Episode 5 - Quarantine Sessions Ricky Ruckus

Highlights

  • Segment 1: From entertainer to promoter
    00:53-8:42
    Who was Ricky a fan of? What did he learn from his experiences in the beginning that helped to shape how he does things?
  • Segment 2: Into and out of the ring
    8:42-15:23
    What lessons did Ricky learn early in the game to help facilitate a better approach for his future? Is it wise to bank on other’s mistakes? Hear how he jumped through open doors exploring opportunities as well as how he learns from failures.
  • Segment 3: Wrestling and politics
    15:23-27:05
    Was Wrestlemania worth watching this year? How can playing to people’s strengths help showcase the EMERGE difference? Listen in as Ricky and Ant talk Vince Mcmahon, what makes a great promo, and the lost art of talking.
  • Final Segment: Having the best cogs for your machine
    27:05-49:26
    Is there true power in promoting by word of mouth? How does combining that with e-commerce benefit a business? Hear how Ricky is doing more the right way,  the benefits of hard work, and the future of EMERGE.

 

Ant Blair 0:00
Hey Ricky, man, thank you so much for being on. I’ve been looking for you for the longest.

Ricky Ruckus 0:06
Yeah, man. When she when she asked me about it, I was like for sure. Yes. You guys been a supporter since I’ve been knowing you also. Yeah, anytime.

Ant Blair 0:15
Hey, I appreciate that. I’ll tell you what, Ricky? Hey, but I’ll tell you what, though, Ricky. True story. So Heaven and Trent, I’ve been knowing them since the Zwanzigz days. And Trent would always be like, Yo, man, you need to go to Emerge, like I said, and I knew what was up with Emerge because I see the signs around downtown and Cory at the CB. You know, he would talk about y’all from time to time y’all did the shows upstairs and whatnot. I was like, Man, you talk about some local wrestling. Come on.I grew up back in the day you’re watching old school wrestling so I’m kind of in that mindset I’m old school you see right so man one time Trent was his talking about Justin Kyle. And Heaven was talking about Cole Raddrick. He said, I mean, just go. It’s only $10 my dog. The one that I went to Ricky, I got there, you know, the first few matches were alright but once it got to about midway through, I started getting a little cranked up. I was like, okay, okay, okay. It was the one I think it was Emerge like 50 and what I think is your 50th I think it was back in I want to say December, January, like November, December, somewhere around in there. And that was the one with Justin Kyle jump out of the ring in the crowd. And I was like, Oh shit. and Cole Raddrick got up on that scissor lift

Ricky Ruckus 2:14
hey we try man we try I’m glad you enjoyed it man

Ant Blair 2:21
I’ve been a fan ever since. Like I’ve tweeted I tweeted it and put it on social media I was like man $10 is the best money you gonna spend on entertainment in Columbus if you hit up emerge

Ricky Ruckus 2:35
appreciatethat. you know I came up with some of the old school too. What we try to do is try to put on a professional wrestling show not not some clown show they have on TV nowadays where half of its people talking and acting stupid and acting a fool we want professional wrestling we want exactly as we want people either is it when they spend their $10 it’s like they got every dollars worth of it. I’m glad you enjoy it, man. For real. Yeah, for real. I appreciate that, man.

Ant Blair 3:04
Let me ask you how, what’s your what’s your wrestling background? Like, man, I grew up old school.

Ricky Ruckus 3:13
Yeah, well, I’m 42 years old. So I started. My first my first match was in 2000. So that’s how long I’ve been doing it, but like, it was, it was kind of off and on. Yeah, like, my first year, my first year, I wrestled a lot. But you know, I was, I wasn’t making any money at it, because no one does in the low end, especially back then when there wasn’t really a whole lot places to go to. So you know, I was mostly mostly doing it for fun, sell some t shirts here and then make some money that way and the whole time knowing like, if I’m ever gonna make money, this is gonna have to be me running the show. And because, I mean, one of the reasons the places that I wrestled that wasn’t making any money is because like most of the people want to be quite honestly kind of stupid. Like there’s a lot of people who are just making Money well they were making what little money they could but they weren’t really putting effort back into the shows and they were using the cheapest talent they could because they didn’t have to pay that money out they come right back in their pockets and now I realize man if I really want like money is somewhat to get in on the other end of it be the promoter and the business side of it. And then when I do get the itch I get in the ring at once well, but you know, my body’s beat up I’ve been doing for so long like I’m left young cats do that nowadays. Now. Let them do that. I will stand in the back and make sure they got a good platform to do it on. Which I didn’t have back then

Ant Blair 4:36
that’s what’s up. How What did you start out watching? wrestling back in the day like before you even started wrestling? As a person. Did you watch a lot of the old school is like, I’m going way way back to like Bobo, Brazil and chic and all that kind of stuff. I go way, way back. I’m presuming you probably maybe landed in probably about like this. Superfly snuka and in Junkyard Dog,

Ricky Ruckus 5:06
my earliest memories of is probably late 80s. I’m sure I’ll watch it a little bit, like maybe mid 80s I have little tiny memories of mid 80s type stuff, but I was so young man like, it didn’t really stick but like late 80s what really got me into it with like said Ric Flair, flair versus steamboat matches and NWA and I love macho man, Randy Savage. I love the great buddha. He’s the reason he’s the reason I paint my face when I wrestle now because I love the great Buddha. So he was

Ant Blair 5:38
Yeah, he wasn’t. true. That was back when he was wrestling, staying alive. Lex Luger, the four horsemen, that whole that whole line.

