Erick Redbeard is waiting for the right moment to make his pro wrestling return, and he has some interesting names in mind as potential opponents.
Erick Redbeard (aka Erick Rowan) recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard ahead of his ‘Monday Night Virtual’ appearance presented by ’80s Wrestling Con. Rowan was released by WWE in April of 2020, a result of budget cuts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, he’s made some sporadic wrestling appearances, including as a competitor in the United Wrestling Network World Title tournament and as a special guest during AEW’s Brodie Lee tribute. The former WWE Tag Team Champion says that he’s looking to get back in the ring soon, noting that he really misses wrestling in front of people and there’s plenty of possibilities now that the country is opening back up.
“Man, I’m kinda dipping in everything right now. But definitely, I miss wrestling. I miss wrestling in front of people and now that people are coming back, you could see me pop up in many different places,” he noted, “especially now that everything’s starting to open, people are vaccinated. It’s just exciting to see people getting back and doing normal things.”
Calling back to the environment of the UWN tapings, Redbeard called the closed-set tapings an “unsettling” environment. He said that one of the reasons he hasn’t worked many wrestling events the past year is because of that environment, and agreed that performing in front of fans was definitely a motive for his return.
“It’s funny you brought up Fred, Darren Young, because yes we worked over at United Pro in Los Angeles. It was an empty arena, and it was very unsettling. I didn’t like it, I didn’t want to go back to doing a bunch of that because to me, professional wrestling is for the fans. Over the course of the last year, I’ve done a lot of acting,” he explained, “and to me, acting is done intimately in front of a camera with no live crowd, unless you’re in the theater or something, which has also been closed. So to me, wrestling just didn’t feel like wrestling, to me, and maybe it opened the avenues for different parts of wrestling. But then when fans come back, you won’t see a lot of things that you’ve been seeing. So yeah it’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.”
Asked if he’s scouting potential opponents for his return, Redbeard said there’s a number of talented people out there, but he named a few specific opponents he would like to mix it up with to bring some fresh matchups to the wrestling world.
“There’s so many talented people out there. You know, in Japan, I’ve always said Kota Ibushi is a guy I wanted to work. I think our styles mesh quite well. I see a bunch of these big bosses, you got like Moose, that guy seems like a guy who would be fun to work with. I’ll say it now, I’ll say it 100 times, I think PAC is tremendous. I only had a chance to work him early in NXT,” he noted, “[but] I mean that’s just a small little group of guys. I could go on and on and on about being excited about actually getting in the ring with a few of these guys, having these match-ups that you wouldn’t normally see.”