Ryan Smile, a name that more and more people are beginning to recognise now at the end of 2014 thanks to him getting more and more bookings around the country. He may not be as well known as many others but he is arguably one of the best high flyers in the country, and undoubtedly one of the most passionate performers around!
But as well as his in ring work Ryan also is involved in the industry as a promoter, graphic designer, belt designer and t-shirt producer as well as doing a podcast and the occasional blog! A lot of this is driven by the desire to provide what is “best for business” supporting promotions by providing quality show posters and match graphics as well as website design, and also by supporting wrestlers giving them access to professional quality merchandise like 8x10s and bespoke t-shirt designs.
As a promoter Ryans Pro Wrestling Kingdom shows – as I have mentioned many times in previous reviews on the website and on the podcast – have been some of the best looking shows I have been to, with so much effort going in to the visual aspect of the show. But on top of this the quality of the wrestling is top notch and there have been several youngsters given opportunities alongside well known names – with everyone seemingly giving that little bit extra every time. PWK has been responsible for several of my favourite matches in the last 18 months and consistently offers something different – from Bubblegum vs Kay Lee Ray and more recently Lana Austin, to an Ultimate X match between Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews to 11 Stages of Hell between Mad Man Manson and Sebastian Radclaw, there is something for everyone. Pete Dunne has been a main stay throughout and he has developed greatly through this time – like Ryan he is getting a lot more widespread recognition now too – and as the only PWK Champion he is a great figurehead especially with the Bitter Youth faction behind him. There have also been other people such as Chris Ridgeway who I had not heard of before Ryan bought him in to the second show and since then he has rapidly risen up the ranks of my favourite wrestlers and been involved in some great matches, most recently tagging with Damian Dunne against The Vulture Squad which was one of many high points in the most recent PWK show.
I have known of Ryan for a little over two years now, the first time I saw him I didn’t realise how good he actually was. He main evented a show which drew about 12 people for whatever reason (I won’t name it here but I think I have done in the past) Despite this, it was actually one of the most fun shows I have been to! In his match Ryan was highly entertaining and athletic – I recall him running laps around the ring and doing star jumps shouting “Cardio” during the match. It was only with the inception of Kamikaze Pro and PWK that I got to see him in proper matches, the first at Kamikaze being against Flash Morgan Webster then at PWK in a brutal match against Damian Dunne. From this point on I was hooked on him as a performer (as well as the other two competitors too).
Since then Ryan has been one of the highlights of every show I have seen him on whether it is as the cocky arrogant heel who I struggle to actually dislike or the confident high flying fan favourite. When he is in top gear he is ridiculously fast around the ring – this is probably best highlighted in a Kamikaze Pro title defence vs Robbie X earlier this year which was literally “blink and you miss it” fast, then on the flip side when he is on the receiving end you really think he is getting seriously hurt.
Arguably my favourite Ryan Smile match of 2014 had to be at HOP:Evolution 12 “Everybody be cool this is a robbery” against LJ Heron which demonstrated everything I have said above. Ryan pulled off some remarkable high flying offense all over and out of the ring but there were at least two occasions where it looked like he was literally broken in half including two successive dives to the outside which I barely got out of the way for!
Above all else, Ryan Smile is a true entertainer whether its singing mid match, coming up with hilarious or intense promos or putting on the best match possible you always get 100% even if he isn’t anywhere near 100% himself.
I don’t pretend to know all what is going on behind the All Day Star persona but I know there are some health issues and other problems behind the scenes but if you see him in action you would never know!
It’s testament to Ryans commitment to getting the best out of British wrestling when he sometimes rants a little on social media. Yes, he can be blunt but it is always with the best intentions – whether it is questioning choices or challenging others to better themselves. He seems to get challenged a lot by others who hinder him as a businessman
From my experience, Ryan always tries to find time for everyone and Pro Wrestling Kingdom has been responsible for several of my favourite shows and matches in the last couple of years and I always look forward to watching Ryan wrestle regardless of who it is against.
The All Day Star continues to shine brightly in British Wrestling and long may it continue to do so.