Ricky Ruckus 5:50
Well, he was the first guy to do that. Really, he did like the moonsault and the backflip elbow into the corner. Like he did athletic things, but it wasn’t like nowadays. You see guys doing really athletic things. Yeah, they’re impressive but it doesn’t look like rest looks like they’re doing gymnastics almost to where you can tell the guys he’s wrestling is sitting there waiting for him or he’s doing something with him and it just looks so staged and put together with with mood. It could do flipping back elbow, and it looks like he’s sticking a guy in his face with his elbow which I bet a lot of times he did, you know, they saw a wrestle in Japan.

Ant Blair 6:23
They don’t fuck around in Japan. The Japanese wrestlers.

Ricky Ruckus 6:31
Yeah, I mean, that’s it’s physical. It’s called strong style for a reason. Like they will pick you up and dump you on your head. And it’s just part of it. In the States, like, one of the things they try to teach you not to do is drop your opponent on the head and all that stuff when fans pick you up for suplex and just dump you on your neck and say get up. Take another one. So yeah, I would I would advise looking at some New Japan Pro Wrestling stuff. If you really like the hard hitting athletes.

Ant Blair 7:03
Ricky like I said I’m old school. I watched wrastlin were false was getting tagged with train spikes. I watched the wrestling show one time man, I want to say was the sheep man is this cat threw fire at a cat in array he was often shaved back in the day we’re talking in the 70s like the mid late 70s, early 80s when it was still pretty It was pretty rough back then.

Ricky Ruckus 7:36
Oh, for sure, man. I saw it weed people out like you couldn’t be a pussy in Vietnam. They they taught you early on like cuz even then it was a lot of people saying this is fake. This is fake. And then they got in and they realize how not fake it was.

Ant Blair 7:51
That’s right. That’s right. How did you get involved in it? What was what was your path to Starting as a pro wrestler, all the way to now you talked about Yeah, you know, you wrestled and people kind of bad businessman and things like that. But what was the thing that actually got you into the ring? You said, Man, I’m gonna do this, and what was the progression from there?

Ricky Ruckus 8:24
Well, you know, I, like I said, I did grow up watching it and all that and I grew up in a neighborhood some let’s just say they were low rent, housing developments with other kids and we would all get together and we would meet up by the green box, and we’d have our own wrestling matches and we just, we’d watch wrestling and we go out there that’d be our top rope jumping off the green box. And so like we we was doing it when we was kids, but you know, as I got older, I didn’t think much of it. And then one day a friend of mine actually started wrestling with he told me that he Found out that there was a guy who was doing training. That’s all he told me. He’s like, hey, there’s, and there was a wrestling show going on in town that I’d never heard of. So apparently this guy was going to be there. So we went to the show and met the guy and he was sitting at a table like selling t shirts, but he wasn’t wrestling. He was just at the table. I talked for a minute. He’s like, Yeah, I just got a ring. He had it in his aunt’s backyard. You know, and I’m thinking, well, I’ve got a ring, but it’s in someone’s yard, and I don’t know how much I’m training. I’m gonna give away he’s got a ring. So I used to do this in the grass. So it was I’ll go getting a wrestling ring. So it’s like so we started going. He actually lived in Madison. This is we’re up here in Columbus, we had to drive down to Madison. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that as much our way. It’s like right on the border. Yep. So like we would we was driving down there for like this was in the summer of 99. We were driving down there like two or three times a week. We go down, set up the ring in the backyard. Do our training, tear the ring back down. And it’s middle of the summer so hot. But you know, at the time I was 21 years old, it was the coolest thing. I would have done it every day of the week if I could have. So it was it was cool. And basically like we’d get in there and we just started training with the guys name was Eric Draven, and he’s got trained me he had a partner named Ben who would show up sometimes and he helped train us and you know, like, I picked it up pretty quick. So it didn’t take a whole lot for me to realize like, because again of the show, I went to where I met the guy I watched the show and the whole time Washington like man, these guys are not good. Like there was a big crowd there that night still pressing itself, which is not good. And I was thinking like, I know I can do this better than these guys with any amount of training. So that’s really what truly what got me doing it because up until then, even when he brought it up, I wasn’t sure I was gonna do it or not. Now I went to that show and I was like, I can do this. And yeah, by the end of that summer like I wasn’t for sure I can I was ready but I knew I could do it if I had to. Meanwhile, the guys I was training with were already wrestling having shitty matches like terrible matches so I was like, I’m gonna wait a little bit longer it’s get a little bit more seasoning because I did not want to be doing that. I’m glad I did. So I waited till the year 2000 I waited till the next spring actually getting the ring but Okay, that’s it then from then on, it was like that as I was wrestling for the wherever place I go. And actually, if I had somebody to tell me like this place is pretty decent. Go check it out. Because a lot of times you’ll go drive. This is before you know social media where you can link up with people and talk to them and get a feel for him. Like I find out. There’s a show going on in this town two hours away. You got hope that when you get there, they’re gonna have the crowd because a lot of times you show up, supposed to get paid. And then they’ll be like, oh, we’d have very good house tonight. any way we can get you $10 or 20 an hour. I always try to do that kind of stuff. So I learned early on stuff like that, like you. You got to try to find out what kind of show you’re going to be for Go through it. And that was a lot harder to do back then that’s what really kind of threw me off. Even trying to want to make it as a wrestler, not to mention I just liked being home. So who wants to be on the road all the time anyway? I didn’t so especially if you’re not making any money, so what I did was I had fun. That’s what I’m, that’s what I took away from is not only did it get me to where I am now with emerged, but I had fun and I got to say like, as a kid, I want to be a wrestler and I got to be a wrestler. So not too many people get to do that.

