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New Japan books a match they haven’t done in 20 years to send-off Will Ospreay

Even though he officially starts with AEW next month, Will Ospreay and New Japan Pro-Wrestling have made it clear he’s not done with the promotion. And as Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Eddie Kingston & others have shown, it’s entirely possible to keep working for NJPW while signed to AEW.

But Feb. 11’s New Beginning in Osaka, the last show Ospreay says he’s working under his New Japan deal, will be the end of an era. And the company is busting out something they haven’t used in 20 year for the occasion — a Steel Cage.

It was booked today (Jan. 5) at New Year Dash!! A five-on-five match between Ospreay’s United Empire faction and David Finlay & Bullet Club War Dogs was booked to follow-up on the IWGP Global and Junior Heavyweight Tag title matches at Wrestle Kingdom 18. It devolved into chaos (not to be confused with Kazuchika Okada’s faction... that’s CHAOS) and had to be called off.

Will grabbed a mic to say he wanted to settle the issue before he leaves, and let Finlay pick the stipulation for a five-on-five rematch. The man who beat Ospreay and Jon Moxley at the Tokyo Dome picked the Cage.

It will be the first Steel Cage match in NJPW since 2004, which my research indicates means when current President Hiroshi Tanahashi successfully defended his U-30 Openweight title in one at King of Sports on Mar. 28, 2004.

Ospreay is also scheduled to face Okada next Saturday at New Japan’s San Jose, California show, Battle in the Valley.


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