Ricochet vs Will Ospreay. It all started one year ago at NJPW‘s Best Of The Super Juniors. Will Ospreay and Ricochet had a match that got the wrestling world talking, both positive and negative. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, William Regal among others praised the match. Vader – a legend in Japan – was very critical, but it led to Will Ospreay vs Vader in Revolution Pro Wrestling. Coverage online even came from non-wrestling media and the rivalry has gone global ever since. The tournament is upon us again and the feud will heat right back up.
The #1 Rivalry in Pro Wrestling?
The reason why Ricochet vs Will Ospreay have lit the wrestling world up is because of the innovation and elite athleticism on display. Wrestling has changed since the days of 5-minute chin locks and fans want high-energy excitement for their money. You will never be let down in the performances, it’s a breakneck speed like a human highlight reel. Some critics have disliked the lack of selling and psychology as if it is non-existent and that is just not the case. “The Aerial Assassin” and “The Future Of Flight” trade handsprings but also pull off a very competitive match with things you have never seen before in a ring. The counters are scintillating and the fans love every moment. This is what Juniors and Cruiserweights should look like in 2017.
Ricochet, at 28 years old, has built a reputation on his high-flying and is highly-regarded as the best aerialist in the world. A former winner of PWG Battle Of Los Angeles and NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors, Ricochet has made a great living wrestling in multiple promotions, usually all in the same month. Will Ospreay, only 24 years old, has only been wrestling for 5 years, but he has won many championships in his homeland of the United Kingdom. A former PROGRESS world champion and following the same career path as Ricochet, Ospreay had the opportunity to sign with EVOLVE last year, but he chose NJPW because it allows him to wrestle in PWG, RevPro and other promotions on his days off. Ospreay also became a Best Of The Super Juniors winner last year, so this could be a title match in the future.
Redefining A Division
This is a rivalry that will stand the test of time for the ground-breaking move sets and endurance that is almost unparalleled. There are several wrestlers that can wrestle a fast paced match but very few could do it as flawlessly, then pull of a 630 Splash at the end of the match. Will Ospreay has had many great rivals, like Jimmy Havoc, in his short career and Ricochet is much the same, but these two are made for each other. What could be an amazing tag team, makes for the best of Junior matches and independent main events.
Many opinions on the rivalry have been that their style has been taken to another level and this is the way they want to perform. The fact remains, though, that they are a game-changer in the Junior’s division in NJPW and the competition is second-to-none. Both men could be elevated to a bigger role but on the independents, they are treated like kings. Every company in the US and the UK want a piece of Ricochet vs Will Ospreay. EVOLVE and PWG showcased the matches to huge responses, with Ricochet winning in EVOLVE but Ospreay winning in a PWG Battle Of Los Angeles tournament match. Over The Top Wrestling (OTT) in Dublin, Ireland put this match in the main event of their Christmas show and Ricochet won. Ricochet then pinned Ospreay again in WCPW in the same month. It isn’t a blood feud, it’s a feud about respect and who truly is the better man (with the better style) in every outing.
No two other wrestlers could mirror the same breathtaking moves or go at the pace that these men do. Ricochet has achieved lots of success but could have achieved more. It seems Ricochet has a chip on his shoulder and relishes the chance to wrestle somebody that can keep up with him in every move. They bring the best out of each other and that is what we love about pro wrestling. When Ricochet got in the face of Will after he lost the first time, you knew this was going to be something very special. This year may be the deciding win for Ricochet or Ospreay, but the rivalry may never end. In the vein of Steen/Owens vs El Generico/Zayn, it could go forever. The Best Of The Super Juniors is sure to open eyes once again this year.
There is a lot of charisma from both, besides in-ring talent, and WWE may even be the setting in the not so distant future – and what a sight that would be. Many in the WWE, like Seth Rollins, are high on both. Ospreay is still young, so he gets to gain valuable experience taking on Ricochet every encounter. Will Ospreay has already had a “World Tour” rivalry against Marty Scurll and this is another breakthrough for Ospreay. It would be reminiscent of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho if these phenomenal athletes could break the glass ceiling to become main eventers. Quite frankly, both would deserve a Daniel Bryan moment at WrestleMania. Time will tell how far the Ricochet vs Will Ospreay rivalry goes and how many continents it reaches, but this is already an all-time classic alongside the likes of Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat.
Main Photo: NJPW