Ant Blair 12:28
That’s fucking dope, Ricky, That’s dope. You follow your dream, man. And if we ended our conversation right now, that would be a good place to end if you had, you took advantage of opportunities that were created. I think probably the fact that you wanted to do it and you was putting positive energy out there into the universe into the world and whatnot. Opportunities came to you. You went through and you went on. And you went up the ladder. And even when you stop wrestling, quote unquote, stop wrestling, you still stayed in the industry and took all that you learned and applied it in your own promotion. And from from, from what I can tell your promotion ain’t doing too bad at all, man.

Ricky Ruckus 13:19
Right? That’s, I mean, and a lot of times, they say you learn from failures, more than you do successes, and that’s what I try to take from it. I would, I would see these guys who are doing wrong, who were treating wrestler, you know, weren’t treating wrestlers the way they should or wouldn’t wasn’t on the business the way they should. And I was like, you know, if, once I start doing it, I know not to do that not to do that, like you can learn so much from bad business to make it a good business, you know, like, I, I, I, there’s so many things that emerge does, because we’ve seen other places do the exact opposite and it’s worked out, you know, and not to say that hadn’t gotten good ideas from because I mean, obviously you run get to people who are Complete numbskulls but they’re gonna have some good ideas too, you know, so it’s not to say never ever. Yeah, exactly so But yeah, I mean you got So the whole point of is I was not gonna if I was gonna stay in this and try to make a living off of it I wasn’t gonna not learn something from other people’s mistakes you got to always learn from other people’s mistakes including your own but other people’s as well.

Ant Blair 14:25
Yes sir that’s that’s a good word as well. How I’m curious Ricky we were talking about some of the old school stuff I was reading and also read some of your Facebook posts on your Facebook page. I think this will make a nice connection. I read your Facebook page man is pretty. I like it. YOu got a fan you made it funny. What do you think about this whole idea of WWE being considered essential? So the way I read the story is in flow. I think it’s Florida, that they’re considered essential. So they’re ramping up with WWE shows that our lie in the midst of everything that’s going on right now. What do you think about that?

Ricky Ruckus 15:25
Well, I just saw that they had an employee actually test positive to I believe it was a backstage crew member or something. And I’m not surprised. I mean, the governor from Florida, it’s clearly a moron. I mean, look how long it took him to shut down the beach. I mean, job

Ant Blair 15:43
facts. Unbelievable.

Ricky Ruckus 15:46
I ain’t trying to pin this just on republicans because there’s plenty of democrats you could say that but republicans you can really say it about it seems they honestly cared more about the dollar than they do human lives.

Ant Blair 15:57
Hashtag facts bro.

Ricky Ruckus 16:00
its is fact and it’s sad. I don’t I don’t say it lightly. I don’t say because I think it’s funny it’s the truth Do you see him as the reason I don’t want universal health care because they all they’re really worried about how much is gonna cost them now this Meanwhile, almost all them got some kind of health care already including one the contract congress who have health care for rescue lives. So as long as long as they have it, they don’t see why anybody else needs it. And that’s generally how it is. And I’m sure you know, this man and Linden are both well known republicans so I’m sure they’ve probably donated some money or promised to give him some money or something to his when Scott has to have it open. I mean, Vince is gonna he’s losing his ass right now. He just had to file for bankruptcy for the xfl

Ant Blair 16:46
I saw that I saw that. I didn’tse them making it Ricky. I thought I said Damn, man, I bet you the xfl won’t make it through this because it’s so new. And I was so sad about that because I got some homeys in St. Louis, and they had no football team in it, and it was real high by having the football team there now they don’t So to your point, yeah, they had filed bankruptcy, I figured that they would. So Vince is finally losing his ass right now on that.

Ricky Ruckus 17:16
As soon as they said they was canceling the season, I knew that was gonna be done because he still had so much more to pay out for the year. And it was basically coming out of his pocket. So yeah. And who knows was come back even by next year for him. So yeah. And then you add that on top of all the revenue loss from not having WrestleMania because that’s their moneymaker every year. That’s why many they make so much money off of that. And I doubt they had that many pay per view buys because they have it on the network. I do believe that’s right.

