2016 has been the year of Will Ospreay. He was the talk of the town at during WrestleMania weekend when he put on a pair of sensational matches for EVOLVE against Zack Sabre Jr and Ricochet. Then he made his debut in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) – the second biggest wrestling company in the world – and immediately won the crowd over with a terrific showing against Junior Heavyweight champion KUSHIDA. He won the prestigious ‘Best of Super Juniors’ tournament, where he once again crossed paths with Ricochet and they set the wrestling world on fire with the most athletic 20 minutes of wrestling you’ll ever see.
That match of the year candidate drew the ire of many fans and old pros, but it also opened up a new audience to Ospreay’s prodigious talent, won him a spot in many fans hearts and re-affirmed his position as one of the most talented performers in the world. At his home-coming to Revolution Pro Wrestling in June, his first big show back in the UK since his debut in Japan, Ospreay received what can only be described as a welcome Stone Cold Steve Austin would be humbled by. Not a bad 6 months for a guy who only just turned 23.
Last night Ospreay attended “an evening with Paul Heyman” in London. Not as a special guest, he was just there to hear a legend of the business talk. What ended up happening is that Paul Heyman called Ospreay up on stage, unknown to everyone, and handed him a contract from Heyman’s good friend Gabe Sapolsky to wrestle in EVOLVE.
While Ospreay looks over the fine print and makes sure the dates proposed don’t clash with his current NJPW deal the wrestling world is – by and large – dreaming of even more of Ospreay’s high flying brilliance.
EVOLVE also happen to have close ties to WWE and their developmental branch NXT, opening up the idea that it might not be long before Ospreay is not just performing on WrestleMania weekend, but at WrestleMania itself.