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Wrestling / Will Ospreay

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The Aerial Assassin.

William Peter Charles "Will" Ospreay (born 7 May 1993) is a British professional wrestler known for his appearances with Pro Wrestling Guerilla as well as Progress Wrestling, Rev Pro and other indy wrestling promotions. He is primarily known for his aerial style and is currently one of the rising stars on the independent scene. He has been a PROGRESS Wrestling Champion, a 2x Best of the Super Juniors winner, 3x IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and one time NEVER Openweight Champion in New Japan Pro-Wrestling.


"Aerial Assassin" Tropes:

  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Used "Shoot to Thrill" by AC/DC as entrance music in PROGRESS until his heel turn.
  • Badass Creed: In the Swords of Essex:
    "If you live by the sword, you'll die by the Swords of Essex."
  • Commuting on a Bus: Between Evolve, NJPW and Defiant Wrestling.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Hidden Blade, an absolutely brutal unprotected elbow to the back of the neck he debuted at Wrestle Kingdom 13 against Kota Ibushi, is treated as a potential injury causer that Will only busts out when he absolutely needs to win a match.note 
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  • Darker and Edgier: Played a borderline psychotic character in Progress in every appearance after Chapter 41. This eventually bled over into his New Japan incarnation around the time he became the "Assassin" and switched out his old high flying moveset for a high speed striking game.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: At the Best of Super Juniors 2019 finals, he defeated Shingo Takagi's undefeatable streak in single matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling proclaiming himself as the "Dragon Slayer".
  • Evil Former Friend: Paul Robinson serves as this after joining Regression and becoming an out and out psycho, even becoming The Corrupter by clearly getting in Will's head, telling him that playing nice had never gotten him anywhere.
  • Face/Heel Double-Turn: After Jimmy reformed himself towards the end of 2016, and asked for Ospreay's help, Will wasn't going to forget Jimmy coming at him with an axe.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
  • Fragile Speedster: He can bring the pain to his opponents, but can't physically take it as well as his other CHAOS mates (though he does have times where he shows plenty of willpower).
  • Finishing Move: Ospreay Originally a 630 senton and a flipping DDT called The Essex Destroyer. Starting in 2016, he used a springboard cutter called the OsCutter. Before upgrading to a spinning Canadian Neckbreaker called the "Stormbreaker" and his "Hidden Blade" elbow to the back of a kneeling opponent's head.
  • Heel–Face Return: Returned to Progress after 10 months away basically ignoring his previous 2 month psycho heel run. Possibly due to Jimmy Havoc turning heel again in the interim, and Paul Robinson legitimately retiring. Eventually revealed to have been averted when he started interacting with Jimmy again, at which point he turned back into an even bigger bellend than before and Jimmy was turned face again by default.
  • I Have the High Ground: Boy howdy. Most of his offense is comprised of aerial blows and agile strikes. In fact he's become famous for his high-flying moves.
  • Kid Hero: Has wrestled as a Face for most of his career and he's 23 as of 2016.
  • Leitmotif: Started using "Elevated" by It Lives, It Breathes, a loud and high-energy version of his NJPW theme "Aerial Assassin".
  • Lightning Bruiser: In 2019, Will officially graduated from being a Fragile Speedster into one of these. He's just as agile as he's always been, but is noticeably more muscular, can pull off high impact power moves with frightening ease and he's become a more dangerous striker, evidenced by the introduction of the Hidden Blade into his arsenal. His entry into that year's G1 Climax, where he took on some of New Japan's top heavyweights, says it all.
    • In 2020 he slid even further into this after announcing his move to the Heavyweight division, and during his enforced time off over lockdown he bulked up to around 230 pounds.
  • Made of Iron: You wouldn't think this due to his size, but Ospreay can take a LOT of punishment and still get back up. He's tanked a Burning Hammer onto a chair from Jimmy Havoc, along with getting hit by Havoc's Finishing Move umpteen times, and still went on to win the match and become champion. At Sakura Genesis 2018, he fell directly on his head as the result of an apron spot - and still went on to finish the match!
  • Power Stable:
    • Is part of CHAOS in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and in storyline is explicitly said to have been brought into the company via Kazuchika Okada himself.
    • The Swords of Essex: Ospreay, Bea Priestley, Scott Wainwright and Paul Robinson. They later joined the Pacitti Club in WhatCulture Pro Wrestling to form an even bigger stable. Broke up after Paul retired due to health reasons, Scott was blacklisted for various reasons, and Will shifted focus to Japan.
  • Power Trio: The Swords of Essex with Paul Robinson and Scott Wainwright.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: His Twitter feud with Vader boiled over into an actual match between the two of them in August 2016, which Vader won.
  • Red Baron: The Aerial Assassin. Dropped the "Aerial" part after taking out Ibushi in 2019, marking the official start of his shift into power wrestler.
  • Rogues Gallery: In PROGRESS, Ospreay has: Jimmy Havoc, Paul Robinson, Marty Scurll and Zack Gibson (Which possibly brings the other members of Gibson's stable The Origin; Nathan Cruz El Ligero and Dave Mastiff).
  • Shout Out: His nickname, entrance attire, and finishing move "The Hidden Blade" are ones for Assassin's Creed.
  • Spot Monkey: Averted. Despite being primarily known for his aerial attacks, Ospreay combines it with a good knowledge of Wrestling Psychology and grappling ability.
  • Take That!: After Vader insulted his matches as being glorified stunts, Ospreay did the Vader Bomb in his next few matches... and never got more than a 1 count off it.note 
  • Three-Point Landing: At the 2016 Best of the Super Juniors, getting sick of Ricochet doing so, Ospreay took to landing them in the exact same manner at the exact same time to get him to cut it out. This sequence went memetic after someone turned it into a gif.
  • Tag Team: With Paul Robinson as the Swords of Essex. Outside of Progress there's more than 2 members, and they've even made their own "British Triangle Championship" to defend against other trios.
  • Tournament Arc: He was a participant of New Japan Cup 2019 despite being classified as a Junior Heavyweight under a loophole as a NEVER Openweight Champion where he defied the odds of defeating Back Luck Fale and Lance Archer before losing to Kazuchika Okada.
  • Worthy Opponent: In WCPW, Martin Kirby. After "Bad Attitude" defeated him, Ospreay said he'd be back for a rematch.


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