Ant Blair 17:48
Yep, that’s right. I’m curious. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on that to Ricky. I’ve heard I didn’t watch WrestleMania I haven’t watched WrestleMania in some years, man. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this past WrestleMania I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it.

Ricky Ruckus 18:05
I’ll be honest with you I didn’t watch it either. I don’t I don’t watch it. I haven’t watched TV in at least a few months and when I do it’s flip over watch a little bit chilly something silly. makes me kind of embarrassed to be a wrestler and then I flip back off of it. And I hate saying that too because I have a guy I trained with is one of the head referees on Jason errors he’s on SmackDown every week yeah train with him really good friend orders officemax here in Columbus for a while so I mean we I hate the only one I know a few other guys out there like I’m pretty cool with so I mean I wish I’m sure they if you ask them hurt they’re probably fine with it. They’re still getting paid and they’re enjoying it but I was really the only time I flip over I flip over so you didn’t read for the match. I might watch it but like it just doesn’t catch my interest and then having no crowd it makes it even worse because it’s they act silly enough. When they’re doing that stuff in front of a crowd when I see them doing their terrible promos where they’re clearly scripted out for him, and there’s no one there reacting to them, it’s just as bad. But I hope they survive. There’s a lot of people whose jobs depend on that. So I hope they pull through, but I don’t know it’s blue. Yeah.

Ant Blair 19:22
Yeah, it’s rough. Man. What do you think about some of these newer wrestling promotions that are coming out? What’s that one that’s on a big TNT or one of the cable networks, one of the newer ones I can’t remember. Right. Oh, Debbie. Ada. Yeah.

Ricky Ruckus 19:37
I like I like it just because it’s not. Now they have, they have their own issues, which, again, I’m an old school guy, like he was saying, you know, school like, I would prefer just to be presented as a sport. You know, but they have a lot of silliness as well, which I think if they got rid of it, they’d be a lot better off but it doesn’t have the McMahon stamp all over and that’s the thing I you can tell when you’re watching He show you’re watching a rhythmic man show this man wants to watch and he just wants you to watch it too. Whereas with a W i get more of a you can tell Cody is dusty son he there’s a there’s an old NWA WWE vibe to it that I really dig again I haven’t watched them in a couple weeks especially since they haven’t had a guy like I don’t know I just can’t get into a wrestling show. There’s no crowd to play because that’s the whole point of professional wrestling is club Pat it’s not it’s not a real competitive sport it’s uh you know you got it you got to have the crowd to boo the hills cheer the baby faces and all that and if they’re not they’re just come up really hollow almost like a practice session or something. So yeah, but I again I want to see them succeed today. I know some people don’t learn. I really want to see them do it

Ant Blair 20:42
Oh, yeah, for real man. It’s rough right now and I agree. I I don’t want to see people out of jobs and whatnot to your point. Yeah, it’s it’s rough watching wrestling and there’s no crowd there’s no there’s no yay and boo And signs and the whole thing that helps make a wrestling promotion a wrestling promotion. One of the things that I struggle with in modern day wrestling is the promo I grew up watching dusty rose do a promo I grew up watching Ric Flair doing promos every day like the king.

Ricky Ruckus 20:42
Okay, do a promo used is called talking you’re asking to the building man. That’s what they were great at. And you know, honestly, that’s not even really the new guys fault because they don’t get a chance to like there’s almost tickling though now I don’t know about AWS and I actually think that they’re actually allowed to do their own promos. I don’t know and Wu they almost right down to the word tell you what to say. How to say that’s why it comes off so robotic. You know, it really comes off like they’re acting and they’re not even actors. So it’s Yeah, that’s that’s the main thing is really turned me off, though before last. I don’t couldn’t tell. How many years is this? The promos? What, especially when I was a kid growing up, like, you know, there was some pretty terrible wrestlers back in the day that I liked, because I didn’t know any better. But they were presented as you know, if it was a big fat guy with, you know, he could you could still take him as asked shaker because I presenting this one on TV. And if he couldn’t talk, they gave a manager good talk and tell you this guy’s gonna tear your head off, blah, blah. Next thing I know, you know, you can’t wait to see this guy in a ring. regardless how good he was. And nowadays, it’s like, well, if he shitty in the ring, and he can’t talk Why am I even watching this too? So? Yeah, I mean, that’s the last art I think in all of wrestling is people being on top because if you can’t, if you can’t talk and then everything in the ring nowadays looks so choreographed to it’s what’s draw them in. Why do I even care if you win or lose? So, but I think a lot of people, I mean, you’re not even in the business. And you pointed out there’s a lot of people that say that all the time. And it’s I don’t see nothing changing because they liked Have all that little control that can get

Ant Blair 20:51
you know, that’s too bad be changing gears a little bit to talk about emerge. How do you manage that in your promotion? With people doing promos and things like that you said that these these outfits that we’re used to seeing, they pretty much scripted down to the word Do you give the wrestlers, the merge wrestlers, more leeway, a lot of women leeway, all the leeway, leeway with some bumpers, how does that work out?

