In one of our first reviews of an independent show, we wrote that Will Ospreay "is a ball of pure energy whose reputation clearly precedes him, given the crowd were chanting his name within ten seconds of his entrance". Not just in the UK but abroad, Ospreay is making waves (as the recent announcement by Pro Wrestling Guerrilla proves). He is a dynamic, exciting and technically brilliant wrestler. It is no surprise UK fans are shelling out money to see him in action. You can follow him on @WillOspreay and go and see him in-person for IPW, Progress, RevPro, Southside, Lucha Britannia or at one of his own RCWA shows. You won't regret it.
What inspired you personally to become a wrestler?
I've always loved wrestling but when everyone was like "The Rock is the guy" or "Stone Cold is the guy", I was watching guys like Essa Rios!! Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero was my personal favourite but what made me want to be a wrestler, was a triple threat between AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe. When AJ Styles did a springboard shooting star press to the outside, I was like "I'm going to do that!" So AJ is the sole reason that I became a wrestler and the fact I got to face him was a dream come true.
You've got the nickname 'Aerial Assassin'. Where did that come from?
When I came in, PAC (Adrian Neville) left and everyone was telling me not to fill his shoes but to make my own, so people wouldn't compare me to him. The Assassins Creed game was hot at the time and I bloody love those games! The guy in them is an aerialist and does hard core free-running and I used to always do that. So I just came up with the name Aerial Assassin and used my real name, Will Ospreay and just go out there and do what I do.
You're main eventing across the UK, where do you go next? NXT?
Well NXT is the dream, the passion, my addiction. That is everywhere I want to go. I don't want to say too much because I don't know what's happening but I'm in talks with Lucha Underground and Dragon Gate Japan. So things look like they're taking off but I can never really reassure people because at the end of the day, as I say, I don't even know what's happening. I got into this because I love wrestling. If I get somewhere with it, I'm grand and I'm grateful but at the end of the day I'm British and I'm very proud to be a part of this country and a part of this independent league.
We told William Regal to look out for you!
Ha! Thanks! I'll let you know if he calls!
You've wrestled many international stars, who would you most like to face? You seem particularly proud of your match against AJ Styles.
Wow! I'm so proud of it! That 14 year old kid went "you just faced AJ styles!" I wouldn't change a thing about that match because the words afterwards.... everything was like a dream come true. Someone I would love to get in the ring with again is Ricochet. I feel like I'm a lot better-rounded now. I feel like we both have that connection with the crowd and we would just make magic in the ring. I'd also like, if it was at all possible, to get the 'Swords of Essex' back together one day and do Swords of Essex/Inner City (Machine Guns) one more time because that was a standout match. I'd also love to face Wild Boar. Match-wise I love facing British guys and there's so many young guys who haven't even been given a chance. Some people seem to think I'm a name in British wrestling, I don't feel like it, but I love the idea that I can help other people reach the same spot that I'm at.
You appear heavily involved in Lucha Britannia and bear a remarkable resemblance to Neo Britannico! Can you tell us about it?
Oh man, Lucha is in a world of its own! If you enjoy wrestling, you'll go to an IPW show. If you've never watched wrestling - that's the kind of show to go to. It's like a big pantomime, I'd call it a cabaret show that features wrestling! There's so many characters, like 'Metallico' - half man half machine. My 'friend' entered as Dark Britanico, the evil twin to Leon Britanico. That's been phased out and the good guy, Neo Britanico debuted. I do a lot of stuff with Pure Britannico too. He's my tag-team partner in 'Spitfire Britannia' which is a little tribute to Lucha for all the years they've done well for us.
What's the strangest fan interaction you've had?
I've had some weird ones but nothing I'm so mortified or embarrassed to talk about it. I had an experience where I had to get in a fight with a fan. That was bad. We were doing a Lucha Britannia show where a party organiser had hired us to put something on in a nightclub. Fans are warned at the beginning not to touch the wrestlers or the ring but if you do, all's game. My mate Berry was doing the old-school, Undertaker tightrope walking and there is one guy who's shaking the ropes. I saw him doing it and thought, "If he doesn't stop I'm going to mess him up". As I got close, his mate got in my face straight away and I pie-faced him. The girlfriend got annoyed, went to throw her red wine at me and I slapped it out of her hand. It went all down her white dress! I finally got to the guy and I just launched him like halfway across the room! I got back to the ring and had this one guy that I started choking because he wouldn't get out of the ring. I didn't want to harm him, just to get him out. We thought we were going to get in trouble for it all but at it turned out that the guy I had launched halfway across the room, was the boss of the company that rented us out. He was like "that was the best night I ever had!" I got more money!
A through and through entertainer, seeing Will Ospreay live will definitely make for a good night. Go check him out live before he gets the call from WWE!