As the first few synthesized beats of Animotion’s “Obsession” electrified the raucous Bar Wrestling crowd in Los Angeles on the Wednesday night before BOLA weekend, I could already feel the sting of tears behind my eyes. This was the embodiment of a bittersweet moment for me, a feeling I’m sure was shared by many of my fellow fans in the audience. I pulled my dollar bills out of my purse as Peter Avalon and Ray Rosas, PPRay hit the ring and I tried to push away the thought that this would be one of the last times I saw this duo tantalizingly lip money out of grown men’s sweaty, alcohol-marinated mouths.
I wasn’t lucky enough to have been a fan of PPRay from the beginning. I feel so deprived that I did not get to enjoy almost a decade of this amazing tag team, like many long-time fans in the Southern California area. But, like many other fans, I was introduced to them at Bar Wrestling, and it was love at first sight. Their energy was palpable when they entered the room and their choreographed entrance dance on the ring apron was a sight to behold. What really sealed the deal on my loyal fandom was a Bar match in which PPRay were booked as heels. The crowd at Bar, as it so often does, knows talent and entertainment when they see it, and were cheering loudly when the boys entered. Rosas scolded the crowd, telling them not to cheer for his team.
“We’re the heels,” he said, putting his black leather wrestling boot up on the top turnbuckle and pointing to his bootheel. This only got the crowd laughing, then they cheered even louder. Rosas’ ability to connect with the crowd is unmatched, and it was exemplified by even this short exchange in the early days of Bar.
Another favorite PPRay memory is the Weekend at Bernie’s bit where Avalon was knocked out in a match against Curry Man and Kikutaro. Rosas propped his partner up in the corner and manipulated his “unconscious” body to fight his opponents. Pure comedy wrestling gold. Make no mistake, PPRay is not all fun and games. When they turn it on, their matches become a clinic in tag team wrestling, with Avalon and Rosas so in sync they seem to move as one.
All good things must come to an end, as the saying goes. With Avalon moving on to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), the question on all of our minds seems to be, what is Rosas going to do now? The first answer that comes to my mind is: succeed. Thinking back over the last few years, some of my favorite bouts have been matches with Rosas sans Avalon. The Heart Eyes Emoji, a trios team of Rosas, Jake Atlas and Heather Monroe was a delight, making it to the finals of the Bar Wrestling Trios Tournament in February. Rosas teamed with rising star Dom Kubrick at Ground Zero’s July show, 93 ’til Infinity to form DDRay, an entertaining pairing I’m hopeful we will see again. While he is an unquestionably skilled tag wrestler, Rosas’ singles matches are often what I find myself looking forward to the most on a card. The bout he had with Atlas at Santino Bros. Wrestling’s Put Up or Shut Up in July was truly a work of art.
In his farewell speech at Bar on Wednesday, Avalon said Ray Rosas makes wrestling better. Truer words have never been spoken. When Rosas steps into the ring, the passion and intensity in his eyes are unmistakable. He pours everything he has into those moments in the squared circle and he can step up against any opponent and have a stellar match. Ray Rosas does make wrestling better, and personally, I can’t wait to see what Sexy Jesus is going to do next.
PPRay can be seen this Saturday, September 28 in San Diego at Ground Zero’s Mama Said Knock You Out. Rosas is also a regular at Bar Wrestling, Millennium Pro Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and Championship Wrestling from Arizona.