Jesus, when his theme talks about elevating, Ospreay has absolutely taken that literally and elevated to the position of one of the world’s best wrestlers this year. So much so that I could probably just put every match he’s had in 2023 on here and call it a day but that feels too easy. Anyway, as mentioned Will Ospreay has had one of the best years any wrestler has had with multiple 6 star, 5 star and probably 7 star matches to his name, across AEW, IMPACT and NJPW. So, with his stock set to rise even further after he eventually goes across to AEW in 2024 what better time is there to look back at his greatest work so far? Without further ado, here are my top 10 best Will Ospreay Matches Ranked.
Best Will Ospreay Matches Ranked – Top 10
10. Death Triangle vs United Empire – AEW World Trios Championships Tournament (AEW Dynamite 151)
Now, you might be surprised to see this match on here as most of you probably forgot about United Empire’s involvement with the AEW Trios Titles but this is an absolute sleeper hit. Also, it’s surreal to see PAC and Will Ospreay square off in a battle of the tough b*****d British wrestlers. This match also is probably the coolest that Ospreay comes to going full flippy s**t since ascending to the heavyweight division of NJPW. There’s plenty of great spots including PAC moonsaulting off the ringpost onto Fletcher and Ospreay as well as the assisted Oscutter/Coriolis on Fenix for the win. And if that’s not enough, there’s a staredown between Will Ospreay and Kenny Omega after the match. Holy Jesus, now that is a tag match….
9. Will Ospreay vs Ricochet (NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 2016)
And now for a flashback to the match which probably help bring Will Ospreay to the world’s attention: *THAT* iconic match with Ricochet in the Best of the Super Juniors (BOSJ 2016) Frankly, no matter what your opinion on this match is, you’ve got to appreciate the sheer level of skill and athleticism on display from both men is remarkable. I mean just look at the iconic spot of both men going for springboard moves and missing each other only to land in superhero poses as the Japanese audience is absolutely captivated. Now while this match is great, it did maybe give Ospreay the rep of ‘flippy s**t merchant’ unnecessarily as he’s one of the best storytellers in wrestling but hey ho.
8. Will Ospreay vs Chris Jericho (AEW All In 2023)
Ok, well I can’t really ignore 2023 any longer so lets kick off with somehow one of Ospreay’s best matches of the year (and that’ll become a recurring theme) Anyway, when Ospreay and Jericho was announced, the general reaction on Twitter could be described as icy at best to outraged at worst. Insert Michael Scott GIF here…. Anyway, both men put in a herculean amount of work to get the fan’s investment in what turned out to be, depending on opinion, the best match at this year’s All In.
I mean just look at the entrances as Jericho has Fozzy playing him to the ring whilst Ospreay brought back Elevated with an orchestral introduction. The match is typically excellent and thankfully ends with Ospreay winning because had Jericho won in Wembley there may have been a riot. Either way, props to Jericho for keeping up with Ospreay and delivering an enormously entertaining match.
7. Will Ospreay vs ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey (IMPACT Bound for Glory 2023)
Well Jesus, did Will Ospreay ever take a break in 2023? Not just content with having NJPW and AEW’s best matches of the year, again depending on opinion, he casually went and did it in IMPACT too. While his match with Josh Alexander nearly made the list as well, this match with Speedball Mike Bailey is everything you could have wanted. Plenty of flips as well as the underlying narrative of Bailey fighting through everything Ospreay threw at him, in a very neat reversal of another match on this list. Unfortunately for Bailey, Ospreay just had enough to beat him but honestly the prospect of these two having a few sequels under the TNA banner is enough to get me excited.
6. Will Ospreay vs Dragon Lee – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (NJPW Dominion 6.9)
Alright, hands up if you remember this match? Because of how good Ospreay has been in the heavyweight division it is easy to forget some of his classic matches in the Junior Heavyweight division. Case in point, this sleeper hit with the now WWE star, Dragon Lee, at Dominion. Simply put it’s everything you’d expect an Ospreay match to be with some sickening high spots as he’s almost completed the arc of ‘flippy s**t’ to Billy GOAT. Also, this match shows exactly why Dragon Lee has signed with WWE as both men launch high spot after high spot until Ospreay can eventually put the luchador down. Shame HHH scuppered a rematch for now….
