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In defense of Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet and the debate between the new vs. old age of wrestling

If you haven’t already seen the Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay match from New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Battle of the Super Juniors, I highly recommend doing so. It has been trending all around the internet as a result of the unique styles these two wrestlers have. It is also getting some negative coverage due to the “show-off” style they possess. Take a minute or two and check it out. I’ll wait…


Well, that was definitely interesting. Some would say that the match was a showcase of athleticism between two men who are considered the best wrestlers out there. There are those who are critical of the show the two put on, specifically the old school generation of wrestlers and fans.


The match has sparked a huge debate over the internet on what makes a wrestling match, if what they did was excessive, etc. This argument is not new; for years there has been a dividing line between the older and younger generation of wrestlers and fans alike. Neither are wrong, but it’s not fair to say that Ospreay and Ricochet are killing the wrestling industry. If anything, they are expanding the innovation of a sport that has been around for years. Ricochet had a chance to respond via his Twitter account:


I do agree with what Ricochet had to say. Wrestling is an art; the ring is a canvas in which you can create a masterpiece. The crowd will act as your critics, and it’s a stressful atmosphere to be a part of. While some say their style of wrestling is “killing” the sport, that is highly debatable. The same was said about ECW and cruiserweight wrestling, the latter of which this match is classified under. In today’s day and age, the crowd wants more. It’s unfortunate but true. Maybe WWE was behind it or some other entity expanded our needs. While “theatrics” can annoy people, just remember its part of the show.

Wrestlers have a certain style that differentiate themselves (their own certain brand), thus making them more memorable in the fans minds. They want to showcase what they do, and the fans want to see something amazing. Can a wrestler overdo it? Of course, but if a fan leaves after a show with any sort of reaction, it must be effective. Japan is home to the best wrestling fans in the world. If they like something (which they clearly did here) they will let you know. The same goes if they are not a fan of something. The story that is being told in the ring, especially during the Ospreay and Ricochet match, will forever be memorable in the eyes of the fans.

If these athletes can produce moves that awe and inspire, they have every right to. They have helped make wrestling mainstream. Joey Ryan wants to bring sleazy back into pro wrestling by any means necessary. His YouPorn Plex has trended around the world, thanks in part to the entertainment value. The Young Bucks throw a “Superkick Party” (don’t sue me) and the crowd LOVES it. The reason why it works is because its different/innovative/ entertaining/ whatever you can think of. These guys work their tails off to produce some of the greatest matches of the new generation.

Did the match seem heavily synchronized? Yes, (specifically the few seconds of the match Vader complained about), but so is all of professional wrestling. There are just a few bright moments where the industry turns the gears into overdrive. It’s understandable to be upset at this, but to undermine these performers for going all out to make a living may be a little out there.

In WWE, we went from the Hulk Hogan Era to the Attitude Era, Ruthless Aggression Era and the Reality Era. Every wrestling generation has something different to bring in order to get them over. While the independents and other major companies don’t have many “era’s” per say, they have that entertainment value to work with. Just like Evolution has stated, you either adapt or you perish. In an atmosphere that thrives on entertainment, that match was the perfect example of it. To watch something different that was not a “standard wrestling match” is a nice change of pace. Eric Bischoff wrote the book and held onto the mantra, “Controversy Creates Cash”. If you can get people to talk, even if they have an issue with it, you’ve done something right. It looks like these two have succeeded.

You know why I like pro wrestling? I believe it’s an escape from reality. I want to be entertained and whisked away from real life. We watch programs where the Boogeyman is real, time travel is possible, wrestlers can “die” and “come back to life” and chair shots can hurt a guy who wears a bulletproof vest. I’m not telling you what to like. What you make of this match is up to you. In the end, I believe it’s a fun ride, and you should just try and enjoy wherever it takes you. I know I will.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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