Current WWE superstar Jaxson Ryker sat down with Wrestling Inc.’s Drew Rice and discussed a variety of topics. Ryker spoke a bit about how he got his start into TNA and people he enjoyed working with while there. Ryker also discusses how following his release from TNA in 2015 that he had to work as a cable technician while wrestling on the independents in order to provide for his wife and their newborn daughter.
“Terry Taylor helped me get my foot in the door [in TNA], I owe a lot to Terry,” expressed Ryker. “As a matter of fact, WrestleMania morning I texted Terry and told him, ‘Hey, you’ve been with me a long time, you’ve helped me so much’ and thanked him. But he got my foot in the door in TNA and from there it was really on me. I drove down a year and a half, me and a couple of other guys. They paid us, they paid for our room and board at that time. It was one of those paying dues. I drove down to do a security role, I stood behind Dixie Carter or wherever. It was one of those, ‘I want an opportunity and will do whatever it takes.’ And lo and behold in 2010 I signed the first contract with them and I got stuck with Immortal, Hulk Hogan, and those guys, and built a relationship with those guys. I knew it was my opportunity and given the opportunity I would continue to shine.”
An important part of Ryker’s career was in TNA, where he wrestled as Gunner. Ryker shared gratitude for his time with TNA Impact and shared a list of wrestlers he enjoyed working with while with the company, but that the WWE was always his goal.
“I am very thankful for my Impact and TNA run,” said Ryker. “I got a chance to work with some of the greats. I mean AJ Styles down there at the time, Bobby Roode, the James Storm feud that I still love to talk about. I got to work with Magnus in England, and main event Manchester. Ken Anderson, and Sting, a guy I grew up watching and wanted to be like. Dude, there was just so many opportunities there that landed on my plate there that I know I capitalized on.
“Just to see where I’ve come from and the guys I got to work with and learn from, it was just a great opportunity and I think it helped build me to where I am now. Because the WWE was always my ultimate goal from day one, and I think a lot of the guys knew that. Like, yeah, I love TNA and enjoyed it, but the WWE has always been the ultimate goal for me. . . That name-building in TNA really helped me a lot, so I owe a lot to the opportunities I was given there.”
Ryker also discussed having to work as a cable technician while wrestling on the independents following his TNA release in 2015, because he had to provide for his wife and their newborn daughter. He also recalled a humbling experience where he was recognized by a fan while on the job.
“I have worked jobs I hated, that I absolutely hated,” admitted Ryker. “When I left TNA in 2015, I had to work for a cable company, because I had just gotten married and just had a daughter. And I worked indy shows every weekend too. So I’m doing that, I’m acting, I’m working at a cable company. So I go from being a wrestler on TV to a cable guy in somebody’s house. It is very humbling. But I appreciate where I am at now.
“I’m in a guy’s house one time and he’s just looking at me, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ He says, ‘Hey man, you look familiar.’ I say, ‘Yeah man, maybe I got a twin somewhere.’ And he says, ‘You’re Gunner off of TV, aren’t you?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I am. Now I’m doing your cable, but I’m here.’ It was humbling, it was very humbling.”