Current WWE superstar Jaxson Ryker sat down with new Wrestling Inc. contributor Drew Rice to discuss a variety of topics, including Ryker’s relationship with Elias. Ryker says he has enjoyed working with Elias, and that they work well together due to shared beliefs. Ryker and Elias recently worked a program with Braun Strowman and Shane McMahon, which featured them losing a handicap match at Fastlane to Braun Strowman ahead of WrestleMania.
“[Elias] has been great, he is awesome,” smiled Ryker. “He is a good person first of all, he’s worked hard and came from the indies, and stuff like that. So, we have a lot in common, our beliefs, our work ethic, whether it be dieting or faith, that we always talk about. . . I think we have a good dynamic, because there are moments where he is comedic, and I’ll play off of that a little bit. We have had some fun with some backstage stuff, with kind of just our facial [expressions] and bouncing off each other. And I think that is something that can evolve.”
Ryker says that while he doesn’t know what the future holds he and Elias do work well together.
“We don’t know what the future holds, if we’re sticking together for a long period of time, we really don’t know right now,” confessed Ryker. “But I do know that it has been a lot of fun, just some of the backstage promos, because they have given us creative liberty. Instead of me being the Jaxson Ryker of NXT with the Forgotten Sons, who was a stone-faced killer all the time, there are moments where we’re doing a live promo or whatever, where if I make a goofy face or say something stupid, that’s okay. Because this is a new avenue for me, because I can act. I’ve done a few movies and still do auditions to this day. So I like to be able to step out of the box and show that ‘Oh, this guy has a comedic side to him.’”
While discussing his personal life, Ryker spoke about the importance of Christianity in his life. Ryker opened up about how he was raised around church, was never forced to go, but that faith was instilled within him at an early age.
When discussing his beliefs, Ryker was asked if he ever had to do anything that would go against his Christian beliefs while in the wrestling industry. Or, if he knew anyone backstage that have had any issues with their religious beliefs during their careers.
“I’ve never been asked to do anything that would jeopardize my beliefs, or anything,” shared Ryker. “I’ve heard some stories of wrestlers that were asked to make out with a certain female on a show or something like that years ago. And they would say, ‘No,’ because they were married. I’ve never been put in a predicament where I’ve had to say, ‘I can’t really do that,’ because of my beliefs or what-not. Even now, wrestling is totally different. It isn’t the Attitude Era anymore where people are swigging beer and stuff. So, it is a little more laid back and easier.
“As far as your social media page, you’re not told, ‘Don’t tweet about Jesus,’ because you don’t want to upset anybody. It’s your faith, and you can tweet what you want. You just have to be respectful of other people’s beliefs as well. Which I do, and I am. It’s good for the industry now. It’s different times. And I think social media has opened a lot of doors for that.”
Ryker was also asked about friends that he has made throughout the business, and who he enjoys talking with and being around.
“Ken Anderson kind of took me under his wing when I first joined TNA,” remembered Ryker. “I was just starting off, I was broke and couldn’t afford rental cars or hotels. And [Anderson] would say, ‘Hey man, just stay with me. Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about gas, it’s okay.’ I still keep in touch with him, and respect him. He really stuck his neck out for me. AJ Styles was one that was always really cool and close, [someone] that I could go to about anything. About wrestling, about family, and all that stuff. Edge, keeping in touch with him, and the respect I have for him. The Hardy’s, I keep in touch with Matt and Jeff. We met back in 2010 or so, and I’ve spent a lot of time with them. Just two guys I’ve always respected a lot. [They are] two guys from the Carolinas who I always watched growing up. But Ken was one of the big ones, because he just kind of took me under his wing, and really helped me out when I was just a broke kid trying to make it in wrestling.”