The Lucha Britannia superstar
Will Ospreay, Lucha Britannia’s original Dark Britannico, is a professional wrestler you may well have heard of whose journey through the world of wrestling has left an indelible mark on the global industry in a very short space of time.
The early years
Born on May 7, 1993, in Havering, Essex, just east of London, England, Ospreay's meteoric rise to prominence is a testament to his dedication, talent, and passion for the art. From an early age, Ospreay exhibited a deep fascination with superheroes and wrestling. His journey began first as a child, self trained in his backyard with his friends mimicking what they’d seen on TV. His parents, being supportive, realised that this wasn't a phase he was going through and that his unique talents needed to be honed in a professional way.
The Will OspreAy story
While In his mid teens he’d heard about Lucha Britannia and it was through this that he found the London School of Lucha Libre. It was at the LSLL that he trained under two renowned coaches and mentors, Garry Vanderhorne and Greg Burridge. With their guidance Ospreay honed his already impressive skills, mastering the art of professional wrestling and combining the traditions of Japan, Europe, North America, and of course the high flying style of Mexico. To keep Ospreay’s identity under wraps until he was ready to show the world at large his amazing abilities, Vanderhorne bestowed upon him the character and mask of Dark Britannico and the legend began. This tradition not only paid homage to the legendary Tiger Mask but also demonstrated the enduring impact of Ospreay’s work in Lucha Britannia. Bea Priestley and Callum Newman would later take up the mantle as Dark Britannico No. 2 and Dark Britannico No. 3, respectively, continuing the legacy of this iconic character. Callum just had his last match for the foreseeable future as Dark Britannico as he too now is following in Ospreay's footsteps and is on his way to superstardom in Japan.
This could be classed as a seminal moment in Ospreay's early career as he assumed the persona of Dark Britannico and began his rotation of epic monthly matches with other seasoned pros including one of the founding members of Lucha Britannia, Paul Robinson, aka Leon Britannico, who was his in-gimmick estranged long lost brother. These two amazing Luchadores had epic matches over a period of several years and built a solid fanbase with storylines that entertained and enthralled the sold out crowds. (Some of you may even remember those heady times in the Resistance Gallery, way back when…).
Soon his career extended beyond Lucha Britannia as he ventured into various wrestling promotions worldwide. His incredible athleticism and in-ring charisma earned him accolades and championships in prestigious organizations like New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), All Elite Wrestling AEW and Ring of Honor (ROH). As the torch-bearer of Dark Britannico, he not only paid homage to wrestling legends but also inspired a new generation of wrestlers to push the boundaries of the art form. His journey from the London School of Lucha Libre to the global stage of NJPW and beyond is a testament to his exceptional talent and dedication and his legacy in wrestling will continue to shine brightly for years to come, reminding fans of the incredible feats he achieved as a true wrestling innovator. His story also serves as an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers everywhere, reminding them that with passion, dedication, and innovation, anything is possible in the world of entertainment and professional wrestling.
Even though Will is a huge global superstar, he still flies the flag for Lucha Britannia and is a huge supporter of the next generation of professionals coming into the industry and we’re proud to call him a friend.