Will Ospreay
Ospreay in September 2017
Birth name William Peter Charles Ospreay
Born 7 May 1993 (1993-05-07) (age 24)
Havering, London, England, U.K.
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Dark Britannico
Neo Britannico
Extreme Dude
Will Ospreay
William Ospreay
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 79 kg (174 lb)
Billed from Essex, England
Trained By Darren Burridge
London School of Lucha Libre
Debut April 1, 2012

  William Charles (born 7 May 1993) is a British professional wrestler better known by the ring name Will Ospreay. He is currently signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor (ROH) where he is a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and ROH World Television Champion. Osperay in the British Independent Circuit is a former Progress Champion and WCPW Tag Team Champion.

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]

Progress Wrestling (2012-present)Edit

Ospreay soon became a regular for Progress Wrestling, debuting for them at Chapter Two: The March of Progress with Alex Esmail in a loss to The London Riots (James Davis and Rob Lynch). His performance earned him a place in the Natural Progression Series I tournament, aimed at scouting and showcasing new wrestlers. He lost in the first round to eventual winner Mark Andrews in November and again in a rematch the following May. Ospreay earned the respect of Andrews who, as part of his reward for winning, picked Ospreay to enter the following Natural Progression Series tournament. The two met again in January 2014 in the first round of the Progress Tag Team Championship tournament, with FSU (Andrews' team with Eddie Dennis) defeating The Swords of Essex (Ospreay's team with Paul Robinson).

Ospreay's losing ways continued in his Natural Progression Series II opener. During the match his opponent, Zack Gibson, tried to win by holding the ropes. Robinson prevented Gibson using the ropes, which in turn distracted the referee for long enough for Gibson to low-blow Ospreay and make Ospreay submit.[5] On 18 May, The Swords of Essex were one of the final two teams standing in a four-team elimination match to decide contenders to the Progress Tag Team Championship. During the match, Ospreay, having been isolated for some time, reached out to tag his partner but Robinson jumped off the apron and walked out on Ospreay. Ospreay was left on his own and lost the match, after which the Progress Champion Jimmy Havoc came to the ring and ordered London Riots to tie Ospreay. Havoc pulled out a knife and threatened to torture Ospreay, blaming it on Ospreay's popularity with the fans, before other wrestlers came out and intervened, freeing Ospreay.[6] Havoc and The London Riots formed an allegiance known as Regression, which also featured Robinson.

On 27 July, Ospreay entered the eight-man, staggered entry elimination Thunderbastard match, the winner of whom can pick a time for a Progress Championship match. Ospreay entered the match third and was immediately low-blowed by Robinson, who had already entered, who disqualified himself in the hopes of taking out Ospreay. Ospreay managed to recover and eventually eliminated Marty Scurll last to win Thunderbastard.[7] The following show saw Ospreay team up with FSU and Noam Dar in an eight-man tag team match with FSU and Havoc's respective titles, Ospreay's title contendership and everyone else's Progress contracts at stake, depending which individual lost. During the match, Ospreay moonsaulted from the Electric Ballroom's balcony onto his opponents, on the floor[2] and later had Havoc in position to be pinned but as he jumped from the top rope, Robinson dragged Havoc outside, leading Ospreay to pin Davis and end the London Riots' contract with Progress.[8]

At the next event, Ospreay defeated Robinson and announced he would invoke his Thunderbastard right to challenge for Havoc's championship at the following show. Before that match Ospreay suffered a serious neck injury doing a high-flying move and during his match against Havoc, showed signs that this had led him to be too scared to perform his signature and finishing moves. He lost the championship match in January after Havoc loosened the top rope, making it more difficult for Ospreay to do high-flying moves, and used it as a weapon.[9] During the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, Ospreay defeated El Ligero, Mark Haskins, Roderick Strong and Zack Sabre, Jr across two days to win the first Super Strong Style 16 tournament with a corkscrew shooting star press, overcoming his fear of injury, and once again lay claim to Havoc's championship.[10] Their rematch took place on 26 July in a no disqualification match where the reinstated London Riots neutralised the threat of Robinson's interference and Ospreay ended Havoc's 609 day reign to become Progress Champion.[11]

Ospreay successfully defended his title against the 2015 Thunderbastard Haskins and then Robinson. Robinson attacked Ospreay after losing to him, but Ospreay was saved by a returning Mark Andrews who reminded Ospreay that he had defeated him twice in singles matches and once in a tag team match. Ospreay went on to finally beat Andrews to defend his title. Ospreay also headlined Progress' first main show outside of London in Manchester, in a triple threat match against Zack Gibson and Morgan Webster. He lost the championship on 24 January 2016 to Marty Scurll when the referee stopped the match as Ospreay had passed out while being handcuffed in Scurll's chickenwing submission. Ospreay lost a rematch with Scurll at WrestleCon Supershow in Texas, USA in April and also lost a contendership match against Haskins on 31 July.

