By Jared "JJF" Jackson-Ferrans
In professional wrestling, it can take years to become a major name in the business, and it's relatively rare to reach great heights at an early age. In fact, it may surprise you to know that two rapidly rising talents in the world of pro wrestling are each only 22 years old, and have already captured the hearts and minds of fans by signing with major promotions.
What I described may seem like a dream, but for NJPW newcomer Will Ospreay and TNA X Division Champion Trevor Lee, it's a reality. Since I missed the opportunity to do an Indy Injection on either one of them, I figured comparing these young guns against each other would be the best way to assess them. And with their recent match in PWG, the timing couldn't be better. Let's get started.
Ospreay has been starting to build buzz on the indie scene for a good while now, and has caught on as a regular in his home country of Britain for promotions such as RevPro, where he's held their Tag Team and Cruiserweight championships, but it wasn't until competing in 2015's Battle of Los Angeles Tournament that he began to gain buzz in the United States. His matches with the likes of former WWE star Matt Sydal, AJ Styles and Ricochet have allowed him to share the ring with some of the most talented veterans in the business, and his long running feud with "The Villian" Marty Scuril has impressed fans worldwide. He was attracting some interest from TNA and even scheduled to perhaps join the X Division until New Japan came calling.
Trained by Matt and Jeff Hardy, Lee had a much different road to success than Ospreay. Wrestling since he was only 14 years old, he became known for his run in PWG where he entered the Battle of Los Angeles tournament twice, and managed to win both the PWG Tag Team Titles and the DDT4 Tournament with partner Andrew Everett in 2015. Most notably, he holds a victory over Kevin Steen in Steen's last PWG match before coming to the WWE. In August of 2015, Lee entered TNA as a member of Global Force Wrestling, winning TNA's tag Team Titles alongside partner Brian Myers in September, before losing the titles a week later to the champs. After a four month break, Lee returned alongside his new manager and OMEGA alumnus Gregory Shane Helms, earning his first X Division Championship.
Ospreay isn't called the "Aerial Assassin" for nothing. His offense includes a variety of high risk moves, both from the ground and ropes, backed up with a solid technical base. Ospreay manages to amaze me every time he steps in the ring, pulling off each move with relative ease, and has already displayed innovation, being the first man to pull off a front flip DDT, a move that he's dubbed the Essex Destroyer, and is one of very few pro wrestlers to regularly pull off a 630 Splash. The best comparison that can be made here is Angelico, another tall aerialist that is currently taking the world by storm.
Nicknamed the "Carolina Caveman", Trevor Lee's style relies on strength rather than speed, encorporating a moveset that wouldn't be out of place with someone like Cesaro. Backed up with a strong technical base, the power moves that Lee pulls off are incredible, utilising a vertical powerbomb known as the Orange Crush, and a Small Package Driver as finishers, amongst others. His closest comparable of a man with such powerful moves at a small stature would be Austin Aries, and at 5'10 and a listed 205, Lee really isn't much bigger, but is much more power oriented.
Ospreay's future is a bit uncrtain, as despite having signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ospreay will be allowed to work other independents. Continuing with Progress and Revolution Pro is pretty much guaranteed, and matches in the United States, particularly in PWG is highly likely as well, and he could follow his fellow Brits Marty Scuril and Zack Sabre Jr. to Evolve. Two interesting destinations have also presented themselves: Lucha Underground, where it's proven that a tall, young high flyer can make a name for themselves regardless of nationality, and the Global Cruiserweight Series coming to WWE Network, if NJPW can work out a deal with either of these places, we could get to see Ospreay in the United States soon.
Lee's future is more clear cut. While he will continue his PWG work, his future with Impact Wrestling is the main focus, as he currently holds their X Division champion, and will likely be part of the "New Wave" of talent in the promotion, such as Mike Bennett, Ethan Carter III, and the American Wolves taking over as top talents. Lee will be hard pressed to help the X Division return to his former glory, but he has shown that he is up to the task, and is the type of wrestler to build the division around. The X factor is still Global Force Wrestling, which signed Lee but has struggled to find a television deal as of yet.
I find it to be fantastic that we have two young stars, in Trevor Lee and Will Ospreay, with such distinguished careers at a young age. The future seems bright, whether in the United States, Europe, or Japan for these two young talents, and if there was ever a time to jump on the bandwagon, it's now.
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Until next time, I'm JJF, that's my take.
SEE ALSO: "JJF's Take - Speculating About the Global Cruiserweight Series"