Will Ospreay, the current IWGP United Kingdom Champion, has never been one to shy away from unique challenges. Known for his high-octane matches against wrestling stalwarts like Zack Sabre Jr. and Chris Jericho, Ospreay is contemplating stepping into even more unconventional territory—a wrestling match with a bear.
In a recent interview on The Battleground Podcast, Will Ospreay offered some candid thoughts on how he'd fare against a bear in the wrestling ring. His perspective? It depends on the bear. "If it's a polar bear, you're doomed," Will Ospreay mused, "but with a brown bear, you might stand a chance." He further delved into various bear species, assessing the feasibility of wrestling each, from grizzly to black to even a koala bear.
While the idea might seem outlandish, the notion of wrestling bears has historical roots in the wrestling world. Past legends like ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper, ‘Superstar Billy Graham,’ and ‘Classy’ Freddie Blassie have faced off against these furry foes, making it a long-standing—if not highly unusual—tradition in professional wrestling.
Vince McMahon's Bear Plan
The bear-in-the-ring concept almost saw a modern revival in 2000, thanks to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon's out-of-the-box thinking. As Bruce Prichard disclosed on his Something To Wrestle With podcast, Vince McMahon wanted to stage a grand spectacle by pitting 'The Brahma Bull,' The Rock, against a live bear.
The match was slated to take place at noon on Wall Street during the New York Stock Exchange bell-ringing ceremony, but ultimately didn't come to fruition. Will Ospreay wrestling a bear would undoubtedly be a monumental event in the history of professional wrestling.
As bizarre as it may sound, it would be another feather in the cap of a sport that thrives on the unpredictable and the extraordinary.