Will Ospreay Is Here To Take The Throne In AEW

Will Ospreay didn’t come to AEW to wait patiently and work his way up. On Sunday, April 21, at AEW Dynasty, he’s aiming to jump to the front of the championship line with a dream match against Bryan Danielson.

“The respect I have for Bryan Danielson, I don’t have the vocabulary to be able to tell you how meaningful this match is to me. But it doesn’t mean that I’m starstruck by Bryan Danielson. I do see him as somebody that is reachable. I can take anything that Bryan Danielson has ever done, whether it’s in Ring of Honor or the other company, and do it better,” Will Ospreay tells Uproxx Sports.

“You want this next generation to kick your ass, and here I am. I’m ready to take the reins from you. You’ve been the greatest wrestler of all time for god knows how long. But like you said, you’re coming to the end of your full-time career. I’m here to take the throne from you now, mate.”

Ospreay feels that he’s grown into one of the best wrestlers in the world. That’s a long road from when he joined New Japan Pro Wrestling at 22 years old.

“You’re gonna crash and you’re gonna fall and you’re gonna hit certain bumps in the roads. And I’ve hit those bumps in front of every single pro wrestling fan if you’ve followed New Japan or even followed my career,” Ospreay says.

He speaks of being an “immature man” until 2021, when he began seeing his girlfriend, Alex Windsor, and took on the responsibility of being a step parent to her son.

“It’s been one of the most rewarding things that I’ve ever done in my life. I’ve completely changed my mindset because there’s so much more to life than just wrestling. Wrestling has given me everything — my house, my upbringing. Japan taught me how to condone myself, even as a man and the people that I surrounded myself with,” Ospreay continues. “I don’t know what I was put on this world for. I know wrestling was one of them. But maybe, I was put on this world to give this kid the best life that I physically can. I love him with all my heart, man. I love her. We are a great little family and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s the best feeling that you could ever get.”

Ospreay’s decision to join AEW took everything into account. It was opportunity to provide for his family and to test himself — not just against some of the best wrestlers in the world, but also in learning what it takes to appear on weekly television for the first time in his career.

His move also came with immense pressure. Whether fans had seen his catalogue of matches around the world, or they got to know him from one-off classics, there began to be an expectation that if Ospreay is wrestling, he could steal the show. Judging by what he’s done since he began wrestling in AEW, he feels like he’s already delivering on those promises.

He took AEW by storm with a standout match against Kenny Omega last summer, which he calls “one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, because he is, this generation, maybe the greatest wrestler to ever do it.” Ospreay’s match at AEW Revolution against Takeshita in March drew high praise as well thanks to a hard-hitting, full-throttle effort. He gives Takeshita his flowers for being “one of the greatest wrestlers in the game today” as well.

With victories over the likes of Omega, Dax Harwood, Orange Cassidy, Chris Jericho, Takeshita, and Kyle Fletcher, Ospreay believes a win over Danielson should propel him into the title picture.

“How many more of these matches, how many more names, if you want to put a number on it, do it?” Ospreay says. “But I think that, all those names that I’ve mentioned, you’ve got two world champions there and one half of the greatest tag team that’s ever done it. The longest reigning AEW international champion, one of the best wrestlers to ever come from Japan, one of the future up-and-coming wrestlers, and after I beat Bryan Danielson, that is the greatest wrestler in the world. Is there any more of a point that needs proving? I don’t really think so.”

As for when a title match happens, it’s hard to say. Samoa Joe will defend his belt against Swerve Strickland at Dynasty. Should Ospreay be able to overcome Danielson on Sunday, a title showdown this summer makes a ton of sense. After Double of Nothing in May and Forbidden Door in June, AEW returns to Wembley Stadium for All In, and that sure feels like the perfect moment.

“I’m glad I delivered,” Ospreay says about taking part in last year’s All In.

“I’m glad I got to have my match with Chris Jericho that I really wanted, glad I got to do it in Wembley Stadium. It was 81,000 people in there. My music hit, people knew who I was. The night before, I was performing in RevPro for 4,000 people. To be on that show was incredible. But this time it’s going to be different. This time I’m signed to the company. That’s a lot of responsibility. I am the English man, signed to AEW. I am spoken about as one of the best wrestlers in the world. I want to be in another prominent match.”