Exclusive: NWA Star Ricky Starks on going viral, career goals, MJF and more
- Sportskeeda's exclusive interview with the former NWA World Television Champion.
Founded in 1948, the National Wrestling Alliance began as a governing body for a group of independent professional wrestling promotions. Prior to the 1960s, the NWA acted as the sole governing body for most of professional wrestling.
It remained the largest and most influential body in wrestling until the mid-1980s beforeVince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation expanded nationally.
In May 2017, it was announced that Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan purchased the NWA's name, trademarks and associated intellectual property. The NWA subsequently worked with other wrestling organizations, including Impact Wrestling and Ring Of Honor, and went on to hold the NWA 70th Anniversary Show on October 21, 2018 at Nashville's Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena.
In October 2019, the NWA debuted a new weekly web-based television series called NWA Powerrr. The star-studded promotion includes NWA World Champion Nick Aldis, James Storm, Aron Stevens, Melina, Eli Drake, The Rock 'N' Roll Express, Trevor Murdoch, Thunder Rosa, Zicky Dice and announcer Stu Bennett.
But one of the stand-out talents of today's NWA is undoubtedly Ricky Starks. Previously seen on WWE television and also a former title-holder within Dojo Pro Wrestling, Anarchy Championship Wrestling, WrestleCircus and Lone Star Championship Wrestling, Starks became the current NWA era's inaugural World Television Champion after defeating Trevor Murdoch at NWA Hard Times.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Ricky Starks by phone on March 10, 2020 about his work with the NWA, 2019 being a break-out year for him, future projects and more. The full conversation has been embedded below, while part of it has also been transcribed.
On growing his career through last year's viral videos:
Ricky Starks: I have a guy, his name is Travis Ward, you can pretty much find him on any form of social media. He helped me film those, he also helped me edit those.
When it came to, "This is how I want the lighting for this, this is the kind of wardrobe I had in mind," things like that, it was pretty much my own doing. Travis helped with little things that he thought would look better, just from a videographer's standpoint.
But for the most part it was just me making these videos because, man, I'll be straight up with you, I don't think I had anything going on for myself before NWA. I'd just come back from doing a tour in the UK, and nothing was happening for me. I didn't know how to get myself out there.
I had the idea of making a "wrestling lookbook" for myself where the video doesn't have a real specific meaning behind it -- and I think a lot of people want that when they watch something, like "What's the purpose?" -- but honestly, can't you just watch something and be in amazement or laugh at it or be like, "I love the color schemes or the aesthetics?"
That was my whole idea of it, and really that was to get my own self out there because no one was doing it for me.
On his proudest accomplishment to date:
Ricky Starks: Definitely going to Japan. I went to Japan and wrestled for DDT last year and that was a really cool accomplishment to have.
I definitely think that winning the NWA TV Championship was another cool accomplishment. Main-eventing that pay-per-view was awesome, although there are certain things surrounding that which I didn't care for.
I've been working on, this year at least, getting better with going through things that I've done in my career, and being able to finally be proud of it. I came up in a time where if you talked about your accomplishments, you're kind of viewed as egotistical or whatever the case. Honestly at this point, I busted my a** for things, so if I want to be proud and talk about what I've done, I'm damn sure going to do it.
On how he really feels about MJF:
Ricky Starks: Max is an a**hole in real life. But I would be remiss to say that I actually enjoy having matches with him, just because I feel like as a fan you can't really do anything to him, but as a performer, I can slap him in his face and I can do all these things to him. People can live through me with that. But this ain't no gimmick or anything, he's a legit a**hole.
But there's something I like about him, and I think it's because I'm somewhat of an a**hole, too, in a funnier way. I think that's what it is. But for the most part, that's the only compliment I give when it comes to that.
On his last words for the kids:
Ricky Starks: You know what? Ricky loves the kids. Here's one thing I will say, life is unpredictable and life is very difficult, okay? So the best advice that I figured out, maybe when I was 23, was that everything would just work itself out.
So if there's anything I could ever say to anyone, a kid or an adult or anyone, is that if you just repeat that in your head, I'm telling you, things just fall into place when you need them to.Published 11 Mar 2020, 11:10 IST