Will Ospreay and Seth Rollins. Seth Rollins and Will Ospreay. They are as different as they are similar. The similarities were particularly striking a few weeks ago when the two had a lengthy exchange through Twitter regarding who was superior to the other.
While early on Rollins attempted to look down on Ospreay for the lack of global success that he has had, Ospreay was quick to point out that that wasn’t the case at all. Recognizing that both of these men possess tremendous talent and offer a similar style of combat, the rigors imposed upon them by their employers can often dictate just how ‘good’ someone is.
Before joining WWE, Rollins competed under the moniker Tyler Black and had success as part of Ring of Honor, and while he competed for various American independent promotions. Conversely, while Ospreay has also competed occasionally for Ring of Honor, it is his work with New Japan Pro Wrestling by which he can best be measured. Who exactly stands as the better of the two? If we contemplate the possibility of a match up between them, the true winners would be us, the wrestling fans. Success in the wrestling industry is often measured by championships won and longevity in the business. If we look at both men’s careers side by side we see that Ospreay has competed for about half as long as Rollins has. Professionally, Ospreay has been an aerial assassin for nearly 7 years while Rollins has been burning it down for 14 years.
If this was Ospreay’s only time sparring with a WWE champion it would still be something, but the reality is that is not the case. Ospreay, who is active on social media, isn’t one to shy away from voicing how good he knows he is. There is no arguing that he creates excitement for fans around the world with his noted ‘aerial assault.’ His past matches with Ricochet certainly stand out for their tremendous display of athleticism. Recently on social media, Ospreay has expressed an interest in facing former WWE champion Randy Orton. Does that match seem likely to happen? Only time can truly tell with that. Orton shares Ospreay’s ability to garner attention for himself, and they could do a great job of drawing attention to a match between them. Such a battle would draw attention from not only fans of WWE but the growing number of New Japan Pro Wrestling fans as well.
Whether it is simply that Ospreay is a lightning rod for attention, or that others outside his home promotion want to in some way be connected to him, these exchanges have teased potential matches that many would enjoy. In fact, he has shown how he is able to take a moment and turn it into an opportunity, whether that is turning his exchanges with Seth Rollins into ‘Little Buddy’ t-shirts or maybe even producing Ggood luck with that sh**’ shirts after his exchange with Orton.
Ospreay’s propensity for online confrontations can be traced back a few years ago to an exchange he had with Vader. In what can be described as someone asserting that the new guard of wrestling is just as good as the old guard, Ospreay battled online with the man they call Vader a couple of years before he passed away. Vader was still learning to adapt to social media while Ospreay was becoming more and more popular, and the potential of a match between the two was quite promising. And indeed on August 12th, 2016, they went toe to toe with one another, with each man bringing them their own brand of wrestling. It was a clash of a new wave versus an old school method of storytelling. In the midst of ascension in the business, he connected with a legendary performer and the attendance was captivated by it all. Though the bout did not take place in New Japan Pro Wrestling it was still a significant match up, and perhaps ushered in a changing of the guard.
We don’t know who the next person will be that will have an online exchange with Ospreay, but whomever he is should realize that he is just as willing to battle talent online as he is in the ring. It doesn’t matter who or where they are, he will step up to the challenge. This says a lot about him, and whether he is in character or not he is as committed to his craft as ever. Seth Rollins, Randy Orton and Vader all spoke up and Ospreay wasn’t didn’t relent in his argument. Currently he is fully committed New Japan Pro Wrestling and stands by the company and the product. He has even moved to Japan full time. Will he ever step in the ring with someone from AEW or IMPACT Wrestling or WWE in the future? That is always possible. Ospreay will continue to keep his eye on the prize and that is earning the moniker of best wrestler in the world, and his assault online is only matched his assault in the air.
As a wrestling enthusiast for over 30 years, my fondness for professional wrestling explores the irrational in a rational way. I will explore the details inside and outside the ring and hopefully have a laugh with you in the process. I've had the fortune to interview wrestlers from Lucha Underground, TNA, Ring of Honor, GFW, and former WWE talent as well. Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram and feel free to visit my website Pro Wrestling Post.