Ospreay went all of 2016 without winning a match for Progress. He lost the championship on 24 January 2016 to Marty Scurll when the referee stopped the match as Ospreay had passed out while being handcuffed in Scurll's chickenwing submission. Ospreay lost a rematch with Scurll at WrestleCon Supershow in Texas, USA in April and also lost a contendership match against Haskins on 31 July. He spent the rest of the year in showcase matches against non-regular Progress wrestlers, losing to Zack Sabre Jr, Shane Strickland, Matt Riddle and Adam Cole. Finally on 30 December, at a card comprised exclusively of unannounced matches, Ospreay lost to a now babyface Havoc. After the match Havoc invited Ospreay to join him in his fight against British Strong Style who held the World and Tag Team Championship. Ospreay instead attacked Havoc and then realigned with Swords of Essex partner Paul Robinson. Ospreay attacked Havoc again, during the latter's Progress World Championship match leading to a Fans Bring The Weapons match in March. During the match, Ospreay challenged Havoc to put their Progress contracts at stake before losing the match and leaving the promotion.

Ospreay returned at the last event of 2017 as a mystery opponent for Progress Champion Travis Banks, however he lost the match.

Revolution Pro Wrestling (2013-present)Edit

Ospreay debuted for Revolution Pro Wrestling (RevPro) on 10 February 2013 with a win over Mike Hitchman. He soon started appearing in tag matches with Paul Robinson as The Swords of Essex and, after earning contendership with a win over The London Riots, won the British Tag Team Championship on 15 June 2013 during RevPro's first show at York Hall by defeating Project Ego (Kris Travis and Martin Kirby). After losing to Ricochet in a singles match, The Swords of Essex lost their British Tag Team Championship to Ricochet and his partner Rich Swann, The Inner City Machine Gun on 15 March 2014. Ospreay later credit the matches against Ricochet, one of his wrestling inspirations, as a reason he stayed with RevPro when other promoters were trying to out price them.

On 19 October, Ospreay beat Josh Bodom for the British Cruiserweight Championship in a match that also included Swann. The day before, he had lost a match to Matt Sydal and so in May 2015 the two had a rematch. Although Ospreay won the rematch, with their series at 1-1 the two were booked in a Best of Three Falls match with the British Cruiserweight Championship on the line. After losing the first fall, he retained the title with two straight falls. After an eleven-month reign, with a number of title defenses Ospreay lost the title back to Bodom on 5 September 2015.

Ospreay bounced back with wins over PJ Black, René Duprée, and Ricochet, which put him in line for a three way match for AJ Styles' British Heavyweight Championship, which also featured Marty Scurll, where the champion retained. The following day, on 3 October 2015 he lost to Kazuchika Okada, although this match is reported to have been instrumental in New Japan Pro Wrestling signing Ospreay the following year. In 2016 Ospreay beat Scurll and the new Cruiserweight Champion Pete Dunne in a non-title triple threat match, as well as beating Mike Bailey, which saw him earn a Cruiserweight Championship match against Dunne on 10 July which he won. The following month Ospreay headlined York Hall in a match against Vader. The feud began after Vader had criticized an NJPW Best of the Super Juniors match between Ospreay and Ricochet in May, comparing the match to "a gymnastics routine". The debate escalated over Twitter, with many wrestling journalists and veterans weighing in on the debate.[12] Their match eventually took place on 12 August, with Ospreay losing to Vader after Dunne interfered while the referee was distracted.The feud began after Vader had criticized an NJPW Best of the Super Juniors match between Ospreay and Ricochet in May, comparing the match to "a gymnastics routine". The debate escalated over Twitter, with many wrestling journalists and veterans weighing in on the debate. Their match eventually took place on 12 August, with Ospreay losing to Vader after Dunne interfered while the referee was distracted. On 13 April 2017, Ospreay lost the British Cruiserweight Championship to interim British Cruiserweight Champion Josh Bodom.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2016–present)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.[13] On 10 April, Ospreay failed in his title challenge against Kushida.[14] Following the match, it was reported that NJPW had offered Ospreay a contract to become a regular for the promotion.[15] On 27 April, it was reported that Ospreay had signed the contract.[16] 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".[17][18][19] Ospreay ended up winning his block in the tournament with a record of four wins and three losses, advancing to the finals.[20] On 7 June, Ospreay defeated Ryusuke Taguchi in the finals to win the 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 tournament.[21] 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.[22] On 20 July, Ospreay entered the 2016 Super J-Cup, defeating Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) representative Titán in his first round match.[23] On August 21, he was eliminated from the tournament in the second round by Matt Sydal.[24] 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.[25] 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 the 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.[26] With the win, Ospreay became the first British IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.[27] He lost the title to Marty Scurll in his first defence on 5 November at Power Struggle.[28] 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.[29]

Ring of Honor (2016–present)Edit

On 8 November 2016, Ring of Honor (ROH) announced that Ospreay had signed an "exclusive" contract with the promotion, which goes into effect December 1.[30] On 18 November, Ospreay defeated Bobby Fish in his ROH debut match to become the new ROH World Television Champion.[31] but days later he lost the belt to Marty Scurll.

