Tyler already made the case for Brian Cage. I figure I would try my hand at his old tag team partner, Shaun Ricker. Or Slate Randall for you extreme NXT fans. Why Shaun Ricker isn’t gracing us every Thursday night (soon to be Wednesdays) on the WWE Network is a travesty. The dude has “it” and “that isn’t an insult, that’s just a fact of life.” More about Ricker after the jump.
I first saw Ricker work a local indy here in Phoenix a few years ago. I had never heard of the man before but when he came out he had presence. He was light years ahead of the rest of the card (mostly local guys). He looked like a professional wrestler in every sense of the term. The look had me interested, his charisma and confidence drew me in, the awesome remix of David Bowie’s “Fame” nearly had me convinced, and then he spoke…
The dude cut a mean promo on a random indy date. I was instantly a fan. It didn’t hurt that he could work a pretty damn good match as well.
What I didn’t realize was that Ricker had been at it for almost 10 years by the time I saw him in 2012. It should have been obvious to me though, he had the poise of a veteran even in his late 20’s. He trained at the Heartland Wrestling Association under Les Thatcher. He made most of his notoriety on the indy scene in NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. Tagging with Brian Cage as “Natural Selection” and being managed by the late great Percy Pringle.
Ricker would sign to WWE in 2013 as “Slate Randall.” Sadly he never made his TV debut. WWE missed the boat. Ricker can cut promos better than most of the roster. For a company that is mostly focused on the “entertainment” of “sports entertainment” you had a born entertainer right here, and the ring work is a close second to his natural charisma and mic ability.
Ricker also appeared on the reality show “The Hero,” hosted by the Rock. Probably a pretty bad ass experience for the man considering the Rock’s influence on him.
I just don’t understand how WWE dropped the ball with what seemed like such a sure thing. Hopefully one day we see him back in the ‘E. Until then how about PWG? Maybe a Natural Selection reunion at the next “DDT” show?
Check ’em out!