I’m not going to mince words: Will Ospreay’s AEW debut sucked.
Not in a material sense. He interrupted an argument between FTR and Trent Beretta, allowing his friends in the United Empire to sneak up and beat on those three men. It furthers the tag team storyline heading into Forbidden Door and makes the statement that yes, unfortunately, Will Ospreay will be there.
It wasn’t exactly a secret. In the days before his debut, Will Ospreay had hinted at challenging AEW World Champion CM Punk, and has not exactly been quiet about how the company’s Forbidden Door was closed to him, but not to the members of NJPW’s senior circuit.
But knowing something is going to happen is different than that something being confirmed. So there’s Will Ospreay, standing at the top of the ramp, AEW announce crew going crazy, fans going crazy, the world around me officially on fire.
It sucks. Will Ospreay’s AEW debut sucked.
Look who is here at #AEWDynamite! It's the leader of the #UnitedEmpire, @njpwglobal's @WillOspreay, and he's brought reinforcements in #AussieOpen (@kylefletcherpro/@DUNKZILLADavis) & @HenareNZ! #AEWDynamite is LIVE on @TBSNetwork! pic.twitter.com/CBSpgo8gCW
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 9, 2022
I am saying that Will Ospreay’s AEW debut sucked under this premise: everybody, even people who get paid to write and think about professional wrestling, has someone whose whole thing they find repellant. Some people have it easy and hate guys like Disco Inferno. Some people are like me and have to suffer through wrestlers often hailed as being among the best of the world.
He is the antithesis of what I enjoy about wrestling, the kind of wrestler whose self-seriousness is decidedly part of the act and whose existence sparks my least favorite kinds of discussions on a sport I love to talk about. Is he overrated? Is he too brash? Is he being used properly by NJPW?
I don’t know. I don’t care. The only question I have is this: how long will Will Ospreay be on AEW Dynamite?
I have, in the past, been accused of being a Will Ospreay hater. Maybe that’s true. I’m decidedly not a fan of his wrestling or persona. I’m not enamored of the slice of his personal life that he shares in public. I thought his debut was pretty pedestrian. But look, I have successfully avoided contact with all of that since 2020, and now that is over, cue the “Holy shit” chants.
Now that Will Ospreay has debuted in AEW, I have to figure out a way to stay positive about Forbidden Door. I have to figure out something to do while he’s wrestling. I am thinking about what book I should read. I am thinking about taking up smoking. I am thinking about selling drugs behind the United Center. His matches are ponderous, even by New Japan Pro Wrestling’s current standard, so I may have time to do all three.