Will Ospreay has revealed that a random match featuring AJ Styles is what inspired him to take up wrestling.
The British star has become one of the best wrestlers in the world today, but as a child he grew bored with the WWE and began searching for new avenues of watching pro-wrestling.
While surfing the Wrestling Channel (a UK TV Channel that showed various pro-wrestling shows from across the decades), he stumbled across an unknown AJ Styles match from TNA, and was instantly hooked.
Will Ospreay spoke to Chris Van Vliet, and said;
“I am mad at how I stumbled across it. I liked the way WCW, ECW, and WWF ended. Of course, I was watching, but I didn’t really understand it in a weird way.
I just saw them as the enemy. As they were coming in, I still think it’s cool, even though it wasn’t the WCW that we kind of wanted. I still thought, as a kid, that was cool. But after a while, I just got bored, you know what I mean? It was just kind of like the same guys over and over again.
Yeah, I can seriously remember it. It was me, my friends, and we would all just chill. I was scrolling through Sky on Sky Broadband, and we had the wrestling Channel. And then, on this random Sunday, they had TNA playing.
So, we were just like, ‘Why is this?’ And we watched this action coming in with a six-sided ring. I can’t remember who else was on that card for the life of me, but I just remember it was like one match, one match. And then AJ came out, and I just thought, ‘Guy in a red hood coming down, the spark was coming.’ I was just like, ‘That’s it. You are a sick music.'”
“I thought it was the scoreless guy, I liked coming out, and then he wrestled. I’ve never seen anybody wrestle like that, at all. It was just that moment where he’d do his crazy moves, and then he just jumped to the top rope and executed a shooting star press. I had never seen it before in my life, so I just freaked out. I was like, ‘That’s it. That’s what I want.’
Will Ospreay then revealed that his mum gifted him a wrestling ring for his 14th Birthday, which began his journey that took him to the main event of Wrestle Kingdom.
She did it with her theatre connections, knowing that it would help keep him off the streets of Essex, and help channel his energy into something productive.
“My mum knew that I was getting into trouble. I was a nightmare at home, constantly finding myself in troublesome situations. However, she recognized that my growing interest in wrestling was keeping me focused and off the streets. All my friends would come over, and we would have an absolute blast. It all started with a wrestling ring that my mum had arranged as a gift for my 14th or maybe 13th birthday. We were ecstatic, wondering how long this fantastic setup would remain with us. The answer? Forever.
We would film YouTube videos, engage in friendly matches, and it served as our outlet. It provided a creative and physically engaging space for us. It was our way of expressing ourselves until the UK wrestling scene caught up with the style we were seeking – that kind of PWG (Pro Wrestling Guerrilla) style. That’s what we were yearning for, what we wanted to embody. It took time to fully embrace that style, but now, I believe it has become the defining essence of wrestling in the UK. It represents the broad spectrum of what wrestling has become in our region.”
When asked about how his mum got him a wrestling ring for his Birthday, Ospreay revealed;
“My mum, who works in the theater industry, has connections with a fabricator. So, they just made one. My mom is the best, man.”
In what must have been one of the best moments of his career, Will Ospreay actually wrestled against AJ Styles twice.
The first was at Rev Pro High Stakes 2015, where Styles picked up the victory over a young Ospreay in a near-25 minute match.
Their second and final encounter came at RevPro Uprising 2015, where they wrestled in a triple threat match for the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship.
AJ Styles once again picked up the victory in a match also including the disgraced Marty Scurll.
Will Ospreay could be facing off with Kenny Omega at Forbidden Door this year, but has also been rumoured to be taking on CM Punk at the big event.
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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.