Appearing on the With Authority! podcast, WWE star Ricochet was asked about his time working in front of no fans during the COVID-19 pandemic last year. According to Ricochet, it wasn’t much of an adjustment as he had already gotten experience working in front of little to no fans on the independent scene.
“Luckily, when I first started in Tennessee, and Alabama, and Illinois, and all these little areas, I basically wrestled in front of nobody,” Ricochet said. “Even at upward of years into the business, I’d go to a show and there’s more people in the backstage than outside watching the show. I guess that’s the difference – there’s two groups. There’s some people who absolutely love the art of professional wrestling. They love doing it, they’ll do it in the backyard in front of nobody because they love doing it. And then there’s some people who do it for money, or only do it for specific reasons. I’m one of the guys that, since I was eight years old, have loved professional wrestling. I’ve loved it my whole life.
“And obviously it counts because you know people at home are watching. They hit your music, and they pop in the noise and the screens of the people that are home are watching. So I can look at the screens and stuff and see them. But honestly, I’m just in the group of people that just love it and will wrestle in front of nobody. Any time I step into those ropes, that ring, it’s a sacred place for a lot of us. It’s very sacred, it means a lot to us. It literally, like, saves our lives, most of us, keeps us off the streets. So we owe our lives to wrestling. It was something I was born to do, it was something that I just love, I have a passion for. It’s hard for me to not give my all even if its in front of nobody or in front of thousands.”
While it wasn’t a problem for him working in the Thunder Dome, Ricochet is very thankful to have the fans back. He called the transition from the Thunder Dome to full arenas a “night and day” situation.
“I remember the first time, going back to the first time in having fans, it was night and day,” Ricochet said. “Although being in the Thunder Dome was a cool experience and it was a learning curve for a lot of us who hadn’t been through that… But man, there’s nothing that compares to a live crowd. The energy, the electricity, the atmosphere – who’s not going to get pumped up? It’s a spectacle for sure, and that really just helps us go out there and perform. It’s night and day.”
While Ricochet talked mostly about WWE, he was asked about a match he had with fellow WWE star Rey Mysterio for the now-defunct Lucha Underground promotion. The two fought at Ultima Lucha Dos in 2016, when Ricochet portrayed the character Prince Puma, and to this day, it remains one of Ricochet’s favorite matches.
“A lot of people ask me ‘what’s your favorite match?’ It’s hard for me to pick a favorite match because I have favorites for very specific reasons. But if I had to pick one up to this point of my career, that match has to go top two, top three favorite matches ever,” Ricochet said. “Just because of what it meant to me, what Rey means to me. We might’ve even had a couple before that match, on the independents, one overseas, one in New York. But that one specifically, man, I remember after the match. He leaves the ring and I’m about to leave, and he stops me and says ‘no, this is your moment. You stay. I’m going to get out of here.’ He had just won, but everyone was cheering for me.
“I go to the back finally, I try to find his little locker room. I go in there and I’m trying to just say ‘thank you so much for this match. It means a lot to me. You’ve obviously been a huge inspiration, you’ve been someone I looked up to for so long. So, just thank you.’ I was trying to talk to him and tell him all this stuff.
“He was sitting there, everyone’s around, and I’m just crying. I can’t even speak. Like, literally so emotional, and he’s like ‘no, I know man.’ Even at that moment he was like, ‘man, I loved that. I wish you could’ve met Eddie (Guerrero). Eddie would’ve loved you, bro. Eddie was watching that one for sure.’ As soon as I started feeling better and he says that, I’m literally crying again. I think he knows the respect level that’s there. I think he knows the inspiration and everything. It’s just cool and to share a ring with someone like him.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit With Authority! and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription