Thursday, June 13, 2013

First Real Entry of 2013!

I look in the mirror and I hardly recognize the person staring back at me. Who is this?

Let’s start from the beginning, I grew up in the small city of Lancaster, Ca. Lived there for a majority of my life and for the most part it was nice place to live and grow up. But being the young, headstrong teenager that I was, I couldn’t wait to get out of the Antelope Valley. To do what exactly? I couldn’t tell you. With Graduation coming up I had no plan whatsoever for a career. I was pretty close to joining the military but my Mother wouldn’t allow it.
Look at this Mama’s Boy, He has no idea what he’s going to do with the rest of his life.
I had no intentions of going to college. I’m not proud to admit that but hey. I had a pretty good job and I was making OK money so who needed school. Later on, I would make several attempts at higher learning which proved unsuccessful. Someday I'll go back to brush up on my grammar and reading comprehension.
Life between 18 and 22 was a decadent yet unfulfilled one, especially when I was moonlighting as a karaoke host. Yikes! It was fun sometimes but for the most part, not so much. When I was 22 years old I had a lot of problems that weighed me down personally and financially. I was back to living at home working and working two jobs to pay my debt. It wasn’t exactly a great time.

Thankfully, I found Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy. I found them online one day at work. It took some time to work up the courage to make the call and when I finally did…nobody answered. Normally I would go, “Well, I tried.” And just go about my life but I decided to call again only get no answer again. A few minutes later, I got a call back and after a brief awkward introduction I had set up my orientation for the very next day in Norwalk. As someone once said, “the time to hesitate is thru.” So I signed up and started training the very next week. 
Wasn’t what I expected.

Now, I spent a lot of my free time back in Lancaster backyard wrestling, something I would quickly renounce once I started training. I was a die hard. I completely immersed myself to wrestling, my training and the school. With the way my life was going at the time, it was only thing I put my faith in and believed in. I’ve never been so proud to be a part of something the way I was with Santinos. I was a soldier willing to do whatever it took to prove my worth. Every week was a struggle and filled with new challenges but as long as I was training I worked hard to persevere.

Some were harder than others
My first time wrestling in front of a crowd was on April 4th, 2009 in a battle royal, under a mask and Lucha Machine clotheslined me so hard in knocked out the filling in my molar and broke my tooth. A few years later, he would become one of my best friends and tag team partner. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

My first real match as Ray Rosas was on June 14th, 2009. My 23rd Birthday. It was probably the best birthday I ever had.
Happy Birthday!
Since then there has been an evolution in character, personality, behavior, lifestyle and pretty much everything about me. I finally moved out of Lancaster to Rowland Heights to be closer to wrestling School and my bookings. I remember my first night away, how home sick I was. I couldn’t wait to leave Lancaster now I wanted to go back. Figures. These days, I’ve made my home in Los Angeles and I’m content for the most part, but my heart still longs for Lancaster.

I got better...or worse depending on who you ask.
Fanny Pack will probably be the thing I will be remember for most. It’s proved to be a great addition to the character. Each time it’s been filled with a different item. Rose petals, a disposable camera, a water bottle, baby oil, a chunk of cinder block and thumbtacks!

Wrestling saved my life. Plain and simple. It made me a better person. I’ve made some amazing friends and experienced some outstanding moments. I feel my life has purpose. I feel fulfilled in my life. I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I feel like I’m in the right place in my life. And this is still technically the beginning.

This month, (June) has a ton of opportunity for me to challenge myself and advance my career. This month, I’ll take on Damian 666, Eddie Edwards, Tyler Bateman, B-Boy and my own tag team partner Peter Avalon. So many diverse talents and styles, one can only salivate at the chance to test their mettle.

If you interested in seeing one these fantastic matches head over to the Upcoming Events Page.

Conversely, I can’t help but feel in little doubt. Everybody has confidence issues and I’ll be the first to admit that I have them more than not. But in the end, I’d always believed in my training and ability. Visualize, attempt and succeed. You can’t expect to be there if you don’t see yourself there.

Injuries on the other hand, have been difficult to deal with. I don’t want to go into specifics but I wish I had time to heal. The iron is too hot for me to just walk away and let it cool off. Sooner or later, I’ll get the chance. My body feels 10 years older than it should but that’s the price we pay in this business.

It’s been four years for me in this business and it’s been a hell of a ride so far. 10 years ago only about 30 people knew my name in high school then I wake up one morning staring a painting a fan made for me. I work hard to please the fans, and believe me without fans we are nothing. Period. I work hard to have the respect of my peers and my trainers. I try every match to live up to expectations. I also put this tremendous responsibility on myself to make sure that I’m a person that people (children) can look up to, especially my nephew.

All in all, I can’t imagine my life without wrestling. I really can’t. I felt the need to ramble off about it and how much it is a part of my life and how it's changed me. It courses through my veins. I live and breathe it. I eagerly await the upcoming challenges. I look forward to what happens in the next 3 years. I only see things going up and moving foward. As the wise prophets McFadden and Whitehead once said, "Ain't no stoppin' us now!"

I look in the mirror and I see a person who has grown as person and changed for the better. I see me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fanny Pics: Holy Fanny Pack Batman!

The power of the Fanny Pack would be the only thing that could replace the utility belt. That Robin must be Jason Todd because he's dead wrong.

Monday, March 19, 2012

While You Were Gone.

…I laid there on the mat. I laid there broken, beaten and defeated. I saw nothing but my own hair and ceiling. I could barely make out the muffled noise as it got louder. My head was spinning, my muscles ached, my shoulder…probably dislocated again and my calves felt like they were going to explode. I was really regretting leg work out two days ago. I was desperately trying to gather more oxygen into my body. I haven’t been this winded in long time. It was almost disappointing.

 Rick Knox, one of SoCal’s finest referees hovered over me. The first time Rick Knox ever officiated one of my matches he told me it was terrible. Now he’s telling me to get up off the mat. I pick my head up and glance over to see my opponent for the night and winner of the match, Brian Cage(-Taylor) walking back through the curtain.

I got to my feet and I clutched my left arm with the fear that if I don’t it will just dangle there lifelessly. Then something happened. Something I didn’t quite expect. The muffled noise became clear. The crowd was cheering. I stood there alone in the middle of the ring and the fans were applauding…

So far, 2012 has been a fantastic year. I’ve had some very exciting and challenging matches with some great opponents. The Fanny Pack Nation is starting to take a life of its own. I’m glad it went from inside joke to greatest idea ever. I’m just going to ride this out and see how far it goes.

Unfortunately, injuries have piled up a little bit. Nothing really major, but just a bunch of small and nagging injuries. Though I’ve cut down on my bookings, my few attempts at a sabbatical have proved futile.

NWA Hollywood moved into its new home at the Glendale Studios which looks great on television. The cast and production crew put in a lot of hard work to produce a fine wrestling program. I’m enjoying my time there. Teaming with “Pretty” Peter Avalon has been a barrel of laughs. We have unbelievable chemistry and we’re just out of control or in his words, “We just love murdering fools.” We’ve really been trying to push Sexual Assault as our team name but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

I loved every match we’ve had there at NWA Hollywood. There was the Handicap, No-DQ match with Terex where he double superplexed Peter and I. It was just a fun and wild match but in the end it was chair, steel steps and Terex’s head. I’m sure you could figure it out. We eventually got our comeuppance with a pair of Steel Cage Matches.

I certainly paid for my dastardly deeds by getting locked in the confines of a steel cage with Terex. I continued my trend of jumping off really high structures or platforms by attempting a diving headbutt off the top of the cage. It became my undoing as I missed my giant target pretty much shattered to pieces.

Since my regular tag team partner, Lucha Machine was on paternity leave, I had to branch out on some more singles matches. I’ve really enjoyed it as I think I’ve produced some fine work. At Battleground, I had a Fanny Pack vs. Fanny Pack match with Sasha Darevko. I actually requested the match against the surly Russian and we had a damn good match. One of his favorites and that to me is a great compliment. With that momentum, I challenged Sheik Khan Abadi for his “World Fanny Pack Championship.” Before the match, he gave the best promo anyone could possibly give about the importance of the Fanny Pack. It was hilariously serious.

Sheik Khan Abadi easily became one of my favorite opponents of all time. He has a very unique vision for the wrestling business and I dig that. It was a good back and forth contest and he got the win that night. Tremendous amount of respect as we celebrate in the ring with our fanny packs and beer. Until I gave him a stunner and had a beer bash just for the hell of it. That’s what it should be about good competitive, story-telling wrestling with a bit of over-the-top, fun entertainment.

The next day was a rough one. That whole weekend coincided with WrestleReunion, which was very stressful to say the least. With part of crew in Canada, and part of crew booked for Battleground and LCW it was tough to staff the security detail for WrestleReunion and man our own booth.

It wasn’t all bad. I got to run some awkward errands for Mick Foley and Kevin Sullivan. Johnny Yuma quickly pointed out how I was performing tasks for Kevin Sullivan. He used to be The Taskmaster if you didn’t get that reference.

It was a hellishly long 3-day weekend that culminated in a double shot Sunday. PWG Kurt Russellreunion and LCW on the same day. It started off easy enough. 8-Person Tag Team match that featured DEMUS 316 and Mascarita Dorada. As soon as that match was over, it was off the Casa del Mexicano for Legion Championship Wrestling. I was almost going to pull out because I aggravated my knee the night before against the Sheik.

A newcomer from out of town, El Chupacabra debuted and threw out an open challenge that was answer by me…then Steve Pain…then Kaos. So we had a Four-Way on our hands. It came down to me against Chupacabra. I was able to edge out the victory but I had to work for it. I look forward to working with him again hopefully in a one-on-one match. That weekend took a lot out of me and I didn’t fully recover until the following Wednesday.

The Insane Wrestling League would enter 2012 with full force. I challenged Famous B for IWL Anarchy Championship. It eventually became an impromptu Title vs. Fanny Pack match. That night I was able to finally defeat Famous B and walk away with the spiffy new Anarchy Championship belt. I suffered a harsh rib injury that night but that’s a small price to pay to be champion.

The Silver Heart Radicalz would suffer some major setbacks. First we had a lackluster return to Battleground Pro Wrestling. We retained our tag team championship but Lucha Machine felt it wasn’t on the level. We would later lose our New Wave tag titles at the final New Wave Pro Wrestling event, Tidal Wave.

The worst was at LCW. The newly-instated Commissioner Joey Kaos decided to shake things up. He felt we as a team were holding each other back, that we couldn’t reach our potentials as a team. So Kaos made the match. Lucha Machine vs. Ray Rosas. Loser Leaves LCW. It was such an intense and emotional match. It told such a phenomenal story, just the way I like it. It was kind of a downer though. The fans were in to it but they didn’t know who to cheer for because in the end of it…one of us was leaving.

I had to pull the trigger, defeat my friend and banish him from LCW. We were both losers that night. We cried, hugged and danced and we walk through the curtain together for the last time at LCW. After all of that, things will never be the same. I think George Michael said it best “I’m never gonna dance again, guilty feet have got no rhythm.”

Lately, I’ve been trying to take it easy ever since the rib injury. So I’ve been cutting down my wrestling bookings. However, I have been providing some guest host work at Lucha Pro. I saw this as opportunity to help a company, get some of our newer students some experience in front of a live crowd and also to brush up on my mic skills. It’s been an entertaining experience. It’s nice to go to a show and not stress about too much.

Suddenly I was hit by a stress bomb! PWG World’s Finest. I was originally set to team with Peter Avalon (#Sexual Assault) to take on the Fightin’ Taylor Boys, Ryan Taylor and Brian Cage-Taylor. I spent a week and half preparing for a tag team match. After 2 match changes the day before the show, I find myself wrestling Brian Cage-Taylor in a singles match.

All my ideas and gameplan went right out the window. The whole game had changed. Now I had to perform on my own and I felt totally unprepared. It was true make or break situation for me. If I can make it there I can make anywhere but if I fall flat, I’d be ruined…at least in my eyes. To make matters worse, just hours before the much I re-aggravate my previous injured shoulder. A lot of people saw it happen and ask if I was ok. I lied. For a few seconds, I lost feeling in my arm between my shoulder and elbow and had a tingling sensation from my elbow to my fingers.

I was panicking big time. After pacing around for a few minutes the numbness and tingling were replaced with pain. It wasn’t the best feeling but at least I was feeling something. That still didn’t help my nerves.

When I came out to the ring for my match I got no reaction. It was awesome. My only saving grace at that point…The Fanny Pack. Making its debut that night was the Ruby Edition Ray Rosas’ Fanny Pack and shenanigans ensued. Nothing beat the dueling chants. GET YOUR SHIT IN! FANNY PACK! GET YOUR SHIT IN! FANNY PACK!

For this match I had to embrace my Lucha Libre influence. Cage really helped in this match. He usually has a habit of pushing me to pull off some cool maneuvers. I really enjoyed the match and I really have to thank Brian Cage(-Taylor) for it. But for some reason I was so winded. I usually have really good cardiovascular conditioning so I just couldn’t understand why I was huffing and puffing.

I smacked the back of my head when I dove to the outside of the ring and I also took out a few fans in the first and second row. During the closing moments of the match, I just couldn’t catch my breath. I was worried my fatigue was going to hinder my technique. Fortunately, we finished the match without a hitch and without serious injury.

After the match was over I laid there on the mat. I saw nothing but my own hair and ceiling. I could barely make out the muffled noise as it got louder. When I got to my feet, something happened. Something I didn’t quite expect. The muffled noise became clear. The crowd was cheering. I stood there alone in the middle of the ring and the fans were applauding.

I can’t remember if they were chanting Fanny Pack or not but I took a moment to soak it up. I was almost overcome. It was very rewarding feeling. After I regained my faculties, I stood in the middle of the ring and raised my arms in the air to show my appreciation back…by giving them the finger.

- @RayRosas