Ricky Ruckus 23:37
Well, I mean, all we tell them, you know, we’re a family traveling promotion, so we can’t have you in their class and like ACW days and all that. But like, if we booked someone to be on an emerge show, we booked them because they’re talented, and we trust in their talent. So I would never booked someone and they’re like, All right, now that you’re here, here’s what we want you to say like, now generally, we’ve we’ve done our homework on these guys before we bring them in and if they’re not the greatest at promos, you know, that’s something you may you might not want to do and very often because why would you expose one of the weaknesses, but if they’re good enough to be an emerge without being a talk and they’re obviously very good, Noreen so we’re gonna have you, you know do all your talking in the ring. And there’s been other guys who aren’t the greatest in the ring but it are incredible talking so you want to focus on their charisma and what they can say and when they’re in the ring. You know, they don’t have so much because some of the most over most beloved wrestlers in history, Hulk Hogan for one wasn’t the greatest in the ring, but he got people pop in for him and came out that curtain and they loved him. So Exactly. I mean, if you know what you’re doing if and if you play to people’s strengths and downplay their weaknesses, but unfortunately, like I said, like now the bigger covenant there would be civically. Like they will just basically give you a character a name that they change a lot. These guys names are Bring them in. Here’s your new name. Here’s your gimmick. Here’s what you’re gonna say, Well, if that’s not who you are, how do you make that come across the road? Anybody else? You don’t believe yourself? Right? Yeah. And basically does if, if, if we have some idea in a promo after the match or whatever, if they know the rest on the next show, we just said, hey, you’re wrestling. They already know what they just happened in them last match. So if they’re gonna touch on that, they know to bring it up, but I mean, I would much rather them say it from their own words how they feel. And let me try it. Because if, if I’m the one telling you what to say, then everybody’s gonna sound the same. You’re gonna sound like me. And I don’t need everybody’s telling me I need You sound like you.

Ant Blair 25:38
That’s right. The uniqueness is what makes the character man that’s that’s why your character, your unique thing that you can bring to the table so to speak. Mm hmm. How do you how do you create relationships with WrestleMania? How, how do you? How do you even do a frequent promotion, Ricky when I went to that first Emerge event. I said, God damn this a lot of people in there. I was surprised. They actually had to pull out more of the bleachers. And I say man emerges off the chain. How’d it? how can how do you pull off the bed? I don’t know, I tried to do the count. I want to say maybe 300 people, maybe somewhere, you know, plus or minus somewhere in that range. How do you like that off?

Ricky Ruckus 26:35
Well, I mean, hard work, you know, putting in work because I, I’ve been, we read I wrestled here in Columbus at a different promotion, who I won’t go into detail about because I given him any promotion. Not that it matters because if he went and saw him anyway, you’d never want to see him again. But I wrestled there for a while with Donnie Otto. You know, and we both were We were the two most popular guys there. The whole time we were there, we kind of felt disrespected, kind of felt like, you know, we could be doing more, doing better. So we decided to start our own and make sure that was done right. And so we already had a lot of the people it was coming to see us there, you know. And then once we realized for sure we was going to do this, like we were just going around, every day on the business is going to place no hitting that plate because for our first show was actually in Seymour. So he was going to see more to do that was hitting businesses and like boys clubs, stuff like that, just to get the word out, you know, we actually put in work as like we didn’t do for the other players because we weren’t getting treated where I weren’t getting treated with respect and the rest of the show I didn’t I didn’t feel like I wanted other people to see it because it wasn’t good. So like I’d had no incentive to get the word out that so once we had our own spot and we knew what was going to put in that was gonna be quality. We just put in a lot of work to get the word out man and just kept growing. You know, like, if you have a good product, that’s all you really need, you have a good product people will tell other people about and that’s basically what happened in our first show. And see more. We had like 300 people there, because we just put in so much work. And then they told people in the next show, our biggest show to this day, well, not now, but for the first two years, maybe was our second show and had like, 450 people psi building, we had three people. Yeah, like we literally was turning people away. And our second show because we just put in so much work, just to get the word out about it. You know, and then we had drama throughout the first year with one of our former owners and that kind of, we’ve missed a few months where we got like, yeah, it got screwed up for a few months and then basically had to reboot it but I mean, we got we got right back to where it was now. It’s just me and Donnie on it. So I mean, it is basically what it is just putting in work and like putting out a good product that you know, people see it they’re gonna tell our people and I mean, if we was putting out a shitty product, I don’t think we have that many people. You know, the next month you know I’ve seen that happen many times where wrestling shows ad to 300 people a month terrible show and next month 300 next month 50 so it happens a lot and I wasn’t gonna let that happen

Ant Blair 29:13
right oh man you you a hustler man and you and you believe in quality and and it shows I I’m kind of tripping know about even the people who you have at your your team. So there’s you and Donnie. I go to an emerge event. It is you got ring announcer you got referees. You got commentators you have camera people, you have people on the merge. You have people on consensus as a lot of moving parts man. Yeah, I didn’t coordinate all that.

