Welcome to a new feature on SCU, “SoCal Shoots with Brawlin’ Bo Cooper.” In these chats, Bo will sit down with various wrestling personalities and get their thoughts on the business, wrestler to wrestler. In this first installment he chats with the spiritual leader of H.A.T.E, Ray Rosas.
Bo Cooper: Welcome everyone to the first ever “SoCal Shoots” interview. Happy New Year. I am Brawlin’ Bo Cooper and I’m here to bring you the inside scoop on what’s going on in the world of professional wrestling with various pro wrestlers around the Southern California area. I will be asking no BS straight up insider questions and getting truthful feelings from different subjects. My first guest is Southern California pro wrestler and well-traveled season veteran Ray Rosas. Ray, I want to take the time out to thank you for giving me the opportunity to ask you these questions. Please feel free to open up and give your best, truthful answers as everyone is eager to hear what’s been going on. So when was your first match, where was it, who was it against, and what company did your debut for?
Ray Rosas: My first match was a battle royal for Hybrid Pro Wrestling back in 2009. It was full of other students from my wrestling school. I was lucky because I had had only been training for about 4 months.
Bo Cooper: Coming from one of the most well known wrestling schools in Southern California, Santino Brothers, what was it like training there and how long would you say students now days should train before they have a first match? I know that question could vary depending on one person’s in ring ability, but what would you say is a minimum for a student to train before going pro?
Ray Rosas: Before the school ended up in Bell Gardens, it was a boot camp. Mandatory training every Saturday at the crack of dawn. If you were late or absent then you were punished. It didn’t matter what the weather was like we trained in the heat, the cold, the rain. Only the strong survived there. We had 4-5 trainers working with us and had eyes on us at all times. They would watch our growth and ultimately decide when we were ready.
I don’t know if there is a minimum amount of training before your first match. There are a lot of factors but if you can’t bump and if you’re not comfortable in that ring then it might be too soon. My first 6 months was me just getting the shit kicked out of me by a veteran and letting them call everything. At the end of the day, I feel it comes down to when your trainers feel you’re ready.
Bo Cooper: In your time of being a pro you’ve gotten pretty well-known pretty quickly, due to your awesome in ring capabilities. I’ve seen you wrestle, I’ve been on shows with you and we did a bit of battling here and there, though not one on one. Your ring skills are up to par with some the best in the nation what would you say makes a good wrestler all around, if you had to use just three words?
Ray Rosas: [laughs] I’m ok. But for me it has been respect, passion, dedication. Also I feel being open-minded and coachable helps.
Bo Cooper: Since working for big promotions at times such as ROH and Dragon Gate USA and also working for smaller promotions across all over, what would u say makes a great promoter? And what are your thoughts on fans that don’t have a lot of inside knowledge or experience in the business becoming promoters?
Ray Rosas: Promoters who make in clear that they’re in charge, who don’t get pushed around by the boys but also have the respect of the boys. Promoters who are leaders and not bosses. It’s easy to get behind someone who inspires you to work better.
If applying for a job it’s preferable to have experience in the field you’re looking to have a career in. People think it’s easy to run a promotion but it is tireless and thankless work. You don’t necessarily need to have been a wrestler to be a promoter because a lot try and most of the times fail. But it doesn’t hurt to have some experience working on all the different jobs on a wrestling show.
Bo Cooper: With the popularity of strong style wrestling overseas and having a lot of wrestlers trying to adapt to that style of work in the USA. Who was the first person that really laid it in to you and did you give a receipt? And who would you name as the strongest strong style worker in SoCal?
Ray Rosas: I used to get knocked out, get a busted lip or a black eye on weekly basis when I was starting out training. Training with guys like BC Killer, Angel, and Supreme was almost guaranteed getting roughed up.
Tyler Bateman is bar none the best strong style worker I’ve ever worked with. He has some of the best strikes around.
Bo Cooper: Yeah man, me and Tyler have worked on numerous occasions and he definitely has a solid strike and does it well. So you and fellow graduates of Santino Brothers have ventured off and started a stable at others promotions with the name of H.A.T.E. What made you decide to leave the nest and explain the definition and reasoning of H.A.T.E?
Ray Rosas: Well a few of us didn’t exactly leave the nest, more like we were kicked out. But at the end of the day, it was probably a blessing in disguise because we were able to create a new brand as opposed to building one for someone else. Besides you can’t stay in the nest forever.
We hated wrestling. We felt wronged and me and a few of the guys were going to quit. Then we thought “Why do we have to give up on our dreams, while others who we felt didn’t deserve it don’t?” We sat down and thought about our favorite aspects of wrestling, and it came down to having fun. We had to cut through the bullshit and just have fun. And doing it with best friends made it better. We chose H.A.T.E because we were filled with it and hate is simple but powerful word. It can stir up a lot of emotions in a person especially in today’s social and political climate.
Bo Cooper: In your time of wrestling throughout different locker rooms do you ever notice any sort of outstanding egos? And guys who are just starting out being booked on shows that have attitudes when they should be humble? How do you go about working with guys with that mind set and if you had to wrestle with someone who does not have the full amount of respect to you what would you do?
Ray Rosas: Everyone has an ego even if they don’t admit it. My dealings with most prima donnas luckily have been few and far between. But it comes down to attitude I think. If a young wrestler has a good attitude and is surrounded by others who have good attitudes, they have healthy growth as a performer. A few times I’ve wrestled guys that had some bad attitudes and I just had to go to work. I have to do my job and get the match done. Hit my spots, don’t get hurt, and go home.
Bo Cooper: Where do you see Ray Rosas in 5 years and where is your ultimate dream job?
Ray Rosas: I’ve been prepping myself for more behind the scenes work. I try to keep my expectations realistic; I don’t really see myself lasting much longer as an active wrestler. I’ve tried my hand at booking and working production for wrestling shows. I’m really starting to get comfortable in a coaching position. I plan to stay in the wrestling business as long as I can find something for me to do and stay satisfied.
Bo Cooper: Let’s do some word association. I’ll drop a name; give me 3 words to describe them.
Ray Rosas: OK
Bo Cooper: Ryan Katz.
Ray Rosas: Innovative, unyielding, and fearless.
Bo Cooper: Super Dragon.
Ray Rosas: Unique, legend, gruff.
Bo Cooper: Ryan Taylor.
Ray Rosas: Underrated, jacked, athleticism.
Bo Cooper: Hobo.
Ray Rosas: Character, creative, hardworking.
Bo Cooper: Ray Rosas.
Ray Rosas: Pride, idealist, leader.
Bo Cooper: Brawlin’ Bo Cooper.
Ray Rosas: Rude, crude, and tattooed.
Bo Cooper: Ray, I would like to wish you the best in future endeavors and it’s been a pleasure getting the chance to talk with you! Thanks for joining SoCal Shoots with Brawlin’ Bo Cooper.
Ray Rosas: Thank you Bo.