Eli Drake Discusses Women Being His Sole Vice, His Promo Skills, The Identity Crises Of Wrestling & More


TNA Superstar Shaun “Eli Drake” Ricker recently appeared on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling Podcast. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On pro wrestling needing to have credits with performers real names: “Maybe I’m getting too deep here, but I feel like it should even be at a point where if you watch any drama show, comedy show, sitcom, whatever, you’ve got credits and why can’t it say, ‘Shaun Ricker as Eli Drake’ or ‘such and such as blah, blah, blah’? And that’s a small detail, but I think that actually helps it get over the hump as a legitimate art form and source of entertainment as opposed to circus sideshow.” Ricker continued, “if we want to get over that hump of not being looked at as a sideshow and being more of a mainstream, legitimate entertainment source or an art form as opposed to circus sideshow, I feel like it’s one of the first steps to kind of really legitimizing it in a sense, so people don’t think that we’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes.”


On his promo skills: “It was always kind of there. The weird thing about me is that I’m naturally an introvert, so I don’t talk to people. I don’t make good connections with people and I don’t know if that’s an emotional block on my part. I don’t know.”

On how he was into wrestlers who could talk growing up: “Growing up when I was watching wrestling, if a guy couldn’t talk, I didn’t care about him. You could have the fanciest moves and be the greatest wrestler if all time, but if you didn’t have a compelling character and you couldn’t talk, I didn’t care. Hulk Hogan, he was my guy. I was crazy about Hulk Hogan. Then, you get into high school, Steve Austin, I was all about him. Then, The Rock starts coming up and I’m like, ‘Goddamn, that guy’s good!’ And so, I look at those guys, you can throw in some Jake ‘The Snake’, Ric Flair, and I kind of took a little bit from all those guys and put it into my own stuff.”

On the identity crisis of wrestling: “Wrestling doesn’t know what it is. I feel that wrestling has an identity crisis and what I mean by that is, we’re almost meant to portray these characters 24 hours a day, but that’s kind of a ridiculous, stupid thing. Like, you’re not going to see Robert Downey, Jr. going out and pretending to be Iron Man when he does an interview. He’s going to be Robert Downey, Jr. He’s going to talk about his role as Iron Man and his choices and things like that and he’s respected as a legitimate entertainer. But when I go and do an interview as Eli Drake and I’m like, ‘well, Sunday, I’m going to do this and do that’, it makes somebody who isn’t a fan go, ‘this guy thinks I’m going to believe this?’ Within the vein of the show, yes, 100% it should be presented as 100% real because that’s how it is with any other drama show.”

On women being his sole vice: “My one drug I’ve always had a problem with is girls, so that’s what I’m out there looking for, when I’m out. I always hear, like, the glory days stories, like, the rats and whatnot back in the 80s and 90s and I’m like, ‘damn, man, I just wish that was around now’. Probably be really dangerous, but probably a whole lot of fun. And now I feel like you don’t see it as much.”

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