What Culture Pro Wrestling (2016-present)Edit

On the first episode of What Culture Pro Wrestling Season 2, he faced Noam Dar and El Ligero. Ospreay won the match. Ospreay returned three episodes later to face Sebastian Biggles and Martin Kirby; Kirby beat Ospreay in Kirby's first victory in WCPW. After the match, Opsreay cut a promo praising Kirby, saying he has been overlooked for too long. Ospreay went on to say he won't be back after his next few matches for a while but he will be watching Kirby and saying he wants his rematch when he returns. At WCPW Stacked, he beat Marty Scurll. On WCPW Loaded epsiode 9, he lost a fatal-5 way match to Martin Kirby also involving Marty Scurll, Pete Dunne, Sammy Pascal and Travis Banks. Later in a backstage interview, he left and said he would be back in November for Martin Kirby. On November 19 on WCPW Loaded he beat Martin Kirby after an interference from GM Adam Pacitti and the swords of Essex after the referee was knocked down and subsequently turned heel and joined Pacitti Club. At WCPW True Destiny Ospreay was defeated by Ricochet. Later on the show, Ospreay teamed with Scott Wainwright and defeated El Ligero & Gabriel Kidd and Johnny Moss & Liam Slater and Prospect (Alex Gracie & Lucas Archer) in a fatal four way ladder match to become WCPW Tag Team Champions. At WCPW Exit Wounds, Ospreay lost to Drew Galloway in a match for the WCPW World Championship in the main event of the show. This match was given a 4.25 star rating by wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer on his Wrestling Observer Radio podcast. On March 20, 2017 at WCPW Bulletproof: Championship Showdown The Swords Of Essex defeated Liam Slater & Matt Riddle and Prospect (Alex Gracie & Lucas Archer) and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) in a Texas Tornado Four Way Match to retain the WCPW Tag Team Championship. On March 25, 2017 at WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup - English Qualifying Round Ospreay defeated Martin Kirby in the Pro Wrestling World Cup English Qualifying First Round Match, Later Ospreay defeated Rampage in the Pro Wrestling World Cup English Qualifying Final Match. On July 7, 2017 at WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup - Japanese Qualifying Round Ospreay and Wainwright lost the WCPW Tag Teanm Championship to War Machine (Hanson and Ray Rowe). On March 29 at Refuse to Lose, Marty Scurll cashed in his Magnificent Seven Briefcase contract while Ospreay' main event match with Joy Hendry was in progress, turning it into a triple threat, which Ospreay lost when he Hendry was submited by Scurll.

Other promotionsEdit

Ospreay has regularly wrestled for International Pro Wrestling: UK (IPW:UK) since September 2012 in singles matches, with Robinson as Swords of Essex and with Tom Dawkins as Spitfire Britannia, playing off their alter egos Pure Britannico and Neo Britannico for Lucha Britannia. Ospreay made it through to the final of the UK Super 8 tournament in both 2014 and 2015, losing to Zack Sabre, Jr and Rampage Brown respectively. He won the 30 man Battle Royale 2014 in April but failed to win it the following year when the All England Championship was on the line. On 28 March 2016, Ospreay lost a Loser Leaves Town match to his former Spitfire Britannia partner Dawkins.

The Swords of Essex began wrestling for Future Pro Wrestling (FPW) in May 2013 and after a series of wins became the first FPW Tag Team Champions after winning a four way match. They held the titles for nine months and eventually became embroiled in a Best of Four match series against both The London Riots and The Alpha Males (Iestyn Rees & Charlie Garrett) for the FPW Tag Team Championship. The Swords of Essex failed to win a match in the series, with Ospreay wrestling the final match, which also had the London Riots' IPW:UK and New Generation Wrestling Tag Team Championship on the line, without Robinson. Ospreay has been unable to replicate similar success as a singles wrestler, twice entering the Zero G tournament but failing to win.

