As the stock for professional wrestler Will Ospreay continues to rise with every passing match, he is proving that his decisions to sign with New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor were the best for his career.
Ospreay is rising from stardom to superstardom with the help of New Japan and ROH.
Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling star Will Ospreay. (Courtesy of Oli Sandler/Ring of Honor)
In 2016, Ospreay signed contracts with both companies and subsequently put on several “Match of the Year” contenders. He plans on doing the same March 4 during Ring of Honor’s Manhattan Mayhem against another rising star, Dragon Lee.
With momentum clearly on his side and his popularity growing among casual and hardcore wrestling fans, Ospreay has become one of the hottest commodities in the sport.
Instead of taking the opportunity he has been presented by New Japan and ROH lightly, Ospreay has fully embraced the pressure of being one of the focal points on a card each time he is booked and has thrived despite the pressure.
Ospreay’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed by other companies, though, but he remains committed to his current employers.
“For me personally, I’m contracted with New Japan Pro Wrestling. They are my priority,” Ospreay told Ring Rust Radio. “I don’t know if you guys were aware, but Gabe Sapolsky and Paul Heyman offered me a contract to sign with Evolve. Honestly, hand on my heart, it was one of my most emotional moments of my life. “
“It does say I am under contractual agreement to New Japan, so whenever I’m presented a contract I must hand it over to them immediately to discuss where we go from there,” Ospreay continued. “Ring of Honor did want me at the time as well, so it was entirely my decision and I quite like the idea of sticking with New Japan, so that’s why I kept with Ring of Honor. I’m trying to push things in the right direction for New Japan and it helps Ring of Honor as well.”
While signing with Evolve would likely have been the fastest way for Ospreay to pave his path through NXT and onto WWE’s main roster, there was no guarantee that he would have been booked properly once he progressed past Evolve.
On the other hand, Ospreay is being portrayed by the bookers in New Japan and ROH as one of the top names in the industry, which has helped him build his brand internationally. Add in his continued success in the United Kingdom and across Europe, and the Ospreay brand is worldwide.
Not only is Ospreay making good money for himself by thriving in Japan and the United States, but he is also increasing the value of his stock with wrestling fans and other companies in the industry. While Evolve wanted him to sign before his run in New Japan and ROH, the interest level should only increase as Ospreay’s mainstream notoriety continues to climb.
If Ospreay proves to be a draw on the independent wrestling scene, WWE officials will take note and work to sign him when his current contract expires and he becomes a free agent. The bigger his brand grows, the more companies will be willing to pay for his services.
There is undoubtedly a risk working the style Ospreay does in the ring—an injury could hurt his chances of other companies showing interest in him—but at just 23 years old, he is making an impact on the wrestling industry like few others have at such a young age.
As long as Ospreay keeps showcasing his unique skillset in New Japan and ROH, there is no doubt he will continue blossoming into one of the most popular wrestlers in the world. From there, he will have ample choices when selecting his career path in the future.
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