Ricky Ortiz Talks Playing In XFL, Joining WWE, Being Brought Up Too Fast, His Release, UWF & More
Ortiz: Like any top notch, Fortune 500 company that's producing the figures that they're producing. With those profit margins, and the way they go with their product and the different avenues they're taking. I think it's no different than an NFL team. Everything's got a little different like Mexican food or American food or Chinese food. It's still prepared food but it taste a little bit different. It's got it's own little spice to it.
WrestlingINC: You were in ECW for a little less than a year and then you were drafted to Smackdown. Did you know ahead of time that you were going to be drafted to Smackdown, or was it a surprise when they did that?
Ortiz: Brother, I think everything was a surprise. [Laughs.] Every time I'd be sitting in the back, they'd say, "We need a baby face." Jamie Noble would say, "We need a baby face. He's Ortiz. That's my man!" My boots aren't even tied up, I'm eating. That's sports-entertainment. It can happen on a drop of a dime. That's kind of the draw to it for myself, too. You always have the mystique and the unknown of it that may occur. I think it lies within that.
WrestlingINC: You didn't make your debut for about a month after you were drafted. Were you hearing anything during that time?
Ortiz: Nah, brother. I never heard anything too much. Even if there was stuff, I don't think I really paid attention too much. I was really just focused on my work and studying so much. There's only so many hours in a day. Like I said, it takes time and I was just grinding and grinding. I was thinking about what I could do and different ideas. I feel like that character had gotten so far away from the original character I developed that it was kind of to a point of no return, I guess.
WrestlingINC: Were you able to talk to anybody about that or is it one of those things that since you're new, you kind of just have to listen and don't speak?
Ortiz: I think so, but at the same time, I think communication is an important part. How much are they willing to give you to communicate? I mean, come on, they've been in this their entire lives and you've been in this a year or a year and a half. How much can you know? What can you know, right?
At the same time, you still have faith and belief and trust and you're thinking that they know something I don't know. I'll trust them. I don't have any reason not to since they've given me this job and all this. If Steven Speilberg said, "Hey, come in. You play a janitor in my new E.T. movie. Sorry, you're not going to be the lead bad guy or good guy but we've got this role where you play janitor." Well, you play the best dang janitor you can for Steven Speilberg. Well, Vince McMahon has you play the role he wants you to play.
WrestlingINC: So, for the months you were on Smackdown, did you get the feeling that things weren't gong well or that something wasn't right?
Ortiz: Something wasn't kosher? [Laughs.] Yeah, like are the cards weren't somehow mysteriously falling into place and you're hearing glass break. [Laughs.] No, but I think there's some sort of innate, natural sense in all of us about the direction that things are moving... Whether it's the company or your individual position in the company.
Hey, it's synonymous with sports. Whether it's fighting or whatever; you persevere. You get knocked down, you get back up. Times are tough, you fight through those. You keep going because this is what you train for and this is what you do. You don't let it bring you down. You let it motivate you and keep forward, keep going. You grow from the situation and you learn from it and you adapt and become better from it in the end.