5. Will Ospreay vs Shingo Takagi (NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Final 2019)
Remember how I mentioned about Mike Bailey surviving everything Ospreay threw at him? Well, this match is brilliant as it absolutely squashes Takagi which is so rare to ever see in NJPW. Going into this match, Takagi is full of confidence and bravado that he’ll just be able to walk over Ospreay. Instead, Ospreay flips the script, hits every big move he’s got and beats Takagi in humiliating fashion. Not only is this incredibly shocking as mentioned before but it set the story for the rematch with a humiliated Takagi desperate to get his pride back from Ospreay. And who said Will Ospreay couldn’t tell stories again?
4. Will Ospreay vs Zack Sabre Jr – IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship (NJPW Royal Quest III)
Frankly, how was I going to write about Will Ospreay’s best matches without mentioning one of his greatest rivals, the king of submissions: Zack Sabre Jr? And even then, these two could probably have had a list all of their own but I digress. Their match at this year’s NJPW Royal Quest may have felt formulaic in places but when the formula is this damn good you’re never going to complain. Also, this was just after a certain other match on this list but I digress…
Anyway, it’ll never get old seeing Sabre Jr pulling all sorts of mental submissions out to ground the Aerial Assassin as both men go mental in the final 10 minutes, with Sabre Jr desperate to finally win the big one against Ospreay. Alas for everyone’s favourite sarcastic Brit on Twitter, Ospreay does enough to hang onto his title for another fight which is a shame but I’m sure they’ll be more excellent matches down the line.
3. Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega II – IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship (Forbidden Door 2023)
Ok, I feel this match’s placement is gonna start a civil war as yes it is arguably as good if not better, as the first one but there’s one thing holding it back: the Don Callis Interference. If you’ve got two of the best wrestlers in the world, just let them murder each other without the weird, distracting interference from Callis. Anyway, speaking of murder, there’s *THAT* tiger driver 97 from Ospreay which looks like a Mortal Kombat fatality as well as both men paying homage to Jon Moxley and bleeding everywhere. But the spot of the match is obviously when Ospreay hits Omega with a One Winged Angel and Kenny kicks out at 1, and the crowd goes mental. Overall, a ludicrously brutal match which does justice to the sequel, even with Don Callis’s involvement.
2. Will Ospreay vs Kazuchika Okada (NJPW G1 Climax 33 – Night 8)
Ahh yes, the one where Ospreay finally pops his cherry and beats his former CHAOS leader in a match. And yes I’m aware of the phrasing…. Anyway, that’s the beauty of NJPW’s stories as something as simple as one guy constantly coming up short can become a phenomenal story arc. Case in point, Ospreay had failed every time previously but this time he learnt and figured out counters for all of Okada’s match winning moves. Oh, and he casually starts using them against him too. Now it isn’t a shocking result but beating Okada more or less solidified Ospreay as one of the top dogs in NJPW and sets the stage for a very interesting next few years for both men.
1. Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega I – IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship (Wrestle Kingdom 17)
And Will Ospreay’s best match is…… against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 17 for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. Now, you may prefer the sequel but for me the original is mostly better. Simply put, seeing this legitimate dream match happen in the Tokyo Dome felt like a real passing of the torch moment. So, while Ospreay lost this match and his championship it really felt like Kenny passed on the best wrestler in the world tag to him to soften his defeat. And obviously the match is bonkers good with some eye wateringly daring spots, like Omega stomping a table onto Ospreay’s back when he’s on the apron. So while I could just list spots, check this match between the King and former King of NJPW out for yourselves. It really did fully elevate Ospreay into the stratosphere…..