One of the greatest wrestlers in modern times is Will Ospreay. The Englishman has helped transformed modern wrestling, with his unique style being influential for many young wrestlers.
With his career not being without its controversy, mainly due to his style of wrestling early on in his career, the English star has done a lot to rehabilitate his image, changing his in-ring style as he matured in the wrestling business.
He began his career as a high-flying wrestler, risking his body in order to put on some fantastic matches. This garnered major criticism from many, and actually lead to a match with Vader early on in his career.
He soon matured and moved to a more strike-based, technical style of wrestling. This helped him climb the ladder in NJPW, winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in 2020.
In this article, we’ll go through the ten best matches of the career of Will Ospreay, according to the ratings by the users of Cagematch.
These include his matches from across his career, featuring bouts in promotions from the UK, Ireland, the United States and Japan, against a wide variety of opponents.
Let us know in the comments what your favourite Will Ospreay match is, once you’ve finished reading this article.
11. vs Adam Cole & The Young Bucks (with Matt Sydal & Ricochet) – PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2018
If you want to see what a stereotypical “PWG” match is, there is no clearer example than this six-man tag team match,
A non-stop thrill ride of high-flying, high paced action between some of the best wrestlers the indies had to offer in 2018.
It was a proper spot fest, with wrestlers jumping in and out of the ring, not giving the audience a chance to even breath.
While this match is one that you either love or hate, based on the style of wrestling, the majority of the fans loved the bout based on their ratings on cagematch.
Looking at where the talent in the match went in the years following, this match will be one to look back on in years to come.
10. vs Marty Scurll – NJPW Sakura Genesis 2018
While the match has its flaws, it was still a beautifully and technically excellent match between two of the best at the time.
Marty Scurll was great here, playing the cunning villain who relentlessly exploited his opponent’s weakness at every turn, His work on Ospreay’s neck was fantastic.
Equally great here was Will Ospreay, who played a fantastic babyface with exhausting comebacks and on the point selling. The pacing, sequences and exchanges were incredible.
The only real issue in the match was the Spanish Fly botch around the 25-min mark. That was a dangerous looking spot and was difficult to watch.
Despite that, it is still one of the best matches of both men’s career, and just one of the many fantastic matches these two Englishman had against one another.
9. vs Marty Scurll – RevPro High Stakes 2016
One of the greatest rivalries Revolution Pro Wrestling history added another chapter at High Stakes 2016 from York Hall, Bethnal Green, as The Villain took on the Aerial Assassin.
This was but one match in the storied rivalry between two of the top British wrestlers of the 21st centure.
Despite the controversy surrounding Marty Scurll in the years following, this match may make from an awkward watch now, but at the time looked like a sneak peek to a future WrestleMania main event.
8. vs Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi (with Hiroshi Tanahashi) – NJPW Road To Tokyo Dome 2019
It’s rare you’ll see one of the best matches of all time on one of the “road to” shows in NJPW, but this dream tag team match provided just that.
With Wrestle Kingdom 13 featuring Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay, NJPW decided to make a tag team match featuring all four men to help build for the bout.
The Golden Lovers reunited to take on Ospreay and Tanahashi, with Omega and Ibushi holding the IWGP Heavyweight and NEVER Openweight titles, respectively.
The chemistry between the Golden Lovers was ever apparent, as was the innate charisma and fantastic work of Hiroshi Tanahashi. Despite being the youngster in the match, Will Ospreay more than held his own and staked his place among the NJPW elites.
7. vs WALTER – OTT Fourth Anniversary Show
Taking place in the Irish promotion OTT, the main event of their fourth anniversary show put on one of the biggest clashed Ireland has ever seen.
WALTER (now known as Gunther in WWE) took on Will Ospreay in the main event of the show, putting on one of the best “David vs Goliath” clashes in modern wrestling.
Ospreay was the perfect underdog to the gargantuan monster that was his Austrian opponent. WALTER was on a tear across Europe as the big boss of wrestling, and his authoritarian-style of wrestling was on exactly on show here.
With absolutely incredible comebacks and some breathtaking near falls, this match went well above what anybody expected, despite the names involved in the match.
This is by far the best match Will Ospreay has had outside of a New Japan ring.
6. vs Hiromu Takahashi – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14
In a 24-minute bout that felt like half that, two of the greatest wrestlers in the world clashed inside the Tokyo Dome at Wrestle Kingdom 14.
In his greatest match ever, up to that point, Will Ospreay lost his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship to the recently returned Hiromu Takahashi, who spent some months out injured due to a broken neck.
Based on this, Ospreay’s offence focused on the injured neck on Takahashi, with some great selling making it look like he had reinsured the neck on multiple occasions.
Adding this to some high-impact, fast-paced action that wowed fans in the Tokyo Dome, this match rightfully takes the number 5 spot on Will Ospreay’s best matches list.
