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Will Ospreay
WillOspreay2
Ospreay in October 2019
Birth name William Peter Charles Ospreay
Born May 7 1993 (1993-05-07) (age 27)
Havering, London, England
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Will Ospreay
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 100 kg (220 lb)
Billed from Essex, England
Trained By Darren Burridge
London School of Lucha Libre
Debut April 1, 2012

  William Peter Charles Ospreay (born 7 May 1993) is an English professional wrestler and promoter who is currently signed to Japanese promotion New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he performs under the ring name Will Ospreay, where he is a former three-times IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, a former one-time NEVER Openweight and between NJPW and ROH's working relationship, he is a former ROH World Television Champion and the winner of 2016 and 2019 Best of the Super Juniors. Ospreay was the first British wrestler to win both the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, Best of the Super Juniors and the first junior heavyweight to win the NEVER Openweight Championship. The readers of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter voted Ospreay the Best Flying Wrestler for two consecutive years from 2016 and 2017.

Before going to NJPW and Ring of Honor, Ospreay wrestled for the British independent circuit in promotions such as Revolution Pro Wrestling (RevPro), Progress Wrestling, International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom (IPW:UK) and WhatCulture Pro Wrestling (WCPW). 

Early lifeEdit

A fan of Light Heavyweight wrestling since his youth, Charles was a fan of Essa Rios and Eddie Guerrero as a child. He cites the three-way match between AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe at TNA Unbreakable 2005 is the match that made him want to become a wrestler. He received his training at the London School of Lucha Libre, and made his professional debut soon after.

His nickname, "The Aerial Assassin", comes from his fandom of the Assassin's Creed series of video games.[1] said Charles in the interview from The Huffington Post.[2][1][3][4]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Early careerEdit

A fan of light-heavyweight wrestling since his youth, Ospreay was a fan of Essa Rios and Eddie Guerrero as a child. He cites the three-way match between AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe at TNA Unbreakable 2005 as the match that made him want to become a wrestler.[4] He began wrestling on the trampoline in his garden under the name Extreme Dude and before long his mother had bought him a wrestling ring to make sure he was being as safe as possible. He also wrestled for other backyard wrestling promotions as Ace Pain and Tinkerbell.

He received his training at Lucha Britannia's London School of Lucha Libre in Bethnal Green, London.[4] He made his professional debut at the co-promoted BritWres-Fest on 1 April 2012 as the masked character Dark Britannico, the evil twin of Lucha Britannia's signature wrestler Leon Britannico who was played by Paul Robinson, Ospreay's future tag team partner in the team The Swords of Essex.[2] While wrestling with Lucha Britannia he twice won the Lucha Britannia World Championship. Ospreay said in his interview with the Huffington Post that his nickname, "The Aerial Assassin", is an allusion to Assassin's Creed video game series and was a persona he adopted to stand out from other British high flying wrestlers, particularly PAC.[1]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2016–present)Edit

Pursuit of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (2016–2018)Edit

On 3 March, Ospreay was announced as the newest member of the NJPW stable CHAOS. Appearing in a video, Ospreay challenged Kushida to an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match at Invasion Attack 2016 on 10 April.[5] On 10 April, Ospreay failed in his title challenge against Kushida.[6] Following the match, it was reported that NJPW had offered Ospreay a contract to become a regular for the promotion.[7] On 27 April, it was reported that Ospreay had signed the contract.[8] The following month, Ospreay entered the 2016 Best of the Super Juniors tournament. On 27 May, Ospreay faced Ricochet in the tournament in a match, which received widespread attention in the professional wrestling world. While some like William Regal praised the two, others criticized the match with the most notable criticism coming from Vader, who compared the match to a "gymnastics routine".[9][10][11] Ospreay ended up winning his block in the tournament with a record of four wins and three losses, advancing to the finals.[12] On 7 June, Ospreay defeated Ryusuke Taguchi in the finals to win 2016 Best of the Super Juniors, becoming the youngest winner in the history of the tournament as well as the first English and the fifth gaijin wrestler to win the tournament.[13] Following the win, Ospreay was granted another shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but was again defeated by Kushida on 19 June at Dominion 6.19 in Osaka-jo Hall.[14] On 20 July, Ospreay entered the 2016 Super J-Cup, defeating Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) representative Titán in his first round match.[15] On August 21, he was eliminated from the tournament in the second round by Matt Sydal.[16] On 8 October, Ospreay received his first shot at the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship, but he and his CHAOS stablemates Beretta and Rocky Romero were defeated by the defending champions, David Finlay, Ricochet and Satoshi Kojima.[17] On 11 February 2017 at The New Beginning in Osaka, Ospreay unsuccessfully challenged Katsuyori Shibata for the British Heavyweight Championship. In May, Ospreay won his block in 2017 Best of the Super Juniors tournament with a record of five wins and two losses, advancing to his second consecutive final. On 3 June, Ospreay was defeated in the final by KUSHIDA.

