Will Ospreay is All Elite and there is some backstage news on what the signing means for the British superstar.
There was a lot of anticipation going into AEW Full Gear after Owner Tony Khan announced that the company would unveil their latest signing at Full Gear. Days before the event, it was reported that NJPW star and IWGP UK Champion Will Ospreay would be signing with All Elite Wrestling. Ospreay is a former IWGP World Champion who is considered by many to be one of the best wrestlers in the world.
At AEW Full Gear in Los Angeles, Tony Schiavone introduced Will Ospreay leading to an official contract signing in the middle of the ring.
For weeks, there were reports about the contract status of Ospreay noting that his NJPW contract expired in February. There was obviously a lot of interest in Ospreay due to his exceptional talent and being 30 years old. It was expected that companies like AEW, WWE and TNA Wrestling would pursue him.
It was reported by Fightful Select that AEW has signed Ospreay to a multi-year deal that will last over three years. Their report noted that Ospreay will still be under contract with NJPW through January 2024. When Ospreay told NJPW that he wasn’t going to re-sign with them, he was given their blessing to sign with AEW especially since those two companies have had a working relationship for several years now.
Even though he’ll be under contract to AEW, Ospreay will still be able to work some dates for NJPW. That’s similar to many other current AEW wrestlers.
The Fightful report noted also that discussions between AEW and Ospreay started in the fall while the company was “very optimistic” that they would sign him. Fightful also added that even though Ospreay was open to moving to the US, it appears as though he will likely stay in the UK as part of the deal.
Will Ospreay arrived in Los Angeles since at least Friday and the contract was signed at some point over the weekend.
WWE Believed That Will Ospreay Was Heading To AEW
It was also reported by Fightful that while AEW was the favorite to land Ospreay, WWE did contact Ospreay’s representatives to gauge his interest in signing with them. The talks led to WWE trying to figure out what kind of schedule Ospreay would want as well as a possible relocation to the US, which Ospreay said he was open to doing.
Meanwhile, WWE sources told Fightful that while they didn’t get the official word of Ospreay signing with AEW, they figured over this past week that Will was signing with AEW.
There was also said to be some interest from TNA Wrestling towards Ospreay, but there’s no word on how those discussions may have gone.