United Empire adds new recruits in UK, US

Aussie Open and TJP join ranks with Will Ospreay

With Great-O-Khan only recently having been handed his first G1 loss, and Jeff Cobb riding high with an undfeated record in B Block, the United Empire has been in strong shape in Japan. Yet its leader and ‘real’ IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay has been equally active in the UK and the US, not just in the ring but outside of it. New members were recruited to the United Empire in a one week span that will bolster the group in both tag team and junior heavyweight divisions in the months to come. 

First to join the group were the tag team of Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher, Aussie Open, coming to Ospreay’s aid at the culmination of RevPro’s High Stakes event in York hall on September 19. Just as Will Ospreay’s absence through the spring and summer months has created dispute over the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship officially worn by Shingo Takagi, RevPro’s British heavyweight title has also been the source of speculation. Even before Ospreay’s May 4 injury, his absence as a reult of competing in Japan during the pandemic led Southside Champion Ricky Knight Jr. to be recognised as the RPW British heavyweight Champion, and Ospreay was intent on making his British title undisputed. 

This Ospreay did in a thrilling main event, but the Commonwealth Kingpin was not done with Ricky Knight Jr. after the decision had been rendered. Ospreay levelled the young prospect with a Hidden Blade and kept up a post match assault before Shota Umino, currently undergoing his UK excursion, made the save. His efforts were quickly nullified though, as the Young Guns, a tag team that had been ‘auditioning’ for Ospreay as prospective members, hit the scene. When new British tag Champions Aussie Open again evened the numbers for Umino, it seemed as if battle lines had been drawn, only for the United Empire’s true new tag team to be revealed. 

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One week later, NJPW STRONG tapings hit Dallas/Ft Worth for Autumn Attack, where Ospreay had been teasing another new recruit for weeks. After stirring the pot with the LA Dojo since Resurgence, Ospreay faced Karl Fredericks on night one, and was set to team with a mystery partner against Connors and Fredericks the next night. That mystery partner was TJP, who betrayed his original LA Dojo roots to align with the faction. With a new tag team and a new junior heavyweight joining Cobb, O-Khan, Ospreay and Aaron Henare, the United Empire seem well covered on four different continents, and only appear to be getting stronger. 

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