Will Ospreay is #GoingtoLakeland and returning to ROH for SuperCard of Honor XIV.
Just one day after announcing that Jay White would be making his return to Ring of Honor for the first time since last year’s G1 SuperCard at this year’s SuperCard of Honor XIV and that Bullet Club mate El Phantasmo would be making his company debut at the same show, ROH continues to stack the card, booking yet another New Japan Pro Wrestling talent for the company’s WrestleMania Week show, in the form of one of NJPW’s biggest rising stars, the 26-year-old wunderkind, Will Ospreay.
One of the best high-flyers in the business, Will Ospreay has shown the ability to wrestle multiple styles in his young career. Now immersed within NJPW’s heavyweight scene as well as its junior division, Ospreay has seamlessly transitioned from the high spot offense of the juniors to a more ground-based power game of the heavyweights. This led to him having one of the best years of any wrestler in 2019, delivering five-star matches on the regular and silencing much of his detractors in the process. And at just 26 years old, the sky is still very much the limit for the legend of Will Ospreay, who may one day go down in history, as one of the best to ever step foot in a wrestling ring.
In 2011, Will Ospreay debuted as a pro wrestler and spent the next several years mainly plying his trade in his native UK. With a rapid-fire style, Ospreay found success in the BritWres scene and was able to parlay that into a chance with New Japan. At Invasion Attack, Ospreay made his NJPW debut, doing so in a title match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. It was a fitting debut given Ospreay’s time in NJPW has been synonymous with this very belt. While the Aerial Assasin fell short in his attempt to capture the championship, the performance of CHAOS‘ newest recruit led to Will Ospreay taking part in the Best of Super Juniors XXIII tournament, which he won as a rookie. This gave him a second shot at the junior title, where he again lost to then-champion and future rival, KUSHIDA.
Alongside his CHAOS stablemates, Will Ospreay primarily competed in tag matches after that during his first year. Meanwhile, back home in England, 2016 also saw Ospreay’s debut with ROH. Once again, he was placed in a title match his first night on the job, only this time, Will Ospreay was victorious, defeating then-champion Bobby Fish for the ROH World Television Championship. Ospreay didn’t hold the belt long, dropping it to Marty Scrull in his first official defense two nights later.
Finding his roots in Japan, Will Ospreay began 2017 in yet another title match, this time for the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship which Ospreay’s CHAOS team lost. After losing a chance to capture the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship in February, Will Ospreay once again took part in BOSJ XXIV, but lost to KUSHIDA in the final. It wasn’t until October of that year, that Ospreay finally defeated KUSHIDA to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title, a belt he would go on to win an additional two times. In the midst of his successful year in Japan, Will Ospreay wrestled sporadically in ROH as well, including on the Final Battle card against Matt Taven.
This may sound like a broken record, but Will Ospreay once again began the year in Japan in a title match as he defeated Marty Scrull, Hiromu Takahashi and KUSHIDA in a four-way for Scrull’s belt. Ospreay successfully defended the title up until Dominion in June, where he lost to Takahashi. At that point, however, Will Ospreay was entertaining a change.
Teaming with CHAOS mates, Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Beretta and others over the next several months, Ospreay found himself ready to make the move from the junior class to the heavyweight class. The former Aerial Assasin bulked up a bit, dropped the Aerial moniker and with it some of his insane high-flying antics, and adopted a new stiff style. After losing in the semifinals of the tournament to crown a new IWGP champion, Will Ospreay received his first shot at a heavyweight belt when he defeated Taichi to become the #1 contender for the NEVER Openweight Championship.
In 2019, at Wrestle Kingdom 13, Will Ospreay, in his first attempt, defeated Kota Ibushi to win the belt, which he held until April of that year, losing it to ROH wrestler Jeff Cobb at the G1 SuperCard. This marked Ospreay’s last ROH match to date. In Japan, as a newly christened heavyweight, Ospreay maintained that he wanted to work both divisions and so he did. That year, the young gaijin star wrestled in the New Japan Cup, Best of Super Juniors XXVI, which he won for the second time in his career, the G1 Climax, Super J Cup and Super Junior Tag League. In doing so, Will Ospreay became the first wrestler ever to take part in the New Japan Cup, BOSJ and G1 in the same year.
Not to mention, he won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title for the third time and held the belt for 209 days, which marked the longest such reign in close to three years.
Considered by many to be 2019’s Wrestle of the Year, Will Ospreay has not been back to an ROH-only show since 2018, when he challenged for the world title against Jay Lethal at Death Before Dishonor. SuperCard of Honor also marks Ospreay’s second show of WrestleMania Week thus far as earlier, he was booked to make his GameChanger Wrestling debut at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 4.
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