5. vs Kushida – NJPW Best Of The Super Junior XXIV
Will Ospreay faced KUSHIDA in the finals of the Best of the Super Juniors in 2017, battling out to see who is the top Junior Heavyweight in the world.
The bout came early on in Ospreay’s NJPW career, and put him up against one of the best junior heavyweights in the history of NJPW.
An exceptional performance from both KUSHIDA and Ospreay that went beyond my expectations, and was truly the Best of the Super Juniors and what they had to offer in 2017.
They clearly put a tremendous amount of effort into preparing for this event as both men just blended so well together with their in ring action and chemistry.
4. vs Kazuchika Okada – NJPW G1 Climax 32
While some people may prefer their Wrestle Kingdom main event match, the bout at the G1 Climax is the highest rated match between Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada.
With the crowd still in “clap only” mode, the atmosphere was much more subdued than other matches on this list.
However, they managed to work around this disadvantage and put on one of the best matches of Will Ospreay’s career.
Will Ospreay’s neck and spine selling early on was tremendous, and boded well for the rest of the match. The striking exchanges between these two, especially the kicks from Ospreay, looked like legit knockout shots, and it’s hard to see how the two men took so many hits from one another.
The storytelling, psychology, athleticism, callbacks, creativity, and pacing of the match were as perfect as can be, and really helped build up Will Ospreay as an equal, on the level of a legend like Kazuchika Okada.
3. vs Shingo Tagaki – NJPW Best Of The Super Junior XXVI
For many years, this was a match that I thought was the best I’d ever seen. I even stopped watch wrestling for a bit, because I knew nothing could even come close to the bout between Will Ospreay and Shingo Tagaki.
Over the years, other matches have come close (some even surpassed it), but this will go down as one of Will Ospreay’s finest matches.
The pace of this match was simply electric. They moved at a lightning pace, buoyed by the crowd which felt like a Tokyo Dome atmosphere.
The psychology of the match was perfect, despite the fast-paced and high-flying nature. Every move mattered, and the selling on display for the back-and-fourth sequences was second to none.
Ospreay picked up his biggest win in this match, winning the Best Of The Super Juniors for the second time in his career in one of the best matches of all time.
However, despite this being one of the best matches ever, it still isn’t the best match of Will Ospreay’s career.
2. vs Kenny Omega – Wrestle Kingdom 17
I don’t think anybody could argue against Will Ospreay’s best match being his clash with Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
In fact, the only real argument to be made is whether this was the best match of all time.
Yes, it was that good.
Looking at the rest of this top 10 list, you knew there had to be something incredibly special about this match to beat out Ospreay’s bouts with Okada and Tagaki.
Luckily, Kenny Omega is one of the best of all time, and made magic when he connected with Will Ospreay in the ring for the IWGP United States Championship.
The match itself was incredible. Brutal strikes and fantastic counters saw a fast-paced match between two all-time greats march into “Match of the Year” contention just four days in.
Kenny Omega picked up the win after paying tribute to Kota Ibushi with a Kamigoye, before launching a bloodied Ospreay into the match with a One-Winged Angel. He won the IWGP United States Championship for the second time, indicating he will be staying in NJPW for some time now.
Ospreay took some punishment from his Canadian opponent. A double foot stomp through a table (followed by Omega’s reference to The Shining) could have been the end of it.
With Ospreay falling from the top rope, smashing his face on the apron and pouring blood all over Tokyo also looked like the spot where Red Shoes would end the match – yet he continued.
He simply could not keep Omega down, however. Kicking out of a hidden blade, multiple Oscutters and a Stormbreaker, The Best Bout Machine seemed invincible. It was star making, seemingly face turn by Ospreay, who stayed defiant until the end.
Ospreay spat in the face of Omega before being hit by Kota Ibushi’s (Omega’s long-time partner and best friend) Kamigoye and Omega’s unstoppable finisher – the One Winged Angel – and pinned for the three count.
Well, I said you couldn’t argue against this being his best match…
Then Will Ospreay had a better one!
1. Kenny Omega vs Will Ospreay II (Forbidden Door 2023)
This is the best match I’ve ever seen. What else could be the best match of 2023?
Will Ospreay avenged his loss at the Tokyo Dome earlier this year with one of the greatest performances wrestling has ever seen.
He and Omega had an innate chemistry that you cannot team. Every move was crisp, perfectly executed and fit exactly in the story where it needed to be.
Despite interference from Don Callis, the match was perfect. The interference even helped the match, even if the referee did not do his job correctly .
There will be no match that will come close to this bout – until the proposed rematch at All In at Wembley Stadium. Until then, Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega at Forbidden Door is, to me, the greatest AEW match of all time.
What do you think is Will Ospreay’s best match? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.