Ricky Ruckus 29:51
Honestly, we just got good team around this dude. That’s that’s something you just gotta trust the people that are doing it for like the camera guys. We got a guy in the back Name Ethan woods. He runs a he runs all the cameras in the back light he clicks through like what camera shots we get but he’s one organizes the camera guys gets them all out there hooks up all the lights and you know all the insurance stuff and the TV Danny’s family his mom and she usually is nice or somebody works concession stand so it’s you know, it’s it’s generally people we trust but also people we know know what they’re doing as well. And then with like the ring announcer Her name is Dolly. She She used to come to the shows and she was a fan and she would start helping out. We start having her bring in the like when the rest will take a jacket a robe off the mat. she’d bring it back to the back, you know, and she just was so her mom would make cupcakes for the wrestlers. And it’s not like she was really cool and helpful. And eventually, we needed a new green announcer we asked her if she wanted to do it. She’s jumped to the chance and she’s turned out really well. So like, a lot of it’s you just gotta be lucky on To get you know, people who are good, you know what you need for it. And then once you find people are good, try to offer to them. Our commentary team is just fantastic too. Like john Gates is one of them. He does the play by play and he also does all the graphics for flyers and all that stuff. So there’s one of our commentary guys does those AWS search one of our commentaries, he’s one of our marketing guys. So he he handles all of our online marketing and all that so like, a lot of these guys, you know, we’re not a big company. So a lot of these guys take on more than one hat. And luckily, we’ve got guys who knock it out of the park on everything they do. You know, and again, that’s not just the route you know, the wrestlers in the ring, you have quality anyway, or the whole thing comes down. We make sure everybody who does the job does it well.

Ant Blair 31:50
Yep. And again, it shows man, how does. I’m real curious, then a guy who’s online and engaged in e commerce. See business things like that. You, you take the content you you record the matches, and the promos and everything. And then you use a platform, you reuse it, you edit it, but you have VAT with the merge and all of that. How How does that work? How does the e commerce I mean, I’m not telling you give away any trace if what is the impact of the e commerce portion of your promotion?

Ricky Ruckus 32:31
Well, honestly, I mean, that’s probably one of the biggest ones. Because when if you’re just doing a a local professional wrestling show without it, then really all you’re getting is people, people you meet in person. Now you get a lot that way. But with that without us having an online like that to show you came to the 50 I’m pretty sure. I don’t know the exact number but it was probably at least 30 people from past Indianapolis that came to that show just because they saw you know stuff online about it. I noticed like two families from Avon came down from that show so I without that we’re not getting those people because they wouldn’t know anything about it, you know. So what we do is we have a two usually a monthly what we try to do two times a month marketing call me Donnie and large and we have john and Ethan we all get together on a marketing call. And we just go over exactly what we want to get. across that month we had we schedule the promos we want to get out we like versus this coming week or next week. Exactly what we’re talking about doing, some type of like trivia shows, interviews will show some old matches, just, you know, stuff like that to get, you know, we obviously have any shows for anytime in the next few weeks, if not months. So, try to do something to get some content out there. And, like if it was a normal, normal month, that’s what we do we, we play the promos from the last show. Then we have our live stream that hyped up our next show. And then we have the wrestlers who are booked on our next show sending them promos for that show. So we we try to have something coming out at least, you know, every week leading up between the shows so everyone knows, you know what happened last one and now what’s coming up next and it keeps people want to see what’s coming next if you because if you leave it just blank you know, people can Stop thinking about it and then they’re like so excited anymore but if you always got some kind of video content out form it’s always on their mind always thinking about it. And you know, they might they might not like one wrestler might might might like another one so when we had the video The Wrestler I like him Now, can we back your mind again? So? Yeah, always about content on that stuff.

Ant Blair 35:20
Absolutely, man. How many how many subscribers Do you have a subscription model for your online video because you use you use a video you don’t use Facebook and other social media networks other than to promote or drive traffic to your video actual platform. right because you can subscribe on that correct.

Ricky Ruckus 35:41
Now honestly, that I don’t know. Yeah, I like I told you this first I’ll use zoom. I’m not the techno guy at all. But yeah, like right now we’re actually we’re getting Are you familiar with i w TV It’s the number one. It’s like an online channel, basically, all the indie chat all the indie promotions are the biggest ones. Okay, we just signed up with them. So I imagine what everything we’re gonna be doing is gonna be pushing us to that now because we’ve been adding our library up onto that. So I, I don’t I’m not sure when but pretty soon, we should have all of our shows that we have up on that on our w TV, so I would imagine that’s probably what we won’t be sending people to if we aren’t already.

Ant Blair 36:32
Okay. Okay. Do we know to make sure I get the link for that, too. I’ll put that down there too.

Ricky Ruckus 36:37
Yeah, I’m telling you, you’ll love it too, because it’s not just as good. All kinds of just awesome independent shows on there. And like the ones that are like emerge those type not the the trash ones.

Ant Blair 36:49
Yeah, facts, man. Ain’t anybody trying to watch no trash. I heard that man. Ricky would that’s a that’s a good segway into the future of emerge is is real sketchy right now you mentioned it, you might be able to start doing some shows and a few weeks, you might not be able to do some shows in a few months. I mean, you, you have things lined up that you were going to you’re planning to do. And now here we are, and we’re not doing a lot of the things that we all have planned to do. What were some of the plans that you had for 2020? No, have they changed? And depending on how things pan out in the future, what does the future of Emerge look like?

