Here at Sports Obsessive, we’re always keeping an eye out for new talent. So, let me introduce you to Ridge Holland.
His real name is Luke Menzies. He is a British wrestler and a former professional rugby footballer. Can we say he is the next big thing in WWE wrestling though? Now, I know that Mauro kept pointing that out on TV, but what does that mean?
The Big Thing in Rugby?
For those of you who aren’t aware, rugby is a team sport with a weird shaped ball that is in between what looks like a basketball and a football. They wear zero pads and play in the mud. They tackle like in American football and beat each other up while trying to knock each other’s teeth out to get the ball. A cross between American football, soccer and hockey is about the best way I can explain it.
Now, what they don’t tell you in WWE is that he actually played rugby from 2007 to 2017. He started in England but ended up in Toronto in the lower leagues. He wasn’t a star of the team, but he’s an outstanding athlete. He’s 32 years old, 6 foot 1 and I’m guessing 250 to 260 lbs.
The Big Thing in British Wrestling?
Ridge decided that he wanted to wrestle in about 2016. So he went on the British wrestling indie circuit in March 2016, training under the British wrestling legend Marty Jones. He really worked at it, but at the same time was still trying to play rugby.
Ridge started wrestling in March 2016, and in November 2016, he has his first try-out with WWE. He impressed them with his athleticism but they didn’t offer him a contract. They did keep him in mind, though. Ridge ended up getting signed in May 2018 instead with the WWE and started with NXT UK. He lost his debut match to Keith Lee in August 2018. Back then he was basically developmental and learning the ropes.
In November 2019, he became Ridge Holland and debuted in NXT UK with his new character. He beat Oliver Carter. Bryan Alvarez with the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has talked to different sources about how he believes that Ridge Holland is the Next Big Thing. Ridge has the charisma, athletic talent, and the kind of look that Vince McMahon really likes.
The Next Big Thing in WWE?
Now, how many times have we heard this? 50 billion and one? Something always seems to happen, but every once in awhile, whoever they decide is the Next Big Thing does breakthrough. After seeing him with Johnny Gargano on an NXT show on August 19th, 2020, Ridge showed that he is still a little immature with his knowledge of how the business works.
Ridge needs some polish. He was really stiff with Gargano in the NXT match. I’ll be honest with you though. There’s something about him that I do like. I like the rough edges and the heel shots that may be a little too real. Ridge blurs the lines. I want to hear him cut a badass promo that makes people nervous in a different way than Karrion Kross.
WWE should use Ridge Holland more as a thug than a calculating psychopath like Kross. Someone that would just as soon walk up and hit you with his stick than talk a lot of talk. Someone that doesn’t need the fans right now, but more just likes to fight and to afflict pain.
I can’t call him the Next Big Thing yet. But…there IS something there. Question is…what do WWE and Ridge Holland do with IT? How about giving him a bio on the official WWE.com page for starters?
What do you think about Ridge Holland? Do you see anything in him? Let me know in the comments!