On 9 October at King of Pro-Wrestling, Ospreay defeated KUSHIDA to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the first time.[18] With the win, Ospreay became the first British IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.[19] He lost the title to Marty Scurll in his first defense on 5 November at Power Struggle.[20] Ospreay regained the title from Scurll on 4 January 2018 at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome in a four-way match, also involving Hiromu Takahashi and KUSHIDA.[21] In May 2018, Ospreay entered the 2018 Best of the Super Juniors tournament. He finished his block with a record of five wins and two losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament, due to losing to Taiji Ishimori in their head-to-head match. On June 9 at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall, Ospreay lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship to the winner of the tournament, Hiromu Takahashi. Afterwards on August 20, it was announced that Ospreay would take part of a four-man single elimination tournament to crown a new champion, after Takahashi was forced to vacate the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship due to a neck injury.[22] Ospreay was defeated by Marty Scurll in the first round.

NEVER Openweight Champion (2018–2019)Edit

On October 8 at King of Pro-Wrestling, Ospreay pinned NEVER Openweight Champion Taichi in a non-title match and made his intentions on being the next challenger for the title. However, Ospreay suffered a rib injury and the match had to be canceled. Ospreay returned from his injury on December 9, defeating Taichi, who had lost the title to Ospreay's CHAOS stablemate Hirooki Goto, to become the #1 contender to the NEVER Openweight Championship. Later that night, Ospreay challenged newly crowned NEVER Openweight Champion Kota Ibushi to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2019. At the event on January 4, Ospreay defeated Ibushi to win NEVER Openweight Championship. Ospreay lost the title to Jeff Cobb on April 6 at G1 Supercard.

Return to the Junior Heavyweight division (2019–2020) Edit

Following this, Ospreay returned to the junior heavyweight division, most notably at the 2019 Wrestling Dontaku, where he and Dragon Lee lost to Taiji Ishimori and the debuting El Phantasmo, where Phantasmo pinned Ospreay. After this, Ospreay entered the 2019 Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Ospreay ended with a record of seven wins and two losses, advancing to his third consecutive final. On June 5, Ospreay defeated Shingo Takagi to win the tournament for his second time. On June 9, Ospreay defeated Lee to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for his third time. Afterwards, Ospreay nominated Robbie Eagles to be his first challenger for the title. Leading to the match Ospreay proclaimed that he wanted Eagles to return to his old self. On June 29 in the first night of the Southern Showdown, Ospreay defeated Robbie Eagles to make his first successful title defense. Afterwards, El Phantasmo entered the ring to show Eagles support, leading Eagles to attack him and shake hands with Ospreay. The following day, Eagles defected from Bullet Club and joined CHAOS, after he refused to attack Will Ospreay. From July 6 until August 10, Ospreay took part in the 2019 G1 Climax, where he finished the tournament with a record of four wins and five losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament. On August 22, Ospreay, representing CHAOS, entered the 2019 Super J-Cup, defeating Amazing Red in his first round match. On August 24, Ospreay defeated CHAOS stablemate Sho in the second round of the tournament, before being eliminated in the semifinals by Bullet Club's El Phantasmo with the help of his Bullet Club stablemate Taiji Ishimori. After Phantasmo won the tournament, he challenged Ospreay to match. On August 31 at Royal Quest, Ospreay and Eagles formed a team named "Birds of Prey" and the two defeated Phantasmo and Ishimori in a non-title match. Afterwards, Ospreay and Eagles held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships and challenged them to a rematch for their titles, while Phantasmo challenged Ospreay to a match for his title. On September 15 at Destruction, Ospreay and Eagles unsuccessfully challenged Phatasmo and Ishimori for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. On October 14 at King of Pro-Wrestling, Ospreay defeated Phantasmo to make his second successful title defense. From October 16 until November 1, 2019, Ospreay and Eagles took part in the 2019 Super Jr. Tag League, finishing the tournament with a record of four wins and three losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament. Ospreay and Eagles entered their final match with a chance to reach the finals, but BUSHI who had previously challenged Ospreay to match for his title, cost them their final match against Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru). On November 3 at Power Struggle, Ospreay defeated BUSHI to make his third successful title defense. After the match, BUSHI's Los Ingobernables de Japon stablemate Hiromu Takahashi, who was returning from an injury, challenged Ospreay to a title match at Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2020. In the first night, on January 4, Ospreay lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship to Hiromu Takahashi.

