Hello SoCalUncensored fans, Its Mike aka Draven & I’m here with the next installment of interviews for SCU. Today’s interview is with Insane Wrestling League’s own Justin Ryke & he was gracious enough to have this one on one interview for us..enjoy!
1. First of all, how are you & how are you feeling today?
JR: I’m feeling pretty good today, a little tired but good.
2. Do you remember the first time you saw a wrestling match & if so do you remember who was wrestling?
JR: The first full match I sat down and watched was Mr.perfect v. Ric Flair in a career ending match back in 1993. My friend wasn’t home on a sunday so I went back inside bored as all hell, and bam! There this wrestling match going on.. I was cheering from my couch rooting for the guy in blue. (Mr.Perfect) , and when he won… I was hooked.
3. Who was your inspiration to get into the wrestling buisness?
JR: From the time I was 8, watching more and more, I guess it was two men, Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart… Two different wrestlers, but both inspired me for many different reasons.
4. What was it about pro wrestling that made you decide that this was the thing you wanted to do?
JR: The way the crowds went crazy. I mean I have always wanted to entertain people… When I was 3 or 4 I would get on our bar at home and sing “la Bamba” for everyone lol. I was an actor in high school and college, was in a rock group called Awful BLiss… But wrestling was always a staple for me, and one day I thought, I always loved it, why not try? So I did.
5. Where did go for your training & who were your instructors?
JR: AWS school of wrestling. I originally trained with TJ Perkins, and when he left, it was Johnny Paradise and a few others occasionally. the cool thing is i can’t say I have had just one instructor, its been a few guys showing me here and there. I trained there for about a year or so.
6. How do you feel about where you trained to be a pro wrestler? Where your teachers a positive infulence on you?
JR: I think it was a learning experience, I mean if you asked me if I would do anything differently, maybe. But really it got me in, I met Vic Luna because of it, so I guess it’s positive in the end.
7. Who were some of the other students in your class & do they still continue to wrestle?
JR: To name a few, Johnny Saovi, Eric Cross, RIki de la Paz, Willie Mack, Joseph Knox, and a few others that I can’t think of, but a great group of talented guys.
8. How long did you train before you had your first match?
JR: My first “match” was for AWS, a Battle Royal lol. My first full match was in IWL a few weeks later, so I guess my entire training was preparing me for that.
9. Exactly how long have you been wrestling?
JR: I officially started in 2008, so 4 years now, actually as of October 4th it was my fourth year, also my birthday.
10. I know i’ve seen you wrestle for IWL but is there any other promotions you compete for? If you do compete for other promotions, do you have a favorite & why?
JR: Really no. I get a few “dead” offers from time to time, meaning they don’t pan out, but IWL is my home. Weird as it sounds, my goal isn’t to just build my career but the IWL as well. I pretty much have dedicated myself to the IWL.
11. Have you or do you want to wrestle in other countries?
JR: Oh most definitely, I really want to work Europe, Japan and Mexico some day.
12. Please tell me about Justin Ryke & how that came about?
JR: Not much to it, I wanted to create an extension of my personality with a demented side. The original idea was that he’s was a crazy genius hell bent on destroying what he hated. A great character, wrong time for him though I think.
13. Tell me about the early days of Justin Ryke, were you part of any factions?
JR: I tried to start one called the 5th Ryke with Joseph Knox, Cast Iron Cothern, and Chris Evans, but when I started writing my movie, it kind of failed. But a couple of years later I formed Ground Zero with Knox and De La Paz..
14. Has Justin Ryke changed over the years? Meaning did you start your career with a different style compare to now?
JR: Character wise, he changed for sure. From a dark guy to the everyday average Joe. Wrestling? Yes. I am always trying to get better, and I plan on becoming better and better as the years go on.
15. You mention to me prior to starting the interview, that you’re also on the booking team for IWL, how is that working out? Do you see yourself one day wanting to focus on that instead of wrestling?
JR: I am not a booker by anymeans, but I am part of the Production Team in IWL, I am a writer and part of creative. So some of the ideas you see might be mine lol. And yes I hope IWL stays strong and gives me a home for a long time, even past my in ring work.
16. Throughout your career, how many championships have you won & is there any that means alot to you & why?
JR: I have won two tag team titles in IWL , one with Jospeh Knox and Eric Watts. And I am a former IWL champion, but I really don’t count that one since it only lasted 20 days or so, which in the Indy world is like an hour of RAW lol.
17. Who are some of the talent you enjoy working with & why? any matches stand out to you as your favs?
JR: Oh man, I guess it’s a few guys… Johnny Saovi, Joseph Knox, Eric Watts.. Of course the Bucks. Stand out matches? My 16 second match with Tyler Durken was rad! lol
18. Is there any Indy talent in Southern california or anywhere that you would like to eventually work with?
JR: I want to wrestle Ray Rosas, Chris Kadillak… to name a couple. There are a lot of guys I have not gotten to work with yet, but want to.
19. Do you have any road stories or any fond memories with talent outside the ring you would like to share?
JR: Vic and I getting drunk with Ricardo Rodriguez during Wrestlemania 27 Weekend was a lot of fun lol. And was molested by Michael Mcgillicutty … I mean he just grabbed my ass and held on, this bastard could have done whatever he wanted to me at that point. I finally felt what it’s like to be a young lady violated…
But nah, not many stories lol.
20. What do you think makes a good match in the ring?
JR: The story, I mean lets be honest, it’s some athleticism, but what sells wrestling is the story, so the match that is great is the one that tells the best story.
21. Do you watch WWE or TNA? if so what do you think of the product?
JR: I’m a WWE and TNA watcher, both are good in there own rights, but I would say I watch more WWE than anything.
22. Speaking of the big 2, have you had an opportunity to wrestle for them in any dark matches, tryouts or gut checks?
JR: TNA Gutcheck this past year, didn’t go as planned but nothing in wrestling does.
23. How do you feel about the current Indy Scene here in So Cal?
JR: It’s something I think can be better. If anyone says its great as it stands is selling you something. This business needs to constantly grow, otherwise we won’t have a future… Inspire more, and you will get a future.
24. Some talent has set a goal for themselves saying if they don’t make it, they’ll walk away. Some are in college while wrestling, some have full time careers. So do you have a goal in trying to succeed in the buisness or do you have something to fall back on if things don’t turn out the way you want it? Or will Justin Ryke continue to wrestle & enteraining fans for many years to come?
JR: I have a full time job, two kids, a wife… I have another life outside of the ring. The goal? It’s to be something in THIS business, whether on screen or off. I will always be apart of it though. I love it too damn much… To be dramatic lol
25. I know you have a wonderful family who supports your career in the pro wrestling buisness, so have you thought about the day your kids will come to you to ask about getting into pro wrestling?
JR: My son is off again on again with it. Some days he says yes, others no… But if he wants to be in it, I’ll for sure help him.
26. Tell me about your “Dream Match”?
JR: It would be against Bret Hart , but locally I guess it’s Ray Rosas.. Willie Mack.. I mean there really are a lot of guys Ryke has not been in the ring with. Makes it kind of exciting if you ask me….
27. Last Question: Do you have anything to say to the fans of southern california & especially to the fans of Justin Ryke?
JR: Believe in your dreams, not to sound cheesy but I was a fan forever and barely got in this business… If you really want something you have to go for it. Ryke is a character that I feel represents the average joe who wishes they could do something, and if they fight hard enough… They can.
Follow me on twitter @justinarredondo, on tout @justinryke and Facebook.com/teamryke also justinryke.com, and lastly thank you to the fans who cheer for me, I really love you guys. Thank you.