Hello everyone, this is Mike Draven with a special Draven UnScripted interview & today I have to pleasure of interviewing one of SoCal’s rising stars in “The Sunset Blvd Bad Boy” & “Rock-N” Richie Slade.
1. Good morning, how are you this day?
RS: Really good man, a lot of good things to look forward to.
2. Do you remember the first time you saw a wrestling match & what was about it that made you draw to it?
RS: I remember my cousins were wrestling fans and occasionally would tune in to watch WCW and WWF in the early 90’s. Eventually Me and my bro got hooked, we would pretend to be the guys on TV to see who’d win, my guy was always Bret Hart. We both instantly became addicted.
3. Did you feel after watching your first wrestling match that this was exactly what you wanted to do?
RS: I think that eventually became a thought, but not right away. I started wanting to be a wrestler around 13. I started buying books on how to be a wrestler, getting any materials i could get my hands on. But eventually i sort of gave up on the dream without even trying.
4. Since you said you actually gave up before you tried, when did you find you love for wrestling again?
RS: It was years later actually. I decided to check out a local EWF event with some family. That’s where I got inspired and the love for wrestling came back. All the doubts I felt about myself had gone away. I guess it was just the right time. Mentally I felt I was ready and willing to take a chance.
RS: No. I had no prior training. But Jesse Hernandez gave me the foundation and fundamentals I needed to grow in this business. I’m still learning everyday man, and that’s something I love so much about wrestling, it’s so evolving
6. Some wrestlers over the years have tried out others schools to see what they offer & train with multiple schools, have you had a chance try other schools in So Cal?
RS: I haven’t but that’s not saying they aren’t any good. I get the opportunity to go against a lot of students from surrounding schools and they are great, and at the end of the night I end up learning a lot from the match, as well as the wrestlers. So, everyone really has a hand in me evolving on a constant basis.
7. How long did you train before having your first professional match?
8. Currently how long have you been wrestling?
RS: I say 3 years since I took my first bump.
9. Since you’re regular featured in EWF & AOW, have you had the opportunity to wrestle for anyone else?
RS: Yes, I’ve worked for a few like Vendetta Pro, Lucha Libre USA, Brian Kendrick’s Wrestling Pro wrestling, Apex pro. Those are just a few to name.
10. If you had the chance to wrestle for any other promotions, who would you like to debut for?
RS: There are so many great promotions out there. Its really hard to list them all, but PWG, Lucha Underground are two that stick out in my mind. I’d also love to go international, wrestling in Japan or Europe would be a dream.
11. Who did you wrestle in your debut match with EWF?
RS: First match was against Mondo Vega in Lytle creek.
RS: Just like me its evolving. Its hard to compete to be the best when you have so many other talented individuals killing it each night at the school of hard knocks. Its tough competition but you do what you have to do to stay on top – work work work, and if you think you’re there keep going until you got nothing left. You really have to stay on top of your game.
13. It seems that everyone does notice the “Sunset Blvd Bad Boy ” Richie Slade & in 2012 you were runner up to Socaluncensored’s Rookie of the Year..how did you feel that So.Cal knows about is keeping an eye on you?
RS: Yeah it was amazing. Its like a dream to be honest and I’m still humbled from the memory. Just goes to show that hard work does pay off and if you keep working on it dreams can come true. with that being said it only motivates me continue working hard.
14. Fast forward now to 2014, being in the biz for 3 yrs do you see anything different in your style compare to your rookie year? More adventures to try new things in your work ethic?
RS: Of course! And yeah man, to even compare myself to 6 months ago i feel I’ve evolved tremendously. I’m always looking to be better. That’s just the way i am. I rather work and perfect the basics before moving to the next step. You can’t go wrong with that mentality.
A lot of guys venture too soon to try new things without fully understanding the basics and that’s where most fail. I’m a lot more aggressive now, and making what I do count more than just trying random moves.
15. 2014 has been your best year winning some championships. Let’s start with Alpha Omega Wrestling where you defeated which then seemed an unbeatable “Big Nasty” Eric Watts to become the New AOW Champion after having a grueling match prior to the championship match. What was going through your mind, just having competed & now you got a shot at the championship & thus becoming the champion?
RS: First off, Eric Watts is a beast. I dont think I had ever been against a man of his strengths until then. The idea of losing that one shot was a complete nightmare and I refused to let my family, friends and fans down. Thing is, when you’re in the ring and you hear those fans rooting for you, it truly does give you that extra life to keep fighting, even if you think you have nothing left.
16. Since becoming champion, you’ve faced all comers & a memorible match you had was a Triple Threat Match as You defended against LTP & Wrestling Legend Chavo Guerrero. What was going on in your mind knowing you’re facing these two including having Chavo Guerrero Sr on the outside?
RS: I can’t described what a privilege it was to go out there and share the ring with them. The Guerrero family has inspired me many ways growing up, so to be able to share a ring with not only Chavo, but to have Chavo Sr outside, and even get involved in the match was just mind blowing. It definitely was an honor.
17. At Road to Unleashed, you retained the AOW Championship against “The One” Blake Grayson due to some outside interference from The Midnight Society. How was it facing Grayson for a second time at that event?