Heavyweight division (2020–Present) Edit

Following Wrestle Kingdom 14, Ospreay began feud with compatriot Zack Sabre Jr., leading a match between the two, where Ospreay unsuccessfully challenged Sabre for the British Heavyweight Championship on February 9 at The New Beginning in Osaka. Two days later, during a eight-man tag team elimination match between CHAOS and Suzuki-gun, Ospreay eliminated Sabre from the match, leading him to challenge Sabre to a rematch. On February 14 at Revolution Pro Wrestling's High Stakes, Ospreay defeated Zack Sabre Jr., to win the British Heavyweight Championship for the first time. Afterwards, Ospreay announced he moving into the heavyweight division.

In wrestlingEdit

  • Finishing moves
    • 630° senton[23][24]  - used rarely
    • Corkscrew shooting star press[23]
    • Imploding 450° splash - used as a signature move thereafter
    • OsCutter (Springboard cutter)[25][26]
    • Storm Breaker (Double underhook overhead gutwrench transitioned into a modified corkscrew neckbreaker) - 2018-present
  • Signature moves
    • Hidden Blade (High impact swinging back elbow to the back of a kneeling opponent's head, with theatrics)
    • Pip Pip Cheerio (Springboard forearm smash)
    • Essex Destroyer (Front flip DDT)
    • Air Assassin (Imploding 450° splash)
    • Burning Star Press (Shooting star press to an opponent hanging in the top rope)
    • Lifting inverted DDT
    • Multiple kick variations
      • Hook KIck
      • 540º
      • Robinson Special (720° to the back of the head of a rising opponent)
      • Cheeky Nandos Kick (Super to opponent on the turnbuckle)
      • Drop
      • Handspring enzuigiri[24]
      • Jumping corkscrew roundhouse
      • Roundhouse
      • Silent Whisper (Super)
    • Iron Octopus (Octopus hold)
    • Rainham Maker (Standing moonsault side slam, sometimes transitioned from a straightjacket wrist-lock) - adopted from Kazuchika Okada
    • Running knee strike to an opponent's head
    • Sasuke Special (Cartwheel over the top rope suicide corkscrew moonsault)
    • Pip Pip Cheerio (Springboard forearm smash)
    • Standing corkscrew senton bomb
    • Standing shooting star press
    • Stun Dog Millionaire (Corkscrew falling stunner, as a reversal to a suplex)
    • Short Arm Lariat- Adopted from Kazuchika Okada
  • Nicknames
    • "The Aerial Assassin"[27]
    • ¨The Sky King¨
  • Entrance themes
    • "The Aerial Assassin" by Yonosuke Kitamura[28]
    • "Shoot to Thrill" by AC/DC
    • "Elevated" by It Lives, It Breathes

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him #16 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2016[29]
  • Revolution Pro Wrestling
    • British Heavyweight Championship (1 time, current)
    • British Cruiserweight Championship (2 times)[30]
    • Undisputed British Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Paul Robinson
  • Ring of Honor
    • ROH World Television Championship (1 time)[31]
    • Best Move of the Year (2017) – OsCutter[32]
  • SoCal Uncensored
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • 5 Star Match (2016) with Matt Sydal and Ricochet vs. Adam Cole and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) on 3 September[34]
    • 5 Star Match (2017) vs. Kushida on June 3[35]
    • 5 Star Match (2018) vs. Marty Scurll on April 1[36]
    • Best Flying Wrestler (2016-2017)[37]
    • 5 Star Match (2018) with Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi on December 15
    • 5 Star Match (2019) vs Bandido on May 23
    • 5.75 Star Match (2019) vs. Shingo Takagi on June 5
    • 5 Star Match (2019) vs Dragon Lee on June 9
    • 5 Star Match (2019) vs Kota Ibushi on June 18
    • 5.75 Star Match (2019) vs Kazuchika Okada on July 20
    • 5.5 Star Match (2020) vs Hiromu Takahashi on January 4
    • 5 Star Match (2020) vs Zack Sabre Jr on February 14

