When Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay were duking it out in a 35-minute match for the ages at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17, fans online had one not-so-surprising name trending on Twitter: Dave Meltzer.

That’s right, the Roger Ebert of Pro Wrestling himself has been one of the biggest champions of both “The Best Bout Machine” and “The Commonwealth Kingpin” since their early days in New Japan and as a result, the co-main event of Wrestle Kingdom 17, Omega-Ospreay II, was sort of like his Super Bowl and WrestleMania rolled into one. While fans joked that Omega-Ospreay II would be the match to break Meltzer’s grading scale once more, hitting it at an eight, nine, or even ten-star mark, the match didn’t quite reach those unprecedented ratings. No, while the match wasn’t the top-rated bout on the Meltzer scale, that still belongs to Omega-Okada at Dominion 6.9, it is the highest-rated match since at a 6.25, narrowing out bouts by Omega – Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page vs. the Young Bucks at Revolution – and Ospreay – Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi at Wrestling Dontaku – for the honor.

Impressive stuff? You bet, especially when coupled with the duo’s post-match media sessions from immediately following their bouts at Wrestle Kingdom 17.

Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay felt differently about Wrestle Kingdom 17.

While it certainly wasn’t ideal to lose the IWGP United States Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 17, Ospreay had to be in pretty good spirits following his exemplary effort, right? Like, sure, he was beaten, bloodied, and bruised, but the immediate feedback from the match was that it was one of the best bouts of all time, and that has to feel pretty good, right? The “Billy Goat” opted to take things in another direction.

“Are there any questions? Fine, I’ll ask one myself. What is the f*cking point?” Ospreay asked. “I was told as a kid when I first got into this, when I first got into wrestling that it’s all about sacrifice, right? You have to sacrifice a lot to be considered the greatest. I feel like I sacrificed enough, you know what I mean? I f*cking sacrificed, man. I get it, we’ve all got different f*cking situations right now, man, f*cking h*ll. You know, you get compared to so many people, right? And people will say ‘you are not as good as this guy or that guy,’ and I’m not going to say I was handcuffed, because that says I couldn’t use my arms, I don’t have any creativity, right? Instead, over these last three years, I’ve been wearing belt around my waist, and that belt had some f*cking stones on ‘em, and I felt like I was in a f*cking ocean, being dragged to the bottom of the water begging for the f*cking oxygen. And these last three years, somehow, beyond all belief, in f*cking silence, I have been able to find f*cking oxygen, and I have given my best f*cking work. I’m finally in a place, right, outside of this, in the real world, in a real f*cking world where I have f*cking genuine happiness, and I have friends and I have a family that I f*cking use this to support them, and I’ve sacrificed enough to get to here. Do I have to f*cking sacrifice more? Do I have to f*cking sac-because I don’t want to anymore, all right? I don’t want to sacrifice enough. I have seen friends die and been told on f*cking social media before finding out myself… I just wanted one f*cking thing man, just that, I wanted that more than f*cking anything. After three f*cking years of this sh*t, man.”

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“Fine then, fine, I will sacrifice more. I will sacrifice for one more year, and that’s it. And if I can’t turn this sh*t around in one more year now, maybe I need to go elsewhere.”

Whoa, Ospreay is only willing to sacrifice for one more year, and if things don’t turn around in a year, he might have to go elsewhere? You mean, like when his contract expires in 2024? Whoa indeed, that is a very interesting headspace to occupy immediately following arguably the best match of one’s career.

Omega, to his credit, was far more complimentary of his opponent, declaring that Ospreay is actually the better wrestler of the duo, but he’s still “The Best Bout Machine.”

“You know it’s sad that things turned out the way that they did, and that you turned out the way that you did. We just had a 40-minute conversation in one of the greatest buildings in pro wrestling history, Omega said. “Man to man, athlete to athlete, performer to performer, pro wrestler to wrestler. I feel like if the circumstances were different, you and I could have been good friends, Will. Today was the day that I tested you, but what I never told you, Will, this is also a test for me. 364 days a year, you’re a better wrestler than me, but it only takes one to be a champion. It only takes one to prove that I’m the best, to prove that I’m still the best, to prove that I’m still the true champion and the true spokesperson for this and all of professional wrestling.”

“Will, look at me, look what you’ve done to me. Look in the mirror and look what I’ve done to you. I look in the mirror – with my one good eye – and I see a winner. I see a legend. When you look in the mirror, you’re the same as you’ve ever been. You can even say that you’re the best thing going. But you can’t say you’re the champ, and you can’t say that right now, you are the GOAT. If there’s one thing that you take from this lesson tonight, Will, is that you were right all along: You were done wrong. I didn’t have the heart to tell you at the press conference because I needed you to see it for yourself. All of us are nothing but mere circus animals, and there can be only one ringleader. I wasn’t ready to give up that spot. Why would anybody give up that spot to be the ringleader? You, everyone like you, everyone else, you can be treated like animals. I’m not ready to give up that spot. I’m not ready until you take it from me.”

Until proven otherwise, Omega-Ospreay II is the frontrunner for Match of the Year, and based on Meltzer’s ratings, it isn’t particularly close. And the best part? Because Omega took the title from Ospreay, there’s a very good chance fans could see a rematch or maybe even two down the line, with the chance for “The Commonwealth Kingpin” to fully go over and establish himself as one of the best wrestlers in America as well as England and Japan.