Nick Mason: Ones to Watch 2014: Chris Ridgeway
Good day, and welcome back to the ‘Ones to Watch’ section, we’ve had a nice long Christmas break, as I suspect most of you have! It’s brilliant to be back in 2014 with more options on the table, going forward. We have announced the expansion of the ‘Ones to Watch section’, amongst a few other things, which you have probably read on the Facebook page, no need to dig any deeper into that, we have our first ‘non-HOP’ One to Watch!
This time out, we have a very talented individual, who hails from the North-West. You may remember him from a last minute appearance for PCW; whilst he’s also wrestled for multiple promotions around the UK.
Chris Ridgeway is our first, ‘One to Watch’ for 2014.
After being thrown in at the deep end, against Kris Travis, for his debut, and after being involved with a brilliant match against the Hunter Brothers, we feel that Chris is super talented, and one to watch. When we were drafting names to approach for the series, Chris’s name was the first one on the list; his talent speaks for its self.
The next five years are key for Chris, he could be everywhere in the UK whilst also fulfilling his aspirations to wrestle in Europe. He has the talent, just needs the in ring time to be picked up by respective promoters around the UK. I would personally like to see more of him, he has great talent, and could go very far in UK wrestling.
This ‘Ones to Watch’ interview is possibly one of the longest we have ever conducted, but it’s informative and very interesting; we hope you stay for the end.
Before you watch the video and read the interview, you might need to get yourself a drink, of your choosing, you’ll be here for a while.
The video doesn’t have brilliant lighting, but non the less, it’s a good match. Enjoy!
Good afternoon, Chris. How are you doing today?
CR: Afternoon Sir! I’m very well thanks, yourself?
NM: I’m doing well, thanks for asking. On with the interview!
We’ve noted your work, prior to this interview. How long have you trained for, and who did you train with?
CR: Well I started off being trained by John Moss, he taught me the basics. As intimidating as he is, he was an excellent coach and was a very good role model as well. The guy is JACKED. I remember a fellow trainee messing around during training and generally annoying everyone, after a death stare and a few words from John, he shut up pretty quick. I was then trained by someone who won’t be named really but I did not learn much from him, it would be controversial to speak a lot on the subject and I don’t think this is the place to do it. He was an OK guy, just took advantage of young, naive trainees that wanted to become wrestlers. I stopped training for a month or 2, maybe 3 and then got back into it at XWA (now known as PAID promotions) under Johnny Phere. Again, great trainer, learned a lot from him too and begun to really take care of my fitness because of him. I’ve also been trained by Robbie Brookside, Chris Masters, T-Bone and several others along the line too.
Who was your inspiration during training, did your inspiration have an impact on your wrestling style?
CR: I always loved the smaller guys in wrestling (by WWF/WWE standards). So guys like Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels etc. were guys who I wanted to see. The younger Randy Orton doing his legend killer gimmick was brilliant too, I always wanted to be him like 10 years ago! My Mum introduced me to wrestling at a young age and it was my escapism, I loved it! Can never remember the first ever match I watched though, unfortunately. I ever watched much ‘Indy’ wrestling until I began training but when I did start I was amazed. I loved guys like ZSJ, Prince Devitt, Sami Callihan and Austin Aries. I still love watching them now. Anyway, I was training since 17 (on and off as explained above)
I’ve flicked through a few YouTube videos, I’ve noticed that you are quite agile, is this something you have trained, or is it a natural gift?
CR: Oh, god. I cringe at watching some of my matches back but I have to in order to improve each time. I don’t feel that matches that are on YouTube reflect my current work if I’m honest, it’s hard to get a hold of matches sometimes! When I do watch them back however, I’m always kind of negative about them, even if people tell me otherwise. I think it’s important to be your own biggest critique in order to be successful. I’m always trying something new and playing around with things to better myself. Anyway, to your question. I spend a lot of time in the gym, it’s my second home. I’d say agility is a mixture of being naturally quick on my feet and training. I’ve become more powerful and stronger after changing up my diet and workout so I’m looking to portray that too.
When was your official debut in British wrestling, who was it for and who was you against?
CR: Well, I was on a few trainee shows but I don’t really count them as debuts. My official debut was against Kris Travis. Yup, thrown in at the deep end but I like working under pressure. I am forever grateful for that match and opportunity to wrestle one of the current world’s best. It was a learning curve for me and I became a lot more confident.
To wrestling fans who haven’t seen your work, how would you describe yourself as a wrestler?
