If the name RJ City sounds familiar to wrestling fans that follow the independent scene, it should. For the past couple of months, the 30-year-old wrestler from Toronto, Canada has been involved in a series of matches with actor and former WCW World Champion, David Arquette. Since July of last year, the two have wrestled against each other in singles matches, and they have also teamed together as tag partners.
“I wrestled David in his first match when he came back to wrestling. Not only did I defeat him, but I also gave him a black eye, which was fun to do in front of his family,” RJ City said. “I think he was so moved by my essence and my oeuvre, that he basically propositioned me to team with him.”
In December, RJ and David took to the ring at the ECW arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where they wrestled for the House of Hardcore. In the beginning, their opponents were initially Robbie E. and Tyrus, but as the match progressed, RJ says they experienced a lot of weirdness which included run-ins from other wrestlers not involved in the match.
“It was a lot of fun, but surreal,” RJ recalls. “The Sandman came out and it felt like I had taken a bunch of expired LSD.”
Whether RJ is stepping into the ring with David Arquette, Colt Cabana, Al Snow, Joey Ryan, or Dalton Castle, one of the main things that you will notice about him is his use of in-ring psychology. Whether RJ is berating his opponent, taunting the crowd, or undermining the referee, he is concentrating on telling a story throughout the entire match.
“I am a believer in the psychology of wrestling, and I think if people just wanted to watch motionless flipping, then we would all be watching the gymnastics on Monday night,” RJ replied. “I put the entertainment back in sports entertainment, which I think has been a little sport heavy. Psychology plus stories that make sense are enjoyable and satisfying.”
RJ admits that using psychology in his matches is not always the easiest thing to do because it requires a lot of thinking and patience. If the fans are already getting glorified gymnastics from the wrestlers on the card, he says that he is happy with bringing something different to the table.
“It’s like I’m at a potluck and everybody has brought steak, and I’ve decided to bring a nice Piaya, and everybody has found it quite refreshing.”
When RJ is not wrestling, he is entertaining in other ways, by doing acting, stand-up and sketch comedy, and improv. He has appeared in the movie Monster Brawl, and was part of a show which aired on Nickelodeon that was called Splatalot. Splatalot was a kid’s game show that had great success by being syndicated in over a hundred countries. On that program, RJ did what he does best. He berated children while portraying a knight as he defended a castle.
“I think acting and wrestling are exactly the same thing. If you don’t think that they are exactly the same, you’re not looking at them correctly,” RJ explains. “I have always said that wrestling is like a violent fourth-grade play. The wrestling environment is a little more volatile. I have yet to be on a TV show that a 12-year-old has spit in my face, so acting is an easier environment to be in.”
With RJ being deeply connected to wrestling and the entertainment scene, it has allowed him the good fortune to meet others who have trudged that same road. Two of the people that have influenced and encouraged RJ the most have been Kevin Nash and the late Roddy Piper. While being on movie sets together, both men have spent a lot of time talking with RJ about exploring creative ideas that not everyone in their business thinks to take advantage of.
“They are clearly their own individuals and they don’t follow the crowd. That stood out to me,” RJ said. “That inspired me to stand out on my own in the Indies and to think if everyone is going in one direction, let me go in the other direction just to see what will happen.”
That philosophy has paid off for RJ in a big way. He is currently appearing on a Facebook show every Sunday called “RJ Makes Coffee in his Underwear,” and he also has another web series in the works as well. If that is not enough to keep him busy, RJ also is currently doing a lot of different kinds of video for the CBC. RJ wrestles all over the United States and Canada, but two of his favorite promotions right now are Empire State Wrestling in New York, and Greektown Wrestling in Toronto.
“A bunch of stuff that I am most proud of probably wouldn’t be possible if I was signed. The WWE is a different machine and it filters through a lot of people,” RJ tells. “I love having creative control and making my own decisions. I am passionately invested in my character and the psychology of wrestling, and I enjoy having that freedom. So at this time, I will happily take that.”