One of WWE’s emerging stars is Ricochet.
The 30-year-old Trevor Mann worked his way up the independent circuit to attain a spot in WWE, and his wrestling portfolio also includes memorable stints in the groundbreaking Lucha Underground as Prince Puma and an important time of growth in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The former WWE United States Champion, who is two victories away from winner the King of the Ring winner at the Clash of Champions pay per view on September 15, adds a dynamic aerial arsenal to WWE. He is an integral piece of Raw every week, and was also just a featured part of SummerSlam in a match against AJ Styles.
Ricochet spoke with Sports Illustrated before throwing out the first pitch during a “WWE Night” hosted by the Boston Red Sox earlier this week at Fenway Park, where he discussed his career ascension, Paul Heyman’s support, the WWE status of his girlfriend Kacy Catanzaro, and who he believes are the most elite wrestlers in the world.
Justin Barrasso:You’re about to throw out the opening pitch at Fenway Park for the Red Sox-Minnesota Twins game. Is this something you ever envisioned yourself doing?
Ricochet: I’m just a kid from Kentucky, so throwing out the first pitch at Fenway Park hasn’t registered yet—and I’m not sure when it will. This is crazy to me. Real celebrities do this stuff.
Barrasso:Well, you are a legitimate celebrity.
Ricochet: Am I though? It’s weird to think about that, but this is a big deal, it’s really cool. I’ve been to two baseball games in Japan, but this is the first American baseball game I’ve ever been to, and it’s super cool that the Red Sox asked for me specifically. To be put in this position, it’s awesome.
I’m a big fan of any sport, especially baseball in the World Series. And I’d love to see if I could cover all that ground in center field.
Barrasso:You are in the midst of a career where you have continually redefined people’s expectations of your work through your desire, work ethic, and drive.
Ricochet: That’s been the story my whole life. That’s the real Ricochet, so it’s all connected.
Barrasso:You have also been presented with an opportunity to shine in the King of the Ring tournament, which has a history of turning wrestlers into stars. Do you have any King of the Ring memories as a fan? And what does the tournament mean to you?
Ricochet: Being a part of the King of the Ring is awesome. All my favorite guys won the King of the Ring: Steve Austin, Triple H, Owen Hart. I loved Randy Savage as the Macho King.
The tournament has been great for us, too. All the guys in it are all really good in the ring, so it’s been great match after great match. And we’ve been given significant time to make it work, so that aspect has really helped, too. Being a part of something so prestigious is so cool—it’s where Austin 3:16 started—and maybe it can lead to my Austin 3:16 moment.
And I’m really grateful to have so much support from people in the WWE Universe that want me to win. One of my friends just asked, ‘Are you used to people cheering for you yet?’ I don’t want to get used to it. I love being a fan. When me and my friends watch wrestling, we get really into it, even to this day. It’s been a crazy roller coaster and I can’t get enough.
Barrasso:Paul Heyman is one of your biggest advocates in the business. What does it mean to have Paul championing your work?
Ricochet: Before I even came to Raw, Paul was always good to me. Our interactions and talks were always great, and I think he sees my passion for professional wrestling. I’m a fan of his. If I’m on his good side, I want to stay there. My goal is to get better every single week and do everything I can to the best of my abilities.
Barrasso:The best moments in your WWE run so far have been in the ring with AJ Styles. What is it like to work with AJ on a consistent basis?
Ricochet: Everyone talks about how they have the best wrestlers here, here, or there, and every company has great wrestlers. But we have AJ Styles. Everyone else automatically loses. It doesn’t matter who they’ve got, we’ve got AJ Styles.
There were so many sweet matches at SummerSlam, and I loved our match. One of my favorite matches ever from a pay-per-view was Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle from SummerSlam , which was so cool—and I got to be a part of a championship match at SummerSlam against AJ Styles.
Barrasso:Your creativity was on full display in that SummerSlam match with Styles, from your in-ring combinations and sequences to your Nightwing-inspired gear. Was that your idea?
Ricochet: The gear was my call. I was worried about the top of it, but it wasn’t that hot and I was able to move in it. Everyone in the back seemed to like it, which is great because I’ve got a couple more ideas for bigger things, too. I’m also hoping to turn it into a sweet action figure.
Barrasso:There was a report earlier in the week that Kacy Catanzaro handed in her notice to WWE. You and Kacy are best friends and dating. Can you share an update on whether Kacy is still with WWE?
Ricochet: She’s still with the company. She’s not retired at all and she’s not injured. It’s a tough sport and we’re all hurting, but there is nothing wrong with her.
Barrasso:Will she wrestle again?
Ricochet: I don’t know. She’s very family-oriented and she wants kids, so she doesn’t know if being on the road so much is for her. For me, I’m already too deep—I’m on the road all the time. She loves wrestling and she loves it here, and she’s so good at it, so it’s a very tough decision for her.
Barrasso:In your opinion, who are the top three wrestlers in the world?
Ricochet: In the world? Only three? Wow, let’s see.
AJ has to be one, and Randy Orton has to be there, too. Randy is so smooth, and he can still put on the best match on the card. Charlotte’s up there. She can show out, she has such a star presence. When she walks out, you know she’s a superstar. Plus, there’s so many in NXT like Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole. It’s really hard to put only three on it.
Barrasso:Does competing against AEW give you even more inspiration to continue to be one of the most innovative stars in the business?
Ricochet: That just inspires everyone, including myself, to do better. It’s good for the business. I’ve got a lot of friends over there that are making a living off this. That’s good. It’s pushing us to be better, and that’s good, too. We already want to be the best, and now we want to be even better. We have the best wrestlers in NXT and on Raw and SmackDown, so now we can show the world again that we are the best talent in the world.
Barrasso:What are you most grateful for in wrestling?
Ricochet: I’m so thankful for all the support. I hope people can see that. I’m having so much fun, and the support has been helping me since my time on the indie scene and all the way to NXT and WWE.
I couldn’t do this without all that support. I wouldn’t be here without those people, so that’s why I want to thank everybody. I’m really enjoying what I’m doing, and I hope everyone is enjoying wrestling. I’m doing everything I can to have fun every week and I want people to have fun watching, too.