At the recent WCPW event in Newcastle we got the chance to sit down and interview the 2016 winner of the Best of the Super Juniors, Will Ospreay.
Your match against Ricochet in NJPW during the BOSJ created a lot of mainstream attention and controversy, did you expect going into it that it would happen?
No, not really. We have obviously had wrestling matches before. We had a match at EVOLVE, I’m not gonna say it’s the exact same cause it wasn’t but it was very similar to what we did. A lot of people were watching that, a lot of people were watching on the WWN Live. We get like ‘It was a good match’ etc. I guess it’s because they don’t have that style of match in NJPW. We did the typical indy match and they gave us free rein to do what we want as long as it was inside the 15-minutes. They were just like ‘Do what you want.’ and it kinda broke the internet. I’m very happy that people wanted to talk about it; obviously there was the good points and the bad points and I know what people’s opinions of it were. The fact that people didn’t think it was wrestling, it was gymnastics and stuff. Vader didn’t like it, I don’t really care what he thinks. But my opinion on it is (Like Ricochet says) wrestling is an art form and I don’t bash others. For example, I’m a Christian so I believe in god, if you were a Buddhist I’m not going to tell you what you believe in or do is wrong. Just because you like hardcore and I like cruiserweight doesn’t mean it’s not wrestling. At the end of the day, what we did was an art form and I believe in my heart you can’t not call it wrestling. Everything made sense in that match. When we did the double superman landing, for example, it was because we both do a springboard handstand into a kick/elbow and so we were obviously countering each other. The match had a story, I was being dominated and so I had to fight back and so I knocked him one. In my opinion, wrestling evolves and this was an evolution of that.
Still only being 23 and having signed with NJPW and having received a contract offer from EVOLVE, how does it feel getting these opportunities so young in your career?
It feels like it’s coming way too soon, people need to take into consideration that this is only my fourth year professionally (I’ve been doing backyard wrestling for years). I count my debut as August 1st 2012 and its kinda just taken off to a new level; I’m very flattered but it can get the better of you sometimes especially with me being so young. I’m seeing the world and I’m so grateful. But as far as the EVOLVE contract goes for now I need to really consider my options. My body is knackered, I’m tired, I want to take some time to rest but I seem to always be doing stuff. I don’t want to spend any more time outside the UK than I already do but right now I have to do what’s best for Will Ospreay, not even that actually, I have to do what’s best for Billy Ospreay. Will is me turned up to 11 but there is also me, who likes my downtime, who likes to sit around the house, be with my dogs, be with my missus and my family. Those are the things that mean the most to me.
Having had the contract offer it will have boosted your brand.
Yeah. A lot of people will have taken notice and will be checking who I am out online. If you search for me online the first match that comes up is the Ricochet match believe it or not. For what Paul Heyman and Gabe Sapolsky and the entire WWN team did for me, I can’t thank them enough. That meant the world to me and if anyone has seen the footage you can see that I cried. I spent my entire life watching Paul Heyman, in ECW, running Smackdown or advocate of Brock Lesnar so it means the world to me, it may not mean anything to him, but I have heard he loves developing new talent and the fact that I’m now apart of that it means the world to me. I can’t thank that gentleman enough for what he has done.
Growing up being a wrestling fan, who did you idolise and look up to that may have influenced you?
I’ve said this quite a lot so I really enjoyed the WCW cruiserweight and the WWE Light Heavyweights, so guys like Essa Rios, I was mad about Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and all those guys. They all influenced my style but the guy that got me into wrestling was hands down AJ Styles. His match against Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels was the best match ever and I just fell in love with what wrestling was cause I finally saw innovation.
If you could have a match with anyone, past or present, who would it be?
Just one match? Eddie Guerrero. Me and Eddie, one on one. I would just learn so much from him and we would just gel together so well. That would be my dream match that I would love to have been involved with.
Your match with Vader coming up, being a much bigger opponent than your typically used to will you need to change your style at all?
My style isn’t going to change at all. I’ve won Best of the Super Juniors with that. I’ve won championships with that. I don’t need to change a single thing about me for this. I think people are really underestimating this, it isn’t going to be a wrestling match, this will be a straight up fight. I’m aiming to hurt him because he is aiming to come in and hurt me. He seems to have this massive problem about me and how I present myself as a wrestler and he has annoyed me for so long now so if he wants a fight then I’m going to be there. To this day Vader is weary on coming down cause he is scared of me. I know he is scared of me. He is in too deep, He is 61 years old and yeah he is in incredible shape and I will give him props for that. But I want him at his absolute best. So if he shows up in a track suit with his mask on then I will know I won’t get Vader at his best and if he does that then he clearly not prepared to give the fans what they want. I’m prepared to go out there and have my arse handed to me in the ring and take everything he has got, but I will have a smile on my face because I know that will piss him off even more. I am wanting to piss him off and at the end of the day I am going to win that match.
Thank you to Will Ospreay and WCPW for letting us conduct this interview.