When Ricky Cruz told me recently that he was calling it a career for some reason I just did not compute that it would actually happen. Maybe I was in denial. Time passed and to be honest I had forgotten all about it till I was having breakfast at Denny’s with my friends Ben Simon, Patrick Brandmeyer and Gary Weiss and it was one of the main topics this past Friday night.
To say that Ricky Cruz was influential in the Midwest since his debut in 2011 would be an understatement. One of the top stars in his country of Puerto Rico, fans quickly fell in love with not only the wrestling skills that Cruz possessed but the rare charisma that only a few are blessed with. In fact other than Brandon Espinosa and Jeremy Wyatt there most likely is no other wrestler that I photographed or wrote their name on our site more throughout his time in the Midwest, than “The King of Chaos”, Ricky Cruz.
There is no doubt that his feuds and matches with the likes of Ron Powers, Jeremy Wyatt, Adam Pearce, and Jake Dirden will be remembered for years to come. More than once I have seen a crowd that was dead for one reason or another come alive as Cruz was able to establish a connection with them and get them to their feet.
Cuz always took the time to help other young stars in the area along the way with advice in and out of the ring. Though I have mentioned it more than once already it can’t be stated enough the connection that Ricky Cruz had with his fans, young and old. As a photographer he made my job FUN and easy when it was time to get that awesome photo of a wrestler with his fans, before, during and after the matches. If I only had a dollar each time a fan asked for me to take their photo with him through the years I could take December off.
He would go on to star for almost every respectable company in the MWR Coverage area, winning titles and being named the 2014 MWR Wrestler of the Year. We were also honored to have him be a part of the first series of the MWR Trading card set at number #78.
When Ben Simon came up with the idea of having a MWR Missouri Title, Ricky Cruz became the first ever champion when he defeated Jake Dirden. I am forever grateful that he took pride in carrying the title that had the MWR name throughout the state of Missouri. We had so much fun through his reign working with several top promotions and wrestlers along the way.
On a personal level, the future Mrs. Brian Kelley, (Dubray) and I will always consider Ricky a dear friend.
This Saturday I hope that you join me as we say farewell to Ricky Cruz as he takes on his arch rival Jake Dirden one last time at Dynamo Pro Wrestling at the Ready Room on Saturday night.
I leave you with Ricky Cruz’s final goodbye through social media, but it will be so much sweeter for you to say goodbye to him in person.
By the way Ricky if you decide to renege on this announcement afterwards I am all for it.
Cruz can’t lose.
Brian Kelley – Missouri Wrestling Revival Owner and Editor
Since May 2011 I’ve had the opportunity to be here in the mid-west doing what I love, WRESTLING. It’s been great to have the chance to entertain the fans and work with so many talented people.
I wanted to take a minute before this 2 last matches and thank the people that have help me and encourage me to continue doing what I love when I thought I would never set foot in a ring ever again. When I came to St. Louis I was injured and I was never to wrestle again or at least that’s what I was told by my Dr. but that wasn’t the case.
As I was getting better I had the chance to meet Keith Smith and Tony Costa, two gentleman that has been in wrestling forever. They gave me a place to train and later on my first opportunity to come back to the ring. For that I will forever be grateful.
Also thanks to Herb Simmons because he gave me a chance to do great things at SICW. Even when we don’t see eye to eye in a couple of things this days I still appreciate the opportunity and the faith he had in me and my work. I hope one day we can seat at Steak and Shake like we use to and talk wrestling.
I have to thank all the veterans that helped in any way, Keith, Chester, Gary, Pete, for all the advice and their comments. Thank you for helping me be better at this craft.
To Dynamo Pro
For giving me a home, a family, and a purpose. It has been an amazing journey with the group and I will definitely miss the shows. Jim Yount, don’t ever quit, don’t ever slow down, you have something really special in your hands.
Crystal Yount my big sis, thank you for always being the voice of reason, for always believing in me and always care about was going on with me. You are family to me!
To the Dynamo staff
From the announcers, photographer, merchandise tables, security, Door, everybody, I will miss hanging out all the time. thanks for the good times!
To my family
Thank you for always keeping me going, for the support and for showing up and surprising me at the shows, it always meant a lot to me
Amanda, what can I say, my corner stone, you being there at every show made it so much bigger. Thank you for not only supporting me but for living the wrestling life with me, the pains, the road trips, the endless nights, the merch table, the driving, the weeks away from each other, the sacrifices and the Iron Skillets hehehe
To the boys
Thank you for the training sessions, the road trips, the stories the laughs and the matches. It’s been amazing to spend all this time with you guys. I love you all! Except you Espy…… hehehe
To the guys like Espy, Dirden, Outlaw, Wyatt, Shorty, Dingo, Pearce, Noriega, Discovery, Barry HP, it was an honor and a privilege to be in the ring with you. Thank you for making me look better than I am hehehe!
Thank you for covering my matches, for the pics, and for the awards. Thanks to you I always had pics to send my son. Thanks Brian!!
To all the companies in the area
MMWA,SICW, DYNAMO,CWA,3XW,METRO,NEW BREED,GWF,IWA MID,GATEWAY ELITE,GALLI
Thank you for the opportunity, the respect and the chance to perform in front of the crowds.
To the fans thank you for always supporting me, for buying my merch, for screaming and chanting and making it fun for me. I’m truly grateful for all of it.
Its been amazing!!
Last 2 matches, lets make them count!!!
11.26.16 Ready Room St. Louis – Ricky Cruz vs Jake Dirden
12.11.16 Galli Arena Chicago – Ricky Cruz vs El Mesias