Will Ospreay Has Changed: Goodbye Aerial Assassin, Hello Assassin


Will Ospreay is known throughout the world of professional wrestling as not only one of the greatest high-flyers in the business today, but one of the best wrestlers competing around the entire world.

The madman known as the “Aerial Assassin” is set on defying the laws of gravity and pushing his body to its absolute limit. Anytime you watch Will compete, you know you are going to see some absolute wild spots and incredible matches.

There is no question that Ospreay’s high-flying move-set, which has been associated with him his entire career, has made him a star and a force in New Japan Pro Wrestling’s junior heavyweight division. But has Ospreay’s aerial arsenal been depleted?

Will recently suffered a rib injury this past fall in addition to several neck injuries and concussions that have plagued him over the past few years.

Prior to his most recent injury, Ospreay was in jeopardy of missing the WrestleMania weekend events in New Orleans this past year due to an injury to the neck he suffered in a match with Marty Scurll just a couple of weeks prior.

The constant traveling and matches in promotions such as New Japan, Ring of Honor, Progress, Defiant, and many other independent wrestling companies have allowed for high risk and little recovery time for Ospreay.

Fans all around the world have clamored for Will to tone down his high-flying move-set over the years for the sake of his health and career longevity.

Will has showed that while he cares what people think of him, he wants to do things on his terms and provide the best entertainment in the squared circle. Just a few weeks after he suffered the rib injury this past fall, Ospreay tweeted this:

Ospreay’s most recent injury came just as the Englishman sought to move up from the junior heavyweight division to the heavyweight division and had his sights set on the NEVER Openweight Championship.

Will wouldn’t compete again for a few months as he healed up and prepared for a match at Wrestle Kingdom with one of greatest wrestlers today in “Golden Star” Kota Ibushi.

Credit: njpw1972 on Twitter

As January 4th approached, fans were ecstatic (including myself) for the dream match between Ibushi and Ospreay. This was a match that not just the fans, but Will himself, had been waiting for his entire career.

However, the Aerial Assassin as we knew him is now a changed man. Ospreay came out with his high-flying routine that has proved successful, but it appeared to have been toned down a bit.

That’s when the aggression came out, and it became clear that Will Ospreay was here to simply destroy Kota Ibushi.

About halfway through the match, Ospreay seemingly shifted from the Aerial Assassin that we know and love to a downright killer.  Will brought a new style that included many hits to the head and neck area and introduced a new finisher called “The Hidden Blade.”

Ospreay’s new attitude and moves brought him a victory in the opening match at Wrestle Kingdom and the NEVER Openweight Championship in his first shot at the title. It also brought Kota Ibushi a concussion.

Kota looked absolutely defeated towards the end of the matchup with Ospreay leaving the Golden Star battered, bloodied, and bruised.

Following Wrestle Kingdom, Ospreay tweeted this out:

This new Will Ospreay that we saw on January 4th is poised and ready to make the jump to NJPW’s heavyweight division. His aerial techniques are definitely unique and are an unstoppable force among the juniors.

Being a member of the CHAOS stable has allowed Will Ospreay to compete against some formidable names in the heavyweight division through numerous tag team matches against fellow stables Bullet Club, Suzuki-Gun, and Los Ingobernables de Japon.

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But if Ospreay wants to go one-on-one with some of the names such as Hiroshi Tanahashi, Minoru Suzuki, Kazuchika Okada, Jay White, Tetsuya Naito, and the other main event players, he will have to bring the new Will Ospreay out to play.

So long “Aerial Assassin.” Hello “