Once again, Sports Obsessive’s resident Interview Extraordinaire is back with an exclusive interview for your reading pleasure. This time, I had to the pleasure of speaking with independent wrestling star, and one of half the tag team 4 Minutes of Heat, Ricky Gibson. Among other accolades, Ricky is former Defy World Tag Team champion, along with his partner, Eddie Pearl. We discussed his early days, the state of wrestling during the COVID-19 pandemic, his plans for the future and numerous other topics. Continue reading to see what he had to say…
Jon Shartzer: First off, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Second, congrats on your big win to become the number one contenders for the CWFH United Tag Team Championships. Take me through that feeling and what you have planned for your championship match.
Ricky Gibson: Of course! I’m happy to do it. And thanks for the congratulations, it was a special moment for us for sure. Since coming to CWFH, we’ve had our eyes set on those titles. Our last challenge for the titles was pretty upsetting, so to get a shot again is huge for us. Specifically, to have a shot against the Bodega is something we are excited and motivated for.
JS: I’m looking forward to seeing you take those titles home with you this time. Let’s get into your backstory a little bit, so that people can get to know you. What was your introduction to pro wrestling? Did you grow up a fan of the business?
RG: I’ve been a fan for a very long time. I’ve been obsessed since I was in the 3rd grade. My best friend and I grew up watching everything, collecting everything, and dreaming of starting to train. We were both big into WWF and WCW. Of course, as I got older I started to explore more of the older companies out there.
JS: When did you start training and what was it like when you got your first booking?
RG: I was 16 when I first started training. At the time, local companies were booming in Oregon. I had the pleasure of helping out with every company based in Oregon at the time and was able to meet some really cool people. I was still in high school, but I trained six days a week for 4-5 hours a night.
Almost every weekend, there was a show in Oregon or Washington and I jumped at the opportunity to go help out setting up the ring. When I was finally ready to be in matches, so many people knew who I was that it was an easy transition for me. I had a very good reputation in the area for being a hard worker with a great attitude and great in ring work.
JS: That’s fantastic. Proof that hard work definitely does pay off. What would you say has been your proudest moment so far in your wrestling career, whether it be in ring or out?
RG: I have so many proud moments, it’s hard to narrow it down. In-ring, any time I’ve won a title has been pretty amazing. Specifically, winning the Defy World Tag Titles was a moment that stands out. We defeated Jacob Fatu/Josef Samuel and the American Gunz in what was our second match at Defy. That was a pretty huge moment. There was also a few times after a match that people that I really respect have given me very positive feedback. It’s always great when somebody who paved the way, and has been to the top, tells you that you’re doing the right things.
JS: I can imagine. What is the best piece of advice that somebody has given you? Is there anything that really struck a chord with you?
RG: That’s a really good question. Advice comes from everywhere if you listen up. Some of the really good advice that I’ve been given may not make sense to most people, or even outside of the context of the match. One really good piece of advice that I got from Roddy Piper was, “If you love it, keep working for it.” It was echoed by my original trainer saying that if you really wanted it bad enough, you won’t let the hiccups or roadblocks get in the way. Bad things, bad times and bad people will all try to stop you. If it means enough to you, you won’t let them stop you.
JS: That’s great advice and something that can really be applied to all aspects of life. Obviously, 2020 has been a rough year for everybody. The COVID-19 pandemic has especially impacted the independent wrestling scene particularly hard. How has it affected you personally and what are your goals for 2021, as we hopefully start to move away from this awful virus?
RG: It’s definitely affected a lot of us, and it’s rough not being able to wrestle as frequently, but I’m no different than anyone else out there when it comes to this. I had to do my best to stay busy and stay relevant in new ways. I think you saw a lot of wrestlers get creative, create patreons, do online promos, start podcasts, etc. I was lucky enough to still be able to work with some great (and safe) companies over the last few months. Even without that, there’s still plenty of ways to improve your craft without being able to wrestle at live shows. My tag partner and I have several goals for 2021, but the main, and most important one, is to be one of the most undeniable tag teams in the nation.
Goals in the Future
JS: What about five years from now? Where do you see your career taking you in the future?
RG: You’ll definitely see us in one of the major companies, defending the tag titles I’m sure.
Outside the Ring
JS: Let’s switch gears here. Tell us a little bit about yourself, personally. Not just the wrestler, but outside of that. What are you like outside of the ring? What kind of stuff do you like? What do you do with your friends and family?
RG: Personality wise, I’m very much who you see on TV or at shows. I’m a laid back person, just wanting to have a good time. I enjoy staying active. A good day outside of wrestling for me is when I have no agenda, but am outside doing something. Hike, beach, swim, etc. I don’t like sitting still for long. I have two kids, one is nine and one is five. They both also love wrestling, so we spend a lot of time with that. Give me a small group of close family and friends having a BBQ or pool party, that’s the life.
Message for Fans
JS: I love it. Well, man. I think we’ve covered quite a lot here. Is there anything that you want to add before we wrap things up? Any message to the fans or shout outs that you want to get out there?
RG: I really appreciate it, this has been fun. I think I’d just leave you all with saying how much I appreciate the support. We all live off word of mouth, so any “like, share, retweet, or general shoutout” really does a lot for us. Thank you!
JS: Thank you once again for taking the time to do this. It was an absolute pleasure and I hope that we can do this again down the road. I’ll definitely keep following you and your career and will be staying in touch.
RG: Thanks man! I really appreciate it!
We here at Sports Obsessive would like to wish Ricky and Eddie the best of luck next weekend during week two of CWFH’s 500th episode special as 4 Minutes of Heat challenges The Bodega for the United World Tag Team Championships. You can follow Ricky on Twitter using the handles @rockinrickyg and @4MinutesofHeat. You can also catch me on Twitter by following @ShartzerJon.