CR: I’d say I’m quite a technical guy, love manipulating, bending and snapping peoples fingers. Proper old school. I use a lot of strikes in my matches too, as well as suplex variants. I use a lot of different techniques according to my opponent so it’s different every time. Character-wise just depends on what mood you catch me in on the day. I can be arrogant, cocky and pretty obnoxious. Sometimes I’m a nice guy but that’s rare. KOW (Knockout Wrestling) have given me the ball and allowed me to just be myself and put on as good a show as I can by providing many opportunities. For a company that does not get much public recognition it sells out every time and I tend to maintain an upper card slot on the shows so without sounding too arrogant, that speaks for itself. They’re my local promotion and I’m proud to be a part of it. A sexy part of it.
Who has been your favourite opponent in the UK? Do you have any unfinished business?
CR: I have a few favourites I guess. I had a bout with the Hunter Brothers alongside Corey Johnson and that was probably one of my most enjoyable matches ever. I feel they’re criminally underrated. Craig Kollins too, he’s a great wrestler. Shaun Vasey and Nightmare are also two guys I have faced that are pretty good. Just not good enough to put me away. I’d say I have unfinished business with Kris Travis though. I feel that I simply was not ready enough for that match so I would love the opportunity for a rematch. I came up short but I feel better than ever at the moment and think the result could be different. I’m still in touch with him regularly and he has taken on the role of being my mentor, so to speak. It’s always good to have someone who has a lot of experience to share with me and give me tips along the way both in the ring and in the gym! This is why I want a rematch, to prove myself and take him on. It would be a good student vs teacher story too only this time with myself hopefully walking away with the ‘W’.
What do you think your biggest selling points are?
CR: I’m secretly quite modest so I don’t like listing things I think are good about myself so I’m going to write about feedback that people have given me instead. People enjoy the character I portray in the ring and something I often get told is they like how I move around in the ring and execute moves. I also get told about being agile as you have kindly said yourself and that I am and I quote ‘’weirdly strong’’. That one amused me. Everyone knows I love a good headstand to show off every now and then too! On a serious note, I take pride in my physical appearance. As a lot of wrestlers say all over social media/networking sites you’re not going to pay money to go watch some skinny pale kid with a crappy gear. So I put the hours in to look professional. I’m not near what my target is but I’m putting in the work for it and will continue to do so.
You’ve already wrestled for some big promotions in the UK, how did it feel to step out in front of hundreds of people, and do what you do best?
CR: Absolutely brilliant. PCW was a last minute thing so I didn’t have chance to get nervous… or tanned! Sad face. It was against Craig Kollins and we went out and had a fairly decent match and received great feedback from fellow wrestlers and fans. It was a similar situation at Pro Wrestling Kingdom, except I had a lovely tan. I got to wrestle the Hunter Bros as I said earlier and it was brilliant with more great feedback from wrestlers backstage and fans. Ryan Smile (the promoter of PWK) just gave me a slot on that show and said that he was glad he took the risk to do so followed by more great and positive feedback. Very grateful for him to put me on a show with such great talent from the UK. Same for Steven Fludder and the PCW show with so much international talent, giving me a little more exposure. Feel good moments like that motivate me to work and train harder so I can relive the feeling.
Rob has informed me about you, he’s seen you at a wrestling promotion he attends regularly, which promotions have you wrestled for in the UK?
CR: I’ve worked for PCW, PWK, EDW, KOW and many other little promotions around the country. I’m currently in talks with some more promotions which I’m quite excited for.
Where would you like to be within the next Five years?
CR: In 5 years’ time, I’d like to be one of the names on a show that people buy the ticket to come and see. I’d like to be wrestling on shows around the UK and possibly Europe against many different talents. Within them 5 years I could list a huge amount of wrestlers I would have liked to have had the pleasure to work with by then but I ramble on enough as it is, I think you would agree?
You sure do ramble! If there are any promoters reading this, which there will be, do you have any words for them?
CR: I’d like to think promoters have read this and seen how much I want to succeed in wrestling and to possibly give me an opportunity to show what I can do on their show. They can get in touch by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook!
Also follow my twitter @CCwareing for updates on shows I’ll be on or just if you want to look at my face and fantastic arse all the time. Each to their own.
Thank you for being the first Ones to Watch of 2014, we hope you have a brilliant year, and all of your dreams within professional wrestling come to fruition.
CR: No worries, thanks for having me and letting my bore you with useless information. I’m off to sculpt my quadriceps and glutes. Ciao.
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