Ricky Starks discusses the disconnect between himself and the older generation of wrestlers.
Speaking with Wrestling Perspective Podcast, the AEW Superstar was asked about winning the NWA Television Championship at 'Hard Times' in January 2020, calling it was a crowning moment for himself. He would also share that he carries around a chip on his shoulder, mostly related to his experience working with industry veterans while on the independent circuit. Here is what he said:
"I have a chip on my shoulder about the older generation of wrestlers, and this is being straight up. I sometimes feel like while the older guys who are still around have a lot to offer and their intentions are good, as far as helping get over the younger talent, it's not always the case. So I carry around a chip on my shoulder about that and I'm very reluctant to certain things, so when I won the title, the Television Title, that to me was a crowning moment and it was a big F.U. to the people that not only didn't want to give a chance, not only that didn't see anything in me, but also too, it was me bridging the gaps. I don't really find myself fitting in with how wrestlers are today, I never did, especially on the indies. I just feel like I'm in my own little bubble, so to be the revamped NWA Television Champion and to be the bridge from the old to the new, that was great. That was perfect because in my head the older generation couldn't tell me shit and the younger generation like, oh dude, okay, yeah. Like that's pretty cool that this dude came out of nowhere, an unknown basically and won the Television Title. Dude, you gotta think about the people who held that title, it's insane. The lineup is insane, and so if you're working with some of those people right now at AEW I'm like, it makes no sense."
When asked to explain the disconnect between himself and the other generations of wrestlers, Starks claims that although he still follows some old philosophies and ideologies, he doesn't agree with the paranoid mentality that some continue to push. He said the following:
"Honestly, I think the disconnect it comes from certain old values. I still follow the old philosophies and ideologies of the past. Right, don't get me wrong, I do, but there is some other stuff that I don't necessarily agree with. I don't necessarily agree with that everybody is out to get your spot and that you know, you have this paranoia about it, right. Here's my thing, nobody can take my spot because I'm too damn good in my own head. No one can ever bury me, no one can ever make me look bad because I'm in control. I'm always going to be in control and if I have that mindset and I think that way, then when I approach other wrestlers and I work with other wrestlers, I'm not coming from a place of like, 'Oh, you're a snake, I need to be careful. I need to bully you, I need to do all these things and make sure my spot is secure.' So things like that I don't necessarily agree with. There's times where you'll get into situations, like especially on the indies or even at NWA where the older guys who have been doing it for so long, that isn't a pass to not only bury younger talent and get over on them. That should be an opportunity to show other people that, hey, I've been doing this for 30 years, let me show you why I've been doing it for 30 years and I've been on top and I can get anybody over because I'm that good of a wrestler. So those type of things I usually, that's why I have the chip, because I've dealt with it for so long and had to sit back and, you know, not be given a chance because some guy who still wants to hold onto a very sliver of thread about his popularity in wrestling still can't let go and make way for new people and give back."
Starks would later reiterate that he was referring solely to his experience on the independent circuit and not anything related to AEW. He commends the promotion for the way they've integrated talent such a Taz, Sting, Tully Blanchard, and Arn Anderson, just to name a few. The locker room treats them with the utmost respect and in return they do all they can to help advance and better the careers of everyone else.
On Sunday, March 7 at AEW Revolution, Starks and Brian Cage will face Sting and TNT Champion Darby Allin in a Street Fight.
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