Exclusive interview: Up close with “The One and Only” Ricochet
Few Superstars have captured the imagination of the NXT Universe as quickly as “The One and Only” Ricochet. Coming off his remarkable WWE Network debut at TakeOver: New Orleans and his Full Sail in-ring debut Wednesday night on WWE NXT, the preeminent high-flyer spoke with WWE.com about his upbringing, his sports-entertainment inspirations and much more.
WWE.COM: You've had some time to digest your experience at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans. How was it for you?
RICOCHET: It was honestly amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to debut. And just to be at WrestleMania and experience the whole weekend was a dream come true.
WWE.COM: How much have you had to adjust your life since joining NXT four months ago?
RICOCHET: It’s really not been difficult at all. Maybe because everyone at the WWE Performance Center, from the talent to the coaches, have been super cool and have helped me with everything. I can’t thank them enough.
WWE.COM: Despite the fact you had competed against many current NXT and WWE competitors in the past, how intimidating was it for you to walk into this company on your first day?
RICOCHET: Oh, it was wild. Yeah, I’ve been friends with a lot of the NXT competitors for years, but just walking into the Performance Center alone is intimidating. Not only is it intimidating, but I have to try and keep up expectations I had made for myself before. Luckily, everyone here has been willing to help with any troubles I’ve had.
WWE.COM: Let’s take a step back. Tell me about your upbringing.
RICOCHET: I was born in Alton, Ill., and moved to Paducah, Ky., when I was 3 years old. I lived in Kentucky until I moved to Florida in 2015. We never had the most money, but my parents always did their best to take care of me and my brother. I had a real small but tight group of friends, and we would just ride our bikes all day after school and play video games, or we would actually wrestle out in the backyard. Those were good times, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
WWE.COM: What attracted you to the world of sports-entertainment?
RICOCHET: I had been a fan since I can remember. I started training when I was 14, and my debut match was actually on my birthday, Oct. 11, 2003. So, as of this year, I will have wrestled for half my life. (Laughs) That’s pretty wild when I think about it.
WWE.COM: You’ve obviously had a lot of time to hone your craft. What's the motivation behind your innovative style?
RICOCHET: Well, my style is a combination of all my favorite wrestlers growing up, between AJ Styles, Matt Sydal (aka Evan Bourne), Amazing Red, Jack Evans and a lot of The Rock. (Laughs) But I try to take something from all those guys and combine it into what I wanted to be inside the ring.
WWE.COM: How did you come up with the name Ricochet?
RICOCHET: Looking at my in-ring style, it just seemed like an obvious choice. I actually hated the name originally. But since then, it has grown to become a part of me just as much as my birth name.
WWE.COM: What is your training routine like?
RICOCHET: I normally did isolation/bodybuilding-style workouts. But since coming to the Performance Center, the strength and conditioning coach has me doing a lot of different workouts I’ve never done before, and it’s really shocked my body in a good way.
WWE.COM: What is your current career goal?
RICOCHET: Honestly, when I first started, I never thought I’d make it to the WWE. So now that I am here, my only goal is to become the best performer I can be and try to be an inspiration for my son and anyone, really, who doesn’t think their dreams are possible because of where they’re from or their circumstances. If I can inspire even one person to follow their dreams, then it will all be worth it!
WWE.COM: What message do you have for your supporters?
RICOCHET: I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way. It’s because of you all that I am where I am and get to do what I do. I know it gets said a lot, but it gets said because it’s true. So, just thank you all so very much.