RS: Blake Grayson has a bright future in my opinion. He has heart, and the passion to be the best and succeed. I was very disappointment by the interference, but I’m not embarrassed to admit that Blake gave me a run for my money and I thought he almost had me up until the end.
18. Again, Eric Watts & The American Oni did get involved in your match last month & we know that at Unleashed in Indio, Ca you’re facing Watts again with the Championship on the line. Do you have a different mind set in this encounter again with “Big Nasty” Eric Watts?
RS: I see a VERY desperate giant looking to regain what he lost. Desperation makes any man do crazy things, and I gotta be prepared for that. Eric Watts is already someone you wouldn’t want to piss off naturally, so imagine beating him for the AOW heavyweight championship. I know I’m in for a world of hurt, so I need to be smart about how I go into this. I’m not backing down, and I’m not going to quit.
19. But at AOW Unleashed you fought a tough battle with Eric Watts ultimately losing the AOW Heavyweight Championship back to Watts who then immeditaly loses the championship to Blake Grayson. 1st of all, how do you feel about losing to Eric Watts & 2nd..How do you feel about Blake Grayson cashing in his opportunity for the championship?
RS: Watts was the better man that night. I won’t make any excuses as to why I was unable to pin him, but I will say its not over. As far as Blake Grayson… Smart guy for cashing in after the damage had already been done.
20. To continue your successful 2014 year, let’s go back to your home promotion in the EWF. This year, you became the EWF American Champion defeating “Uptown” Andy Brown in an amazing match. How did it feel going into this match?
RS: Oh my God, I was excited cause I had the opportunity to be the next EWF American Champion! I knew that was my one and only shot. Me and Andy both started at the school of hard knocks on the same day, we have both equally proven to our peers that we belong in that ring and so who better to go up against for something so prestigious as the EWF American championship?
21. As EWF American champion, you had some great competition until you ran into EWF Veteran Brandon Gatson & unfortunately lost the championship with 5 seconds left before the time limit had expire. How difficult was it knowing that you were so close to a draw but ultimately losing the championship to Gatson?
RS: I was beyond disappointed in myself and to be honest embarrassed. At the time, i really looked up to Gatson. I imagined going into our match with him with mutual respect for each other but in reality he didn’t respect me at all. In fact, after he earned the title shot, i offered a hand and i got knocked out for my efforts. Somehow the fans felt it was appropriate to praise Gatsons actions. That really changed how i saw things, not only in the EWF fans but also how i approached our match. Of course, i fell short in the end. I lost focus and wasn’t thinking clearly.
RS: I took some time to reevaluate myself. See where I stood in the eyes of the fans, and I realized the EWF fans don’t exactly respect me, never have. They are easily manipulated. These fans I mention are the ones that support Gatson, and Mike Maze. Sadly, these fans cannot think for themselves. The ones who are smart enough to not buy into those bogus heroes still root for me day in day out, and it’s for those individuals I still fight for.
23. As we reached the end of 2014, what do you see for yourself in 2015?
RS: This may sound corny but I see myself doing what I love and that’s wrestling. Regardless of where and how many fans sit at ring side. If you paid for a ticket, then I’m going to give you a hell of a show. With that being said, the sky’s the limit.
24. Who would be your dream match against?
RS: That’s a tough one cause I have so many, including some I’ve already wrestled more than once – guys like Andy Brown, Seville The Thrill, Rocky Romero, Scorpio Sky, Matt Jackson are just a few to mention. I’d also love to square off against Alex Koslov, Brian Kendrick, Nick Jackson, Billy Blade, Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels.
25. Have you had the opportunity to try out with WWE/TNA? or work as an extra with them?
RS: I did get a WWE tryout when William Regal paid a visit to the school of hard knocks a year or so ago. It was awesome and nerve wracking at the same time. I’m happy to have gotten a chance to even be in their radar. Not everyone gets that opportunity.
26. What do you think of WWE/TNA’s product?
RS: Love them. I grew up watching WWE, so obviously its my first love. But its great seeing other companies like TNA and new comer Lucha Underground provide fans with an alternative on TV. Plus, its more opportunity for wrestlers to make a name for themselves if they are lucky to get that shot in the first place. We’ll see what the future holds for Richie Slade.
27. If fans or promoters want to follow you or looking to book you, where..facebook, twitter?
RS: Either can always reach me via Facebook @richieslade1 twitter @richieslade and email @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
RS: I’d like to thank them all for their support, and continuous cheers and boos. whether you hate me or love me, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed in what you see in the ring. If you want to see Richie Slade in your town, make your voice heard! Contact your promoters and demand RICHIE SLADE! OW!
I would like to thank Richie Slade for taking the time out for this interview & would like to thank everyone for reading the interview.
If you would like to see Richie Slade in the ring, he’ll be returning to EWF on Friday, December 5th in Covina, Ca & on December 19th in Azusa, Ca. Visit the Socaluncensored event page for details: http://socaluncensored.com/events/2014-12/
Make sure you follow SoCalUncensored on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/Socaluncensored
And Myself Mike Draven @TillAllAre1
Until next time, this is Mike Draven & I’ll see you at Ringside!