and unfortunately, he will have to miss the event on November 3 (Saturday) in Osaka Prefectural Gym (Edion Arena Osaka).
As a result, the NEVER Openweight Championship match (Taichi vs Will Ospreay), scheduled for the same event, will be canceled.
We offer our sincerest apologies to our fans who were looking forward to this championship match. Good luck Will, we look forward to your return at upcoming events.
In recent tweets, Ospreay had not been optimistic about his condition, saying on October 21 he still couldn’t work out and found sleeping difficult. He apologized to fans via social media after NJPW’s announcement.
Taichi, who tweets in-character, snarkily responded to his match cancellation with a tweet directed at the company that translates (via Google Translate) to, “… ? I’m so amazed. You want to return your belt? Some of them are looking for a home, a window in the back alley.”
With the replacement for the NEVER bout yet to be announced, the announced portion of the Power Struggle card is now:
- RPW British Heavyweight Championship match – Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship match – Chris Jericho (c) vs. EVIL
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi and David Finlay vs. The Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi)
- Kazuchika Okada and Beretta vs. Jay White and Bad Luck Fale
- Super Junior Tag League tournament final match between the two teams who have scored the most points in tag league competition