Ricky Ruckus 37:42
That’s a good question, I’d love to be able to answer that. We get some great. I mean not not to give anything away because if it does come back sooner than later on I’m sure we can start it up again. But you know, we have some awesome ideas on Your big Justin Kyle fan we have some great great ideas coming with him we we we just talked him right for everything you know popped off got him locked in for last year’s we had some good ideas with him we was going to do the Q mix firework show again the outdoor show with all the fireworks and hopefully like last two years we did it it rained right before so like, kept the number we had over 100 people out there for the shows, but hey, bad. Yeah, I mean, if it was if it had been perfect weather, there’s thousands of people that come to those. So we was hoping maybe this would be the year that happens. Well, now we might not even have you know, the firework show this year. So who knows? I mean, hopefully, you know, obviously emerged and wrestling in general is kind of a small, you know, speck in the grand scheme of things when with all this going on, but you know, hopefully, before too long, we can get back out there and start putting on some shows again because you know, I get hit up every day by people asking about it. You know, and I’d love a lot of y’all tells like hey, you know is it They are going back on. But obviously, none of us know none of us, you know, and I’d rather I’d rather wait an extra month, then do too early, you know, like, I heard that one more extra mile, it’s not gonna hurt anybody that come back too early is gonna be, you know, really bad, especially if you’re trying to pack the building, like we always try to do you know, right. You know, I’m not trying to come back to have 50 people in the in the building and all that either. So, you know, hopefully, I would love to say, you know, that gets cleared up enough by July that we can have the firework show, but who’s to say,

Ant Blair 39:33
yeah, nobody knows man. But like you said way at the beginning of the show, know the capitalists man, they won’t open up face today if they could get away with it. Exactly.

Ricky Ruckus 39:45
And well, I was talking about Easter before, which was just this past Sunday. So yeah, if it was up to them, we’d have done it then. Again, I’m, I’m not that type of guy. You know, I’m not and I’m not rich either. Maybe that’s why because I don’t put money over People but like, even if they said open it up today, I wouldn’t do it. Because I know I make the right choice to make, you know, I don’t want my people’s lives. You know, I got my mom, 68 years old, she has diabetes, and I love to go see my mom again, you know, but I’m not gonna go do that. Not knowing. So I’m willing to make sacrifices to make sure everybody’s moms and grandmas are right, and that’s right. No amount of money is worth that to me.

Ant Blair 40:26
I’ve read that on one of your Facebook posts. Actually, you went hard on that post,

Ricky Ruckus 40:31
right? Well, it really it just pisses me off, man. I hate it because there’s so many people in this country that have that mindset to like, and I think a lot of it ain’t even so much they agree with it. They just want to. It’s so weird. They just want to always agree with Donald Trump. I don’t get it. No matter what he says there. People just want to agree with him. Maybe they think it makes him in the rebels because they think he’s a rebel. I don’t get it. I’ll never get it. I I’ve tried to figure it out in my brain so many times and it just is. It’s something Glad I don’t get except I did. Obviously my brains on their level, I don’t need that. So

Ant Blair 41:05
I was gonna say if you got it then you’d be wanting to know,

Ricky Ruckus 41:07
right? I ain’t trying to have that. So

Ant Blair 41:10
say word son, say word. Where are they trying to be that? I, I’ll ask you this as we start getting to the end of the conversation, Ricky, when you we always ask people who I talk to once we get towards the end. Is there anything that you want to talk about so far as your brand? Is there? Like say we kind of talked about that right now events or things like that. You mentioned a couple that you were trying to do. You’re trying to do a fundraiser, whatnot. Talk about that, if you can talk about that fundraise a little bit more. also talk about ways that people can connect with emerge and Watch support. If people want to be as businesses once they once we get on the other side of this, how can they become sponsors? And then lastly, what Final Thoughts would you leave to the folks who listen who are listening and who are watching this?

Ricky Ruckus 42:21
As for the brand I mean, are and sponsors. I’m glad you brought up CB earlier. They’re one of my favorite places to go. Because Korea is not only a great guy, but he’s believed and emerged from the get go. He’s from again, being one of our sponsors. And he’s you know, that’s what we do the power house personal stuff in the loft in the CB, film on fire, things we do is doing the little interviews up there. So if somebody wants to be a sponsor, you know, all they got to do is go to our website, send us an email, go to Facebook, send us a message on Facebook or any of our any of our social media platforms, you can just send us a message or Get over me personally near Donnie, if you’re here in town we usually just go ourselves and talk to whoever and we actually had a couple of new ones lined up right for the stuff went down like two or three new ones. But you know obviously can’t do it and then not have any shows so we’re gonna put that on and I thought to have and actually about doing with you guys want to load low trade a trade So again, I have to wait till we get this going again so I actually go to it and hopefully y’all can do some live shows from our shows something cool.

Ant Blair 43:31
So, man, that would be dope, man.