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Stone, Danny. "Huffington Post". Huffington Post. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Facebook". Will Ospreay Facebook Page.
  3. "25 Wrestlers Age 25 & Under Everyone Needs To Know". RunningEnzuigiri. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "The Sword of Essex William Ospreay Interview". prowrestling.com. 
  5. Rose, Bryan 2016-03-03. NJPW New Japan Cup results: Big announcements, first round of matches . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2016-03-03.
  6. Meltzer, Dave 2016-04-09. NJPW Invasion Attack live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Championship . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2016-04-10.
  7. Meltzer, Dave (April 25, 2016). "April 25, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Conor McGregor announces retirement, TNA sale imminent". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 34. ISSN 1083-9593. Will Ospreay has already been offered a regular contract which would make him just about the quickest guy without an international name to get one. He got the offer after one match with the promotion. 
  8. Radican, Sean 2016-04-27. PWTorch Report – Int’l star Will Ospreay signs with New Japan . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2016-04-28.
  9. Caldwell, James 2016-05-29. Caldwell – Ospreay vs. Ricochet – One match captures the larger argument about today’s pro wrestling style . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2016-05-31.
  10. Johnson, Mike 2016-05-29. William Regal provides important insight and advice in wake of talked about Ricochet vs. Ospreay bout in NJ . Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved on 2016-05-31.
  11. Schwartz, Nick 2016-05-29. Wrestling fans are going crazy over this acrobatic match in Japan . Fox Sports. Retrieved on 2016-05-31.
  12. Best of the Super Jr.XXIII (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-06-06.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Rose, Bryan 2016-06-07. NJPW Best of the Super Juniors finals results: Will Ospreay vs. Ryusuke Taguchi . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2016-06-07.
  14. Meltzer, Dave 2016-06-18. NJPW Dominion live results: Tetsuya Naito vs Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP HW Championship . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2016-06-19.
  15. Super J-Cup 2016 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-07-20.
  16. Super J-Cup 2016 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-08-21.
  17. ja:New Japan Road ~がんばろう!Uonuma 2016~ (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-10-08.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Rose, Bryan 2017-10-08. NJPW King of Pro Wrestling live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Evil . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-10-09.
  19. King of Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-10-09.
  20. Currier, Joseph 2017-11-05. NJPW Power Struggle live results: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-11-05.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Renner, Ethan 2018-01-03. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 live results: Okada-Naito, Omega-Jericho . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2018-01-04.
  22. en: The Junior IWGP throne is vacant. KUSHIDA, BUSHI, Ospreay, and Scurll have all entered the Junior Heavyweight championship tournament! (in English). New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2018-08-20). Retrieved on 2018-08-20.
  23. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NJPW
  24. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named cage
  25. レスリングどんたく 2016 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-05-28.
  26. Best of the Super Jr.XXIII (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-05-28.
  27. 【『Super Jr.』出場メンバーが決定!】オスプレイ、ボラドール、サイダルが初出場! "14年覇者"リコシェ!"昨年準優勝"オライリーも参戦!【SJ23】 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling (2016-05-03). Retrieved on 2016-05-03.
  28. Prowrestle theme music list . RMLabel. Retrieved on 2016-07-12.
  29. Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2016 . The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved on 2016-09-01.
  30. Green, David 2016-07-10. 7/10 Rev Pro in London Results – Shibata vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. dream match, Ishii, Moose, Sydal, Ospreay wins big title match, Big Damo farewell set-up . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2016-07-11.
  31. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ROHTV
  32. BEST MOVE OF THE YEAR: WILL OSPREAY'S OSCUTTER . Ring of Honor. Retrieved on 2018-01-10.
  33. Meltzer, Dave 2017-01-26. Daily Update: Omega's decision, HHH conference call, Tito vs. Chael . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-01-26.
  34. Meltzer, Dave 2016-09-07. September 12, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: CM Punk Making UFC Debut, PWG Battle Of Los Angeles Review, More . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2016-09-08.
  35. Meltzer, Dave (June 12, 2017). "June 12, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Extreme Rules and Best of the Super Juniors finals reviewed, tons of news". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 21–22. ISSN 1083-9593. 
  36. Meltzer, Dave 2018-04-04. April 9, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Massive Wrestlemania 34 Weekend, More . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2018-04-06.
  37. Meltzer, Dave (March 6, 2017). "March 6, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2016 Awards issue, talent departing TNA, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 10. ISSN 1083-9593. 
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