The Next Big Thing in Wrestling?

Introduction to Ridge Holland

 · 3 min read August 20, 2020

Let me introduce you to Ridge Holland. His real name is Luke Menzies. He is a British wrestler and a former professional rugby footballer. Now, I know that Maurello keeps pointing that out on TV, but what does that mean?

It’s rugby. It is that weird shaped ball that is in between what looks like a basketball and what looks like a football. They wear zero pads and play in the mud. They tackle like in our American football and beat each other up while trying to knock each other’s teeth out to get the ball. It is a cross between American football, soccer and hockey are about the best way I can explain.

Now, what they don’t tell you in WWE is he actually played rugby from 2007 to 2017. He started in England but ended up in Toronto. He was in the lower leagues. Ridge never really made it up to the big leagues. He wasn’t a star of the team, but he’s an outstanding athlete. He’s 32 years old. He’s 6-1 and I’m guessing 250 to 260 lbs.

Ridge decided that he wanted to wrestle in about 2016. So he went on the British wrestling indie circuit in March 2016, he wrestled under the name of Marty Jones. He really worked at it, but at the same time was still trying to play rugby.

Ridge starts wrestling in March 2016 and in November 2016, he has his first tryout with WWE. He impressed them then with his athleticism, but they didn’t offer him a contract. They did keep him in mind. Ridge ends up getting signed in May 2018 with the WWE and starts with NXT UK. He lost his debut match to Keith Lee in August 2018. Then he was basically developmental and learning the ropes.

In November 2019, (10 months ago) he becomes Ridge Holland and debuts in NXT UK with his new character. He beats Oliver Carter. Bryan Alvarez with Wrestling Observer Newsletter has talked to different sources. He believes that Ridge Holland is the Next Big Thing. He has the charisma, athletic talent, and the look that Vince McMahon really likes. He could be the Next Big Thing.

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 is 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?

Listen and follow the Pro Wrestling Overtime podcast to keep you updated.

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