Lee Sanders of The RCWR Show spoke with The Big O Adam Ohriner recently. Below is a quick recap of the interview:
On getting into pro-wrestling: "At first I was only suppose to help write and edit the shows because I went to school and have a degree in journalism and communications so I'm very good with computers, writing, editing, web design. So I figured he just wanted me to do some of the production behind the scenes. After 4-5 weeks of just helping him produce the shows, he asked me if I wanted to make a cameo appearance. I was like I don't know anything about wrestling. What exactly would I do? He was like just get in front of the camera and act crazy, tell folks if they gonna fight me they gotta come through you first! You're my new muscle and people need to start taking you serious. I was like sure whatever, no problem.
"So I did this little promo for him and the following week video had 300,000 hits on it. I was like oh—this is kinda cool! He asked me to do another, and another. After about 5 months of doing these shows, I started getting recognized by people. I'd be at the mall or at Wallmart and people be like—oh you're Zack Ryder's friend! You do the YouTube show! I'm like hey and yeah that's me."
On his first experience in a pro wrestling event: "Zack invited me to go to a live RAW event at the National Coliseum in Long Island in 2011 and it was the 1st professional wrestling show I'd ever been to in my whole life. Never been to a pro wrestling show. I go to take my seat as I'm walking with his father who also appeared on the show with us. We couldn't get to the aisle where our seats are because there was literally a crowd of 500 people who wanted to get my autograph and take a picture with me. Solely based on the fact that I was doing this YouTube show with him. So I was like wow this is exciting! This is cool! So after doing the episodes for another three months from that moment on, a few more shows, I ended up backstage meeting with a few wrestlers, I was like you know what this really might be something I could get into cause I've always been an athlete, in great shape, I have a very flexible job working at a nightclub, little responsibility and at the end I had the head start because I had connections. So I was like you know what gimme the number of the wrestling company that you started training at years ago with the New York Wrestling Connection and I'll go in once or twice to see what it's all about and see if it's for me or not. Labor Day of 2011 I go into NYWC, two weeks later I was body slamming a 400 pound guy in the main event, and here I am less than two years later having just appeared on National Television for TNA Impact."
On the Zack Ryder YouTube Show: "When we first started doing it, it was very risky because nobody in the business had ever done something like that. No one had ever done a live radio shoot-talk show or a fan mail Q & A interacting with fans or directing responding to fans. It was the 1st time that anybody used social media and used that as an extension of television and superstars on WWE's internet website to really let people into the world of Zack Ryder to know what kind of person he really is. That kid's got ton of personality but when you're not featured on television or you're on television once a month for a two minute match, fans don't know who you are.
"They don't get to know who you are. The fans are never going to love you or hate you if they don't know you. So by doing this YouTube show it was like show everyone how fun you are, how wacky you are, how clever you are, and how talented you are. We challenged the system, we criticized a couple of things that we felt mattered because either he would get noticed or get fired. He got noticed from it. We didn't know how far it was going to take us. We didn't know we were going to have 100 episodes. How we were going to have a collective 3 million hits for 100 episodes, they featured some of the clips of the show on WWE RAW, on their website, I did a interview for WWE magazine, we never thought in a wildest dreams! We had a flip camera show in a park in the middle of winter and we're filming the show with people running the track looking at us like we got five heads. I'm taking my shirt off doing push-ups in the snow. It was the 1st of its kind and the only of its kind. "
On the Zack Ryder YouTube Show: "A buddy of mine that I trained in the New York Wrestling Connection with me in Deer Park, NY did one of these TNA Gut Check seminars. Basically what the Gut Check seminar is you pay a small fee, you do a clinic with a TNA agent. When I did mine it happened to be D-Lo Brown. They run you through a few drills and then they give you a tryout match. Later on after they run their 16 or however many it was, tryouts...the fans on the net vote which person who tried out in each city should get nominated for a television match. I did a Gut Check in North Carolina in February, a buddy of mine won the previous month in Atlanta Georgia in January told me about it and how it would be a great experience. How I could have real professionals criticize me and what they liked and what I need to improve on. I said you know what this is perfect! It should be like a little evaluation for me to find out where I am a year and a half in my career.
"I flew to North Carolina, I did the Gut Check and I waited. Three and a half months later the voting took place on my bracket I won unanimously. I went in to the winners brackets with other winners who won their bracket from other cities. Then I got a phone call from Al Snow saying he wanted me for a television match. I packed my bags and two days later I flew to Illinois and I was ready to go on TV. Pretty much how it happened. It took me by surprise. I got a email from Al Snow saying to give him a call and that it was important. At that moment my heart stop beating for a second. I was like aww here we go! This is it! "
There's lots more in the interview including talk of working for the WWE, the independent scene, current state of TNA and much more at the The RCWR Show Podcast.
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