This week Noah and Bjorn spoke with Ricky Perillo aka “Mr. Brickster”. Ricky was born and raised in Buffalo, New York and has been a professional wrestler for the past five years, during which time he has trained with Lex Luger. He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
When he was in his early 20s, he was on season one of VH1’s reality TV show “I Love New York”. He is also currently a judge on IWTV’s “The Masked Wrestler”, which is a spinoff of FOX’s “The Masked Singer”.
Ricky grew up going to church and was saved when he was younger, but strayed away as he grew older. He talks about hitting rock bottom in his 20s and deciding to change his life and start truly following God because of this.
What Has Ricky Learned About Being a Christian in the Wrestling Industry?
“I believe that it’s all about how you treat people, how you be selfless to people, how you be encouraging and how you always spread love”-Ricky Perillo
Something Ricky learned very quickly is that trying to be a light that displays God’s love can be difficult in the wrestling world.
Ricky says that you encounter a lot of different kinds of people and different characters in wrestling. Some of these characters, he says, may have had a bad experience in their life with religion.
This can cause them to have their guards up.
Something that Ricky has both learned on his own and was taught by Lex Luger, who is also a Christian, is that the best way to reach these people is by treating people in the way that God would want you to treat them.
Ricky tries to love people unconditionally and make sure they know they are valued, loved and worth something. He believes this is the best way for people to see your faith.
Ricky believes this is not just applicable to wrestling, but also to life in general. In his opinion, people aren’t going to remember what we do or what we say, so much as they are going to remember how we made them feel.
If we can display God’s love to them and make them feel loved, this is something that will stick with them and potentially cause them to seek a relationship with God so that they can experience this love in their own life.
Through wrestling, Ricky has also learned about the importance of trust in both his faith and his life.
Many people think that wrestlers have a lot of time to prepare the moves they are going to do with their opponent. However, this isn’t the case.
In the episode, Ricky talks about how little preparation there is before a match, how hard the moves are to perform when you’re physically exhausted, and he discusses details of what can go wrong if moves aren’t performed correctly.
All of this leads to a requirement for a high degree of trust in your opponent. Ricky says this has shaped how he lives the rest of his life.
If he can trust an opponent that he barely knows, he has realized that he also needs to trust those around him who are in his life.
More than this, Ricky needs to trust God. Again, if he can trust these opponents, he can trust in God’s plan for his life and do his best to find the blessings around him.
How Does Ricky Balance His Personal Life and His Career?
“Focusing on what you should be doing is never easy; not in this day and age”-Ricky Perillo
Ricky says who he is as a wrestler is who he is as a person, albeit turned up quite a bit. This makes balancing everything easier.
Still, Ricky says balancing anything in life is difficult. There are so many distractions in this world fighting for our attention that it’s hard to focus on what’s truly important. Ricky feels that making sure you know what your priorities are is key.
For Ricky, the people who are his top priorities in his personal life are his wife and his son.
During the episode, Ricky talks about how demanding being a professional wrestler and a judge on a TV show is. He also talks about the level of dedication that is required to do his job well.
Still, he says that it is his job not let this distract him from what his true priorities are. Yet, it’s not enough for him to feel that his wife and his son are his top priorities.
They have to not only know this too, but also feel as if they actually are. Without this, Ricky wouldn’t have room in his life to pursue everything he does.
On top of this, Ricky has to make sure that God is a priority in his life and that he makes time for Him.
Ricky feels that he has God to thank for everything he has achieved in life. While it’s easy to get caught up in everything going on, especially this year, he knows that he needs to find time to advance his relationship with God and thank Him for all his blessings.
What is God Teaching You?
Ricky’s discussion of trust is an important lesson.
It can be easy, especially if we’ve had negative experiences in the past, to have trouble trusting those around us. However, this is something that we need to do.
The people in our life are there for a reason. If we don’t trust them, we can miss opportunities to advance our relationship with them.
Trusting those around us will allow us to open up with them and form an intimate connection that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Just as trusting in our teammates grants us opportunities to succeed and improve in sports, so does trusting in people in our everyday life.
Failure to trust others could cause us to miss opportunities to grow. Trusting in someone means listening to their feedback and advice.
If we are closed off, we won’t hear this valuable advice that they may have for us. Additionally, we won’t be able to share advice with them, as our relationships won’t be in a position to do so.
Trust is also extremely important in our relationship with God.
We need to trust God’s plan, as we could never hope to have the knowledge He does. While at the time it might not feel like what we want, God’s plan is going to be the best plan for our life.
Trusting in God also means trusting that He has provided blessings in your life. Even when times are difficult, we need to make an effort to identify these blessings and praise God for them.
Ricky’s discussion of priorities is also valuable.
No matter how easy it may be, we need to make an effort to not get too caught up in what is going on around us. While it is important to work hard and put in time to achieve our goals, we can’t lose sight of what is truly important.
We need to take time and put in the effort to make our family and friends feel as if they are priorities in our life. It is commendable to be driven, but this should not come at the expense of our relationships.
Above all, God should be our top priority.
He has provided us with our gifts and talents that make pursuing our goals possible. It’s important that we focus the time necessary to continue to advance our relationship with Him.
We should give Him thanks for all that we have accomplished and trust in Him when times are rough. If we make a true effort to get our relationship with God to where it should be, all else in our life will follow.
Do you trust in those around you? Have you opened up with those in your life so you can form a deeper connection?
Do you trust God and His plan for you?
Do you know what your priorities are? Do you treat loved ones in a way that lets them know they are a top priority?
Is God and your relationship with Him the top priority in your life?
To hear the discussion that Noah and Bjorn had with Ricky about being a professional wrestler and a Christian, how he came to know Christ, what life as professional wrestler is like, how he balances his career and personal life, and much more, check out “The Sweat Room: Sports and Faith” episode 34.