Ospreay also became a regular for Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE) from March 2014 onwards. After failing to win the Speed King Championship from Kay Lee Ray in a co-promoted show with Combat Zone Wrestling in October, he won it a fortnight later in a Six-Way Elimination match. He defended it over the following months to many SWE and guest wrestlers, eventually putting it on the line in the annual Speed King Tournament where he beat Mark Andrews in the semi-final in a Best of Three falls match but lost the title to El Ligero in a Six-Way Elimination match on 30 May 2015. The following March he unsuccessfully challenged Joseph Connors for the SWE Heavyweight Championship but on 7 August won the Speed King championship for the second time from Andrew Everett.

On 29 January 2016 Ospreay made his debut for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), during the promotion's tour of the United Kingdom. Ospreay unsuccessfully entered the 2016 Joker's Wild tournament and challenged for both the TNA King of the Mountain Championship and TNA World Tag Team Championship. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that TNA had plans to push Ospreay, but upon finding out that he had signed to appear for NJPW relegated him to a short match on their secondary television programme.[32]

On 1 April 2016, Ospreay made his debut for EVOLVE, losing to Zack Sabre Jr. at EVOLVE 58 and Ricochet at EVOLVE 59, both in Dallas, Texas, USA.[33][34] On 12 July, Paul Heyman, during a speaking tour of the United Kingdom, offered Ospreay an EVOLVE contract on behalf of [abe Sapolsky while clarifying that the contract would not affect his NJPW deal.[35] On 20 July, Pro Wrestling Torch reported Ospreay had signed the contract to make Evolve his American home promotion,[36] but the Wrestling Observer Newsletter disputed this, reporting Ospreay was still in talks with both EVOLVE and Ring of Honor (ROH), another American promotion who had a relationship with NJPW which Ospreay later confirmed.[37][38]

On 27 August 2016 Ospreay posted a Facebook live video unveiling a new British Triangle Championship with his three Swords of Essex partners Paul Robinson, Jerry Sevanchez, and Scott Wainwright. They announced that the trios championships were not specific to any promotion and could therefore be defended anywhere.[39]

On 4 January 2017, Ospreay, along with fellow British wrestler Will Smile, started their own promotion, known as Lucha Forever, with their first show, The Dawning of Forever, taking place on 17 April in Birmingham.

In wrestlingEdit

  • Finishing moves
    • 540° corkscrew senton bomb - 2015, used as a signature move thereafter
    • 630° senton[40][41]
    • Corkscrew shooting star press[40]
    • Essex Destroyer (Front flip DDT)[41]
    • Imploding 450° splash
    • OsCutter (Springboard cutter)[42][43]
    • Rain Maker (Wrist-lock transitioned into a standing moonsault side slam)
  • Signature moves
    • Multiple kick variations
      • Cheeky Nandos Kick (Super to opponent on the turnbuckle)
      • Drop
      • Handspring enzuigiri[41]
      • Jumping corkscrew roundhouse
      • Roundhouse
      • Super
    • Octopus stretch
    • Sasuke Special (Cartwheel over the top rope suicide corkscrew moonsault)
    • Springboard forearm smash
    • Standing corkscrew senton
    • Standing shooting star press
  • Nicknames
    • "The Aerial Assassin"[44]
    • "The Commonwealth King"
    • "QuickSilver"
    • "The Cat"

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

  • Future Pro Wrestling
    • FPW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Paul Robinson[41]
  • Lucha Britannia
    • Lucha Britannia World Championship (2 times)
  • Preston City Wrestling
    • PCW 'One to Watch in 2015' End of Year Award (2014)[45]
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him #16 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2016
    • PWI ranked him #21 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2017
  • Reloaded Championship Wrestling Alliance
    • RCWA Elite-1 Championship (1 time)[46]
  • Progress Wrestling
    • Progress Championship (1 time)
    • Super Strong Style 16 (2015)
    • Thunderbastard (2014) [47]
  • Reloaded Championship Wrestling Alliance
    • RCWA Elite-1 Championship (1 time)[48]
  • Revolution Pro Wrestling
    • RPW British Cruiserweight Championship (2 times)
    • RPW Undisputed British Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Paul Robinson
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
  • Ring of Honor
    • ROH World Television Championship (1 time)[31]
  • Southside Wrestling Entertainment
    • SWE Speed King Championship (1 time) [41]
  • What Culture Pro Wrestling
    • WCPW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Scott Wainwright[50]


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Junior heavyweight BUSHIEl DesperadoGedoHirai KawatoHiromu TakahashiJadoJushin Thunder LigerKUSHIDAMarty ScurllMatt JacksonNick JacksonRen NaritaRocky RomeroRyusuke TaguchiShota UmnioShoTaichiTaka MichinokuTeruaki KanemitsuTetsuhiro YagiTiger MaskWill OspreayYoshinobu KanemaruYoh
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