Ricky Ruckus 43:37
yeah, but yeah, if anybody else wants to know anything about that, though, just get hold of me and right and obviously can’t do anything right now. So I don’t try to get anybody’s hopes up and then, you know, talk to him about right now and we got to wait couple more months. So whenever times right we can. We can figure that stuff out for sure.

Ant Blair 43:55
Sure. Let me piggyback off of that Ricky and asked if I A sponsor or potential sponsor, what is the value that being an a sponsor of an emergency, then what what value does that have for a company for a local company?

Ricky Ruckus 44:12
Well, I, I think we’re one of the best places to advertise that in, in Columbus because we have really, as you just pointed out how many people there and that’s, we generally got a very loyal bout hundred 250 to come every month and then we got about 100 250 new people every month that kind of come in and out too. So, I mean, you’re gonna, you’re gonna have your loyal loyal fans, who, if you’re sponsoring us, they no longer you know, take care of them. And then you’re gonna have new people every month as well. It’s gonna might be handled by her first time because what we’ve really been doing, we got greenlight auto who, they’re a smaller auto dealership, they were they were one of our top sponsors, and he saw the value in it from the get go and he realized, you know, if I’m trying to get my name You’re trying to get your name out and we do it together, you know, helps both of us out. And it’s been we’ve sold him a couple cars, you know, and he’s, he’s bought a couple, you know, rows of tickets for, you know, some classes come in with him to show him a good Tommy bring it to our show. So I mean, we scratch each other’s backs, you know, like CB been great with him. And, you know, I really think like if you if you sponsor an emerge show you also go and get the fact that we put just as much out for you because we’re you know, we’re like that it’s a partnership to say it’s part sponsorship. It’s a partnership, you know, so the way I look at if you’re trying to help us out or we’ll help you back out and nice places just want your money and that’s it. For me.

Ant Blair 45:45
That’s why we fuck with Emerge man. That’s why we fuck with y’all because I, before even hearing you say that knew that about you just by the way you conduct yourself in your promotion. Visual. And I appreciate that it’s not as common as it used to be defined businesses that way.

Ricky Ruckus 46:09
Thank you. And before, especially after all this stuff done, it’s gonna be a lot harder for the small businesses anyway, but even before, like, if you’re dealing with a small business, and they’re trusting you with their money, here’s money, you know, to sponsor you, you know, they’re they don’t have the money just to give away like that, you know, there’s something in return. So, you know, I’m never trying to take money out of my pocket, I could go to their family, unless I’m helping you get more money put back in your pocket from it. So that’s my goal. So that’s our goal from day one. So I think if you ask any of our sponsors so far, they’d all agree we’ve done that.

Ant Blair 46:44
Right on. That’s a good word, Ricky. Final thoughts. You want to leave with folks who are watching and listening

Ricky Ruckus 46:52
again. I want to put you all over man, I appreciate you guys asking me to come and do this man. It’s really cool. You know, I think there’s a lot of different podcasts and stuff like that out there, but it’s cool that you guys, you know, are actually trying to find out about other people’s stuff, you know, like, you could just be on here talking about yourself all day and, you know, drinking a beer and hanging out, but it’s cool that you’re actually you know, I’ve seen a couple other links that you sent and, you know, it’s cool that you’re trying to actually get some information out and talk to people and stuff like that. So I like that. It’s cool. You know, I’m not trying to just kiss you as either but uh, but I do appreciate it, man. I think it’s really cool. It’s a cool, it’s a cool concept different and how to keep it up now. I’m gonna send you some, some other guys that maybe you want to talk to.

Ant Blair 47:42
That’d be great, Ricky. Thanks, man.

Ricky Ruckus 47:44
I know some pretty interesting cats.

Ant Blair 47:46
I know you do! Right? Oh man. I appreciate that Ricki. And I also appreciate the support that you’ve even given us not only and coming on and having to contact With me, but even when you had few wrestlers, you know where Moe had your show t shirts and whatnot and that that was real cool and I said, Man, I don’t even know this cat. Well you know him in the trend. I said, Man I don’t even know this cat you know he out there representing us, man. I can get down with a someone like that. That’s why I get down cuz

Ricky Ruckus 48:23
I love that man.

Ant Blair 48:25
That’s right. That’s right. We gotta look out for one another man. That’s how we get by. That’s how we go get to this thing right now. Man. We gotta stick together and a motherfucker some don’t get that man.

Ricky Ruckus 48:35
They’re the problem. They’re the problem for sure. Columbus man, when the bars are open again. You and me got to get a beer

Ant Blair 48:44
for sure. Oh, you already know we gonna get a couple. At least we go get a couple a once again and thanks for being on the show. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. You did not disappoint me man.

Ricky Ruckus 48:57
I’m glad I was. I was hoping I wouldn’t be

Ant Blair 49:01
Now you’re the born talker, man. That’s why you have a successful promotion.

Ricky Ruckus 49:07
One of the reasons I guess,

Ant Blair 49:08
yeah, anyway, man hey you stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay positive, my brother,

Ricky Ruckus 49:14
You too

Ant Blair 49:15
All right take care

Ricky Ruckus 49:17
later, bro.

Heaven Brainz

Author Heaven Brainz

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