WWE star Jaxson Ryker sat down with Faith, Life, Fitness recently to talk about his wrestling career and religion. On the topic of wrestling, Ryker was asked how the Jaxson Ryker name came about. He revealed he came up with it himself.

“You get in WWE, some of the times you get to keep the name you have,” Ryker said. “But majority of the time they’re like ‘nope. We’re gonna trademark our own thing. We’re going to own this.’ So for Jaxson Ryker, it was nice because I got the chance to come up with this name. Some people don’t.

“For me, I’ve always liked the name ‘Jackson.’ You know like Jax. I was a big fan of Sons of Anarchy years ago, so Jax was like this character I remember. And then Ryker, me and my wife we have a four year old daughter. And we always say, if we have a son, Ryker is the name that we chose. And this was years before I joined the WWE and whatnot. So I just put those two together. And low and behold, they like it. They own the rights to the character, but I get a chance to take the character and the name and make something with it.”

Later Ryker was asked about his best opponents. He interestingly didn’t pick anyone from WWE, instead bringing up an old feud he had on the independents and one from his stay in Impact Wrestling.

“In independent wrestling, I had many feuds with a good buddy of mine, Iceberg,” Ryker said. “Big guy, big man. In NWA Wildside, we did a year long feud where we just, we bled, we sweat, we laughed, we cried together. It was a friendship bond where these two guys loved each other, loved the business of what we did, loved to entertain these people. We would go out there and I nearly bled to death one night. I had a lacerated artery in my forehead. Luckily it was the last minute of the match.

“And then I had a really good feud with James Storm in Impact Wrestling where we did, roughly, a six, seven month feud with cage matches and all kinds of stuff. Tough guy man. We gave it to the fans, we gave our bodies for the entertainment. There are so many more, but those are the two that come to mind.”

Ryker was also asked who he looked to as mentors throughout his wrestling career. Two men came to mind; the man who trained Ryker and a wrestler he’s worked with in both WWE and Impact.

“I always look up to AJ Styles,” Ryker said. “AJ Styles is a good man, a good Christian brother as well. Just always kept a level head, always been one of those guys, he’s from a small town in Georgia that worked hard. And I look at him and I go ‘okay, this guy gave it his all.’

“I look to be around people who tend to not want to complain, who love what they do. And there’s days you’re going to have bad days, I get it. But AJ Styles is always, man I worked with him in Impact Wrestling, and he always gives it 110%. Not only to the business but to being a father and a husband. And I would say my mentor wrestling wise from starting out was the man who trained me. His real name is Tommy Burch, and he wrestled as Abel Adams. But he’s the one who took me under his ring, took me to shows, taught me in the ring. We’re still close to this day.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Faith, Life, Fitness and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription