Exclusive: OVW's Jay Bradley on working with WWE and Impact, future goals & more
As of late, on behalf of Sportskeeda, I have been profiling a lot of the top talent currently wrestling for Ohio Valley Wrestling. After all, as OVW was the training grounds for a lot of the wrestling business' all-time draws -- this includes John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, The Miz and Batista -- you never know when the next big wrestling superstar will be coming out of Louisville, Kentucky; scroll to the bottom of this article to see just a few of the key people who Bradley has been in the ring with.
In turn, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jay Bradley, who has held titles within IWA Mid-South, Deep South Wrestling, AAW and OVW, to name a few promotions. Bradley can be followed on social media through Twitter via @jaybradleypw, on Instagram via @Jaybradleypw, and on Facebook via www.facebook.com/jaybradley.
What was your entry into wrestling as a fan? Did you grow up watching a particular era or company?
Jay Bradley: I watched 80’s era WWF as a child, so the Rock’n Wrestling characters and showmanship were heavy. I was always into sports as an athlete but also into superheroes and comic books. So WWF at the time was a natural combination of both. Later on, as a teenager I found more WCW/NWA, ECW, then because of those, Japanese wrestling.
If I've done my research correctly, you are originally from Downers Grove, where Lanny Poffo and Randy Savage grew up. You also trained along with some future stars. What is it about the Chicago area that you think makes it such a great wrestling town?
Jay Bradley: I’m actually from just south of Downers Grove. As for the stars and talent that have come from Chicagoland, maybe it’s the water? But Chicago has an interesting wrestling history due to its location and being a major world-class city. AWA and Dick The Bruiser ran the old amphitheatre, NWA ventured North to run the city. WWF was prominent too. But later you also had USWA, Smokey Mountain, ECW all picked up via syndication, so you had a lot of wrestling if you knew where to look.
Had you been to Louisville before working with Ohio Valley Wrestling?
Jay Bradley: Yes. I had travel through Louisville working indies before my times at OVW. I’ve always liked the area, felt like a second home, as I was always very comfortable.
You have had a few runs with OVW and have been its champion twice. What is it that keeps you coming back?
Jay Bradley: Well again, I love the Louisville region. Feels like home to me. But as a talent, I found very few indies offer what OVW has to offer. A quality facility with TV studio abilities for filming. Quality rings and equipment. Weekly TV and multiple events monthly. Plus I find a lot of the talent here truly have a passion for the sport as they’ve left home to be at OVW and be taught properly.
OVW has a history of creating some of wrestling's all-time top draws. Beyond yourself, who do you think are some of the OVW performers to watch?
Jay Bradley: I think there is a core group of younger talent early in their career. Randall Floyd, Kings Ransom and Justin Smooth have all been looked at by WWE and I think have huge upsides. Dimes is another, a lightweight, who is one to watch. And two ladies who are starting to come into their own, Cali and Megan Bayne.
A lot of people think of OVW as being "Al Snow's company," but not everyone realizes that it is an accredited technical school. What do you wish more people knew about OVW?
Jay Bradley: I think what Al is doing is truly a game-changer. He’s stepping up the business and industry standards to help get them on par with other sports businesses. As a technical school not only can students learn in-ring skills, but from someone like Al who has a track record as an astounding trainer.
But students can also learn skills to keep them working in the sport and industry outside the ring: videography, editing, lighting, marketing, promotions. And being accredited allows students to utilize student aid, grants, and loans to fund investing in themselves.
What do the next few months look like for Jay Bradley?
Jay Bradley: I’m looking forward to continue helping revitalize and rebrand OVW as a talent, but also helping Al change things as an instructor at the technical school. I’ve also had some conversations with some Japanese companies, but I think it’s about money and timing with them.
Is there a career accomplishment you are most proud of?
Jay Bradley: I’m proud I’ve continued my career for over 20 years and have a vast amount of experience with WWE, Impact, and multiple Japanese tours to look back on. I truly love this sport and business and look to pass on my knowledge and experience.
Is there a long-term goal you are working towards in your wrestling career?
Jay Bradley: Just to continue my career and create further opportunities for myself.
When not busy with OVW, where does your free time usually go?
Jay Bradley: You can find me in the gym working out 4-5 days a week. I’m also an avid gamer and reader. And sleeping -- napping is a favourite last time.
Finally, Jay any last words for the kids?
Jay Bradley: Please follow me across social media platforms: Twitter: jaybradleypw, IG: Jaybradleypw, and Facebook.com/jaybradley. And watch OVW on their YouTube page weekly.
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