Will Ospreay has steadily racked up accomplishments in New Japan Pro Wrestling this year, winning the NEVER Openweight Championship for the first time at Wrestle Kingdom 13, making his New Japan Cup debut, winning Best of the Super Juniors for a second time, and winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Dominion. Soon after he picked up the junior title for the third time, he declared his desire to enter G1 Climax 29, and it was soon revealed that he would become one of the small number of Junior Heavyweight Champions to enter the tournament.
However, an announcement from NJPW now throws Ospreay’s G1 future into question. Ospreay was removed from the July 15 show in Hokkaido because, according to New Japan, he suffered a neck injury. So far, this doesn’t impact Ospreay’s standing in the G1 (he’s currently in the middle of A Block at 1-1) because his next tournament match is scheduled for July 18, while his July 15 match was a show-opening six-man tag. The company made sure to say Ospreay doesn’t have certain types of serious neck injuries, but didn’t specify when he’ll be back in the ring.
In New Japan’s words:
Ospreay is not suffering from any skeletal or nervous issues. His status for the next G1 Climax event on Thursday July 18 will be determined after Ospreay undergoes thorough medical evaluation.
Ospreay has a history of injuries, having damaged his neck in the past and missed over a month due to a rib injury in the fall of 2018. His health has been a topic of speculation and concern among wrestling fans and critics, with some blaming his high-risk, high-flying wrestling style and some his strenuous schedule. (Ospreay hasn’t been one of the busiest wrestlers in NJPW this year in terms of total matches wrestled, but he’s the first person in New Japan history to wrestle all three of their singles tournaments in the same calendar year and has wrestled for independent promotions in Europe as well.)
For now, all we know about Ospreay’s injury and G1 future is that it affects his neck and will cause him to miss one show, after which he’ll have a few days before he’s next scheduled to wrestle. There should be more developments later this week, but right now we can’t tell if they’ll be positive or negative.