IT’S LONELY AT THE TOP
The painful lesson Adam Ryder must learn
By Vern May
The ringsiders averted their eyes, unable to suspend their disbelief that maybe the scene in front of them was choreographed. There was no doubt that the bloodied fighter before them was in serious peril. The scene was a startling walk up call for Adam Ryder of Kamloops.
Ryder, recently crowned as All Star Wrestling’s Trans Canada champion, was making his first appearance since winning the title in Peachland when he learned that the climate had just changed for him professionally. Matched against a foe that he had opposed before, he sensed that his rival was more aggressive than in previous battles. His suspicions were confirmed when his challenger blasted him in the face with a headbutt, shattering his nose.
For the Kamloops wrestler who has toured for six years, he has enjoyed the comaraderie of a close circle of peers, even when spirited competitiveness among his peers resulted in some rougher showdowns between the ropes. However, in the cutthroat world of independent professional wrestling, every friendly handshake is attached to an ulterior motive. It’s an adjustment that Ryder has to make quickly if he’s to remain perched atop the heap.
The challengers are lining up to topple the young champion. On November 13 he defends the championship against Kenny Lush at the Scottish Culutural Centre. Lush, a former holder of the Trans Canada title himself, lays claim to an impressive international track record including success in the U.S. and Korea.
Should Ryder survive the immediate challenge before him in Lush, he has already been signed for a second title fight in November and he’ll defend against Jason Cage at the Cloverdale fairgrounds on November 27. Cage is a veteran of wrestling’s “squared circle”, originally building his reputation in Ontario. His career has been highlighted by main event matches and a tryout with the WWE prior to his relocation to the west coast. Jason has proven to be a versatile competitor with a winning track record.
Behind these two challengers are a dozen more petitioners hoping to successfully stake their claim a title challenge. Among them, names that Ryder himself may have listed as his closest allies even as recently as three months ago.
For Ryder, who set out six years ago to reach the top in professional wrestling, he now walks a fine line knowing that he has reached his goal while at the same time facing the unenviable consequences of that success.
For more information on the upcoming championship matches and other top professional wrestling action in the lower mainland, mat fans can check out the league’s website at allstar-wrestling.com