Interview – Ricky J. McKenzie

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1. First of all, please describe yourself to the readers??

Well, my name is Samuel Gradwell, I wrestle as Ricky J Mckenzie, and during my last appraisal at work, I was described as a clean, well-spoken young man with a firm grasp on the English language. They said they appreciated my positive attitude and polite table manner, but my time-keeping can be a little lapse. I may, for example, be a minute or two late returning from my dinner break if the queue was long at Spar.

2. Did you watch Wrestling growing up and how did this influence your current wrestling style??

I watched wrestling from a really young age, I actually used to find the matches boring, for me they were just filler between Kane and Undertakers entrances, DX segments and Stone Cold promos. I try to make a conscious effort to never lose sight of the little things that captured my interest and imagination as a kid, then try to apply a little of it to my own stuff.

3. How did you then get involved in Wrestling and how would you sum up your training experience??

All my friends grew out of wrestling, I never did. I literally just typed “Wrestling Training Uk” into Google and clicked on the first thing that came up. Thankfully it was the GPW website and I began getting the train to Manchester every Sunday to attend the training school. Training was awesome, a lot of people, especially Johnnie Brannigan, Dylan Roberts and a guy called The Juggernaut really put a lot of time into me and as a result, I learned pretty quickly.

4. Last Sunday, you beat Cyanide and CJ Banks to get a title shot at Craig Kollins’ title at Remember Remember for PAID Promotions down in Morecambe, have you got any words for Kollins or the fans that will be attending??

Me and Craig have wrestled each other a few times now, we’ve gone from exchanging wristlocks, to hitting each other with Christmas decorations, to fighting in the street, and at the last show, he attacked me with a crowbar. So to be honest, I can’t really tell you what to expect, because I’ve no idea myself!

5. Throughout you Wrestling career so far you have worked for GPW the most, what has been your favorite moment so far as part of the promotion and is your future goal in the promotion to challenge for major titles??

GPW is my home promotion, it’s where I had my first match and like you say, where I’ve wrestled most. A match I had with the Juggernaut in 2010 was pretty special to me, Jugs was so instrumental in my progression at training and he was leaving wrestling to pursue acting. As a leaving present, he gave me my best match up until that time and really cemented my place on the roster. My future at GPW is the heavyweight title, no question. 6. A year ago you made your debut for Kamikaze Pro at Bank on It! facing Iestyn Rees, is it good for talents such as yourself to wrestle down South so you face a wide range of talent and is there any chance of you returning to Kamikaze Pro??

Absolutely! I really enjoyed wrestling Iestyn and learned a lot in the match. When you’re in there with a guy who has such star presence and LOOKS like a wrestler, the audience buy into him straight away and the task at hand is so much easier. There’s every chance of me returning in the future, we’ll just have to wait and see.

7. The XWA is returning after an absence, what are your thoughts on this and would you return to the promotion if given the opportunity??

Well, as far as I’m aware, the new XWA is an entirely different beast to the one I worked for. New owner, different talent, and from what I can gather, a different kind of audience too. The old XWA was pretty family oriented whereas I believe this one is for over 18s only? Either way, I’d definitely be open to being a part of it.

8. What are your future ambitions in Wrestling??

I wait by the letterbox every morning, but I can only assume my WWE contract has been lost in the post somewhere. Should probably contact Royal Mail… As long as I’m wrestling at this level, my goal is to learn, be as good as I can be, stay true to myself and not get caught up in the wrestling “bubble”

9. What are your thoughts on the current state of British Wrestling??

It really is an incredible time for British wrestling fans right now, no matter where you live in the uk, you will get at LEAST one show a month within travelling distance of your home, featuring some of the best wrestlers in the world, for an absolute steal of a ticket price. I mean, the fact that you can see CJ Banks, Bubblegum, Zack Gibson, El Ligero, Martin Kirby, Joey Hayes, and numerous others for under a tenner is absolutely mental. Make the most of it!

10. Where can people find you and book you for their shows and have you got any dates or projects you wish to plug??

You can message me on Facebook, comment on one of my pictures, tag me in a match graphic, email me at graderrs@hotmail.co.uk, any of the above is fine. Or just wait for me to message you asking for work, it’s bound to happen.

Please go and follow and support Ricky at the links above as he really deserves your support!
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