ALL ELITE ASSESSMENT – Will Ospreay: A look at his background and his journey, projecting is future

By Dan Allanson, PWTorch contributor

Will Ospreay



William Ospreay is perhaps the best in-ring performer of 2024 thus far and inarguably one of the best of the last decade. The newly signed AEW talent exudes infectious energy and has already positioned himself as one of All Elite’s must see weekly characters.

The Essex, England born high-flyer began his career (as most AEW talents do) on the independent scene. Timing was everything as Ospreay burst onto a burgeoning U.K. independent scene which boasted an array of now mainstream talent including Pete Dunne and Zack Sabre Jr. Trained by Lucha Britannia and competing for key UK promotions Progress and Rev Pro, Ospreay stood out with his unique aerial offense and braggadocios persona. His independent experience also allowed Ospreay to mix with high profile U.S. stars such as Roderick Strong, Adam Cole, and Matt Riddle. It was one such star, A.J. Styles, who took notice and reportedly recommended Ospreay venture to Japan to hone his craft.

Ospreay’s Japanese excursion launched with a match which put both himself and opponent Ricochet on the map. In a NJPW “Best of the Super Juniors” tournament match in 2026, both Ospreay and Ricochet put on an athletic spectacle which immediately went viral on social media. Criticized in some circles for its choreographed nature, the match displayed the incredible athleticism of its competitors and summarized the more eye-catching style independent wrestling was moving into.

Ospreay’s eight year stay in Japan was a highly successful one. The Aerial Assassin was the youngest ever winner of the aforementioned “Best of the Super Juniors,” winning the tournament in both 2016 and 2019. Ospreay also won the IWGP Junior Championship three times, the NEVER Openweight Championship once, the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship twice and most impressively the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (only to drop the title soon after due to injury). Notably Ospreay was also able to cultivate his wrestling persona whilst in Japan. Able to perform as an earnest, eye-catching babyface or an arrogant alpha heel, Ospreay led his own faction, The United Empire, positioning himself as one of NJPW’s top stars.

It was only a matter of time before Ospreay’s obvious upside attracted the attention of major American promotions. Already a frequent competitor in the popular PWG promotion, Ospreay also had the agency to compete in Ring of Honor as well as Impact Wrestling. The AEW / NJPW relationship proved beneficial as the Master of the Hidden blade was able to compete at the inaugural “Forbidden Door” event opposite Orange Cassidy before returning for the companies sophomore effort in a classic against rival Kenny Omega. Ospreay was also able to fulfill a major career milestone by competing at the huge “All In” PPV in his home country, showing his skills in front of a massive live audience against Chris Jericho.

Now introduced to an already familiar AEW audience, Ospreay was perfectly primed to sign with the challenger promotion once his NJPW obligations were fulfilled.


Ospreay had previously set a high AEW standard prior to becoming All Elite with stellar matches against Orange Cassidy, Chris Jericho, and Kenny Omega but questions remained on how Ospreay would stand out in an already stacked roster of similar styles. The question was emphatically answered at this years “Revolution” PPV when defeating fellow Callis Family member, Kanosuke Takeshita in an incredible battle.

Another question was whether Ospreay could adapt to weekly American television. That question was answered with his first official in-ring promo stood alongside Tony Schiavone. Ospreay emanated a likability and openness which immediately endeared him to the AEW audience. An earnestness coupled with a straight talking British accent positioned the former IWGP Champion as a babyface, in direct contradiction to his positioning as a member of the dastardly Don Callis family stable. A tricky line to walk but so far Ospreay has successfully managed it.

Although narratively still aligned with Callis, Ospreay has portrayed himself as a lone wolf wanting to wrestle his way to the top of the AEW food chain. To that end, Ospreay has challenged each of his current stablemates in the aforementioned Takeshita, Kyle Fletcher, and Will Hobbs. Although there is clear tension between the teammates, Ospreay has maintained the respect of both the wrestlers and Don Callis himself (for now!).

For his first definitive feud as a full-time roster member the boastful Brit has been paired with Bryan Danielson. Their paths lead to another AEW “Dream match” at the inaugural AEW Dynasty PPV. The match has been built through mutual respect with both grapplers stating their admiration for each other whilst reiterating their intention to win and prove to be the “best in the world.”


Although the signing of Ospreay has yet to prove dividends in ratings or live attendance, I believe the Assassin’s acquisition could prove to be one of AEW’s most important in the long-term.

In the short-term, Ospreay must vanquish a willing Danielson at “Dynasty” in order to keep his momentum and crowd favor going. A victory would cement Ospreay in the upper echelons of AEW and main event opportunities should follow. With a homecoming at “All In” on the horizon, Ospreay should remain in the fans minds and be featured as consistently as he has been thus far.

There is also the matter of Ospreay’s alliance with the Callis Family. The juxtaposition can’t continue forever and with Ospreay beating each of his stablemates a split is certainly being hinted at. Could Ospreay be ousted by Takeshita and Hobbs and align with former NJPW partner Kyle Fletcher and a returning Mark Davis? A number of multi-man tags could follow with a reunited United Empire against a recalibrated Callis Family.

Many would predict a crowning World Title victory at “All In,” but the heavyweight division is a crowded one. With questions over Swerve Strickland yet to be answered maybe another title (and main event calibre match) could be on the horizon. How about revisiting the seminal NJPW feud with the recently debuted Okada with the Continental Title on the line? This way Ospreay could still have an incredible match in his home country (and perhaps raise a title) without disrupting plans already in place for Samoa Joe, Swerve, or a returning MJF. There is no doubt that the AEW Championship must be in Ospreay’s future but perhaps a delayed victory in the Autumn would allow the main-event scene to breath.


Ospreay has a unique personality amongst his All Elite peers and has a promo style unlike anyone else. AEW may have a stacked male roster but very few true difference makers. Ospreay could be that man for the next five years if creative is willing to back him. Bruv!

RECOMMENDED NEXT: ALL ELITE ASSESSMENT – MERCEDES MONE: A look at her background, her latest chapter, and her future including pros and cons of being a heel or a babyface

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Samoa Joe and Swerve Strickland contract signing, Young Bucks vs. Best Friends in an AEW Tag Title tourney match, Will Ospreay vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

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