Big Van Vader Criticizes Incredible High-Flying New Japan Match; The Internet Then Proceeds to Lose Its Mind

A recent match (seen above) between two of wrestling’s best modern high-flyers, Ricochet and Will Ospreay, has been getting rave reviews from fans and wrestling critics alike following their performance during night six of New Japan’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament. However, wrestling legend Big Van Vader – who knows a thing or two about Japan, winning the IWGP Heavyweight title on three separate occasions – apparently isn’t a big fan. 

It all started with a GIF showcasing just one of dozens of insane spots from the match: 

Vader took to Twitter, harshly criticizing the sequence as a “memorized gymnastics routine” and added that it “saddens” the three-time WCW Heavyweight Champion “to see the direction wrestling is headed”. 

For obvious reasons, Vader’s comments have caused quite a stir and riled up more than a few big names on the internet because… well, it’s the internet. Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks has been especially vocal about the issue, arguing with numerous fans and coming to the support of Ricochet and Ospreay. 

Vader then took to Twitter again to clarify and back up his words with a string of statements (all of which have been edited for clarity): 

“Wrestling is telling a story. This just isn’t wrestling. They’re rolling side by side in sync, they never learned to tell a story.” 

“Wrestling is all about telling a story. What you youngsters have seen your whole life is fans that have become promoters and second tier wrestlers.” 

“A little real wrestling mixed in with this dancing gymnastic routine would go a long way. Fantastic gymnastics, though.” 

“Their moves are athletic, they both are great wrestlers. When it’s done side by side as a routine something has to say ‘I’m trying to win.'”

“I’m all for wrestling evolving as long as it stays consistent with someone winning and someone losing. Tell that story. Demonstrate that.” 

There has been an outpouring of support for the Ricochet-Osprey match since then. Joey Ryan sarcastically put out a Twitter poll asking fans who was “killing wrestling” faster, and even WWE Tag Team Champion Big E got in on the madness. 

Of course the irony in all of this is that like it or hate it, respect the high-flying form or not, Ricochet and Ospreay’s match has brought a ton of exposure to the New Japan product, and as a result to professional wrestling as a whole. The match, or at least clips and sequences from the match, have found their way onto numerous sports websites in the past two days, even landing on the front page of Yahoo News in an article that mentions both Lucha Underground and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.