WWE Superstar Jaxson Ryker was on a recent episode of Radical Lifestyle with Andrew and Daphne Kirk. Ryker described what his schedule is like in WWE.
“Right now, I leave on a Sunday night, fly to Tampa because we are doing the ThunderDome thing in Tampa, FL right now, and I’m home on Tuesday, but starting July 16, we start doing live shows,” Ryker noted. “We’ll be traveling back to Texas. I think we’re doing parts of Louisiana, some of Florida.
“We’re kind of starting to spread back out and get some live crowds. So it’ll pick up a little more, maybe not as strenuous as it was say two years ago. Our schedule will maybe be three days a week, kind of on the road, doing some spot shows or super shows leading up to SummerSlam in August.”
Ryker then recalled his path in pro wrestling while in the Marine Corps. He also recalled what helped him break out in the business after leaving the Marine Corps.
“As a kid, I was captivated by these larger than life characters who had these bodybuilding physiques so I was always into working out and stuff like that,” Ryker said. “In the Marine Corps, I just dove in to the gym time and just doing what I could to physically get ready for my wrestling career. When I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC, it was only a five-hour trip to my hometown.
“I would drive almost every weekend, a buddy and I, to go do these independent, small wrestling shows, whether it was South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, almost every weekend, unless I was deployed, to just get my feet wet. Get to know these people, build relationships, get in front of a crowd, so I was still independent wrestling at that time. Now, when I got out in ’06, I made the big jump. I was like, alright, we’re back to my hometown for a couple months. I realized, okay, I can’t get stagnant here.
“I got to continue with chasing this dream, and there was an opportunity for me to move to Atlanta, GA because there was a bigger NWA promotion down there. The NWA promotion in GA gave me opportunity because they did national TV, more national exposure to get my name out there, more connections, which ultimately led to me getting a contract down the road just because of building the name, getting a chance to get out of this small town, go to Atlanta, build my NWA name.
“I did shows in Bolivia. I did shows all over the United States. It got me out of that small town and allowed people to learn, hey, who’s Chad Lail, or at that time, different wrestling name. That’s really how the wrestling kind of kicked off. I decided not to get stagnant in my hometown and branch out because it’s all about connections.”
Ryker was then asked how much creativity he has with his character in WWE.
“They’re really open with our creativity as far as what we’re allowed to do, allowed to say,” Ryker stated. “Obviously, we got to pull back the reins a little bit, but with WWE, they’re really, really open to creativity, and luckily, Elias and I have done a little switch and we’re fighting each other on TV. They’re giving me an opportunity to kind of touch base on my Marine Corps history and all that stuff. There’s a good little bit of leeway.”
Later in the podcast, Ryker was asked about his motivation after achieving his childhood dream of being in WWE.
“Once you reach a certain pinnacle, it’s like building a business,” Ryker described. “A businessman opens his business. It starts booming, and it’s really successful. He’s not going to slow down. He can’t, per se, take a day off and decide to just take a break.
“Pro wrestling for me, I am in WWE. Back in April, I got a chance to perform in my first WrestleMania, which was a childhood dream of mine, and I have to sit daily, especially when I’m at TV on Monday nights, and go, okay, I’m at the big times now. I can’t slack off tonight and be lazy in the ring or be lazy with my training because I’ve always taken pride in how I look.
“There is a mentality with me, and I know with others I can speak for where it’s like, you have to keep going because it’s, what they say, grabbing that brass ring in pro wrestling. You always have to be prepared for any opportunity to shine, to do better, to advance your character, advance your storyline, and if I decided to go into work on one Monday and I’m just super lazy and don’t care, have a bad attitude, then that’s not going to do anything for me. It’s not going to do anything for my family or the fans.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Radical Lifestyle with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.