Ricky Starks is the current FTW Champion and is locked in a feud with two of the newest AEW signees in Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland. Many recognise Ricky’s unwavering charisma when cutting a promo and all round aura. He has the presence of a star and fancies himself as a main eventer.
Fans may also recognise Starks from the commentary desk. He’s a regular on AEW Rampage alongside Chris Jericho, Excalibur and his Team Taz leader, Taz himself. When speaking to Wrassle Rap, Starks has discussed his role behind the commentary desk and how, despite being good at promos, the transition to commentary wasn’t as easy as people may imagine.
“There’s a misconception that just because you’re charismatic and can cut a promo that you can also do commentary. They’re not one and the same, at all,” he said. “There’s a lot of ebbs and flows, and a lot of stuff to commentary that people don’t even think about. So, when you’re out there and it’s a show that is live and we have to move from one thing to another, and you can’t say something, it’s worrisome. The funny thing was, my first few times they would say a joke to me, and for me to get a response in I would wait a minute or two. By that point, we’ve already moved on, so I can’t even make a retort to that. So, I found that out the hard way, and not be so longwinded. It’s good working with Excalibur, and Taz, and Jericho, all these people they help me out. And I think they understand that I am trying the best I can.”-Ricky Starks
Starks discusses how surprised his was when given the role. He admits that skills learned with commentary can help him with future media appointments but doesn’t believe he is particularly ‘good’ at commentary.
“I was doing commentary before my neck injury as well, just to help me get practice for if I was to do any extra media stuff. Or I wanted to try out for a show and do commentary on that, stuff like that. So, I was always doing that, then after the neck injury it was like, ‘hey, I am going to keep you on, obviously, keep doing commentary stuff, I can keep you as a manager type thing, and cut promos when you need to. “It wasn’t until Rampage came when they needed a stand-in, and Tony was like, ‘well, he’s already been practicing, so he might as well do it.’ I was like, ‘what, hold on man, this is your national show, I was just doing commentary for Dark on YouTube.’ I like pressure, I work very well under pressure, it was cool, I liked it.”-Ricky Starks.
Starks is no doubt a captivating performer and certainly has plenty of options in future whether that be achieving his goals in ring, on commentary or in the wider media.
H/t to WrestlingInc for the transcription