Zicky Dice appeared on “House of Hardcore” this week where he discussed growing up as a wrestling fan, and how that helped him get into the business professionally.
“My dad and older brother were huge wrestling fans. My earliest memory is Koko B Ware and the bird coming down to the entrance, and I think I was hooked immediately,” Dice said.
“That is the style of wrestling that I grew up watching, you know, late 80s, early 90s WWF. I loved the bright colors and the characters and I was hooked. I didn’t even know that professional wrestling existed anywhere outside of that realm.”
“From there, professional wrestling got me into, and I hate this term but, amateur wrestling, freestyle, folk style, Greco Roman wrestling. I did that from about five years old until I was 14. I went all the way through my sophomore year and freshman year,” he continued. “My sophomore year, I lost maybe one or two matches and then I quit. My dad had passed away in a drunk driving car accident going into my sophomore year, so I quit after that because wrestling was our thing and I just kind of hated everything.”
“From there, I found punk rock and hardcore music and started a band. I was like, hey, there’s a lot of weird people like me. This is pretty cool. From there, I played in a bunch of different bands. Then I played in this band called Heart to Heart. We were on Pure Noise Records. In 2014, we did the whole Warped Tour and I met Seth Rollins through music. He was a fan, I wouldn’t say of our band, but some of the bands that we toured with. I’d seen him at a few shows.”
“There was one night we were in Nashville and I was acting like a complete jerk off on stage. I was getting the crowd booing me in between songs, but they were singing along. The whole room was singing along and the tour manager was like, ‘Hey, I got to talk to you guys after your set.’ I was like, ‘I’m pretty sure we’re getting kicked off the tour.’”
“Wrestling is very similar to music right there. If you’re the opening band, you don’t want to disrespect the headliners. He pulled me aside and said, ‘Listen, I know how much you love professional wrestling. I know how agile you are. You have this oozing charisma. I think that you need to become a professional wrestler,’” Zicky said.
“So I text Seth Rollins at that moment and I said, ‘Hey, I want you to train me. He says, ‘Are you serious?’ I said, ‘I’m going to be better than you are one day.’ He said, ‘I’ll see you on May 1st.’ I wrapped up that tour, packed up everything, and left.”
“I still feel that our band could have been a lot bigger. That was my band. I was the dad of the band and the guys got comfortable. I was dealing with the booking agent, dealing with the management, booking the tours, ordering the merch, and everyone else was just plugging in and going on stage and doing the cool stuff. So it got kind of exhausting.”
“So I thought what would happen if I took all that energy and put it into myself? So I moved to the Midwest in 2015 and I went to the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy. I graduated from the third class there and stayed around the Midwest for three years.”
“From there, I moved back to California, and wrestling in California is tough. I’ll be honest with you. There’s not as many options as there are in other spots of the country. It got to the point where I was working more out of California than anywhere else.”
“I remember specifically I was working for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and the car ride down there was six hours there and six hours back. We were making 20 bucks ahead, but we were getting some TV experience and learning how to work the cameras and everything. We were all kind of tired on that drive. We’re like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know how much longer we can do this.’ It gets very exhausting,” Dice explained.
“That day I walked up and Billy Corgan saw me and offered me a job at NWA on the spot. So from there, I went to the NWA. I won the Television Championship off of Ricky Starks. COVID hit and I didn’t get a full title run. Then I got contacted by Impact Wrestling, and here we are.”
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit The House of Hardcore Podcast with Tommy Dreamer with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription.