Driving an hour north of Houston, Texas, will take you to a city called Montgomery. It is credited for being one of the oldest towns in the state and the birthplace of the Texas Lone Star Flag, and it is also the home of professional wrestler Jay Davis. To wrestling fans, he is known as the Rottweiler.
As of late, the independent wrestling scene has surged in Houston and the surrounding areas of East Texas. But the entertainment does not stop there. It stretches to Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and beyond. A lot of that has to do with the rising number of young athletes wanting to pursue the in-ring sport. The excitement that is sweeping through the Gulf Coast region is expected to forge on as fans continue to embrace the up-and-coming wrestling talent.
For the past two years, the 21-year-old grappler has been entertaining crowds who come out and watch shows for promotions like Loko Wrestling, Texas All-Star, Undisputed, and Live Action Wrestling. Davis has a signature look. Due to his stocky build and the singlet he wears, it compliments his body type perfectly. Fitting with the throwback look of his ring attire is his admiration for old-school wrestling.
Wearing a black-colored do-rag on his head along with a tow chain in hand, his walk to the ring is heavy with antagonistic vibes. Often, fans in attendance dare to challenge Jay, and because of his defiant attitude, it will not let him back down. The taunting and jeers do not seem to bother the wrestler, they only fuel his tenacity for the fight ahead. Trying to figure out if the young man is a good guy or a bad guy is hard to tell.
“I don’t classify myself as a heel or babyface. I’m just a Rottweiler. If you treat them right, they will love you forever, if you don’t things can turn sour quick,” Jay Davis explained. “I’m going to treat you well if you treat me well. As soon as you raise your hand to me, it’s over.”
Being athletic has always come naturally for Jay. While growing up he loved staying active and participating in anything competitive. Strength and agility are words that well describe the young Texan. Competing in amateur wrestling in his high school days is apparent while watching him in action. His in-ring style screams technical wrestling.
Davis may only stand five feet – eight inches, however, he weighs 225 pounds and his mass is intimidating. In the gym, his weightlifting routine is quite impressive. For some, working out with weights may be a chore, but for Jay, it is a healthy outlet that helps him deal with the stresses of life. The Rottweiler can bench 400, squat 610, and deadlift 585 pounds. His opponents on the independent wrestling scene can feel his strength and power.
Jay is interested in making his own path in the sport. However, when you hear the canine breed nickname and see the metal chain that he carries, it is hard not to think of the legendary wrestler, the Junkyard Dog.
The Junkyard Dog was Sylvester Ritter who made a legion of fans throughout his 20-year career. His personality and charisma made him one of the most popular wrestlers from the 70s through the 90s. His ability to connect with the audience was his magic! Unfortunately, the wrestling world lost its hero when Ritter died in a single-car accident in 1998.
“The Junkyard Dog is one of my favorite wrestlers to watch. I like his aggressiveness and how he played to the crowd,” Davis recalled. “He didn’t play a character. He was the Junkyard Dog. It wasn’t a gimmick to him.”
Following his passion has not always been easy for Jay. In 2018, after graduating high school he was unable to find a wrestling school to train at. Dealing with other misfortunes such as losing his job, Jay became frustrated with his situation. To blow off some steam and to take his mind off of things, he went to the gym to work out.
It was there he made contact with a gentleman who was working out as well. The man caught Jay’s attention because he was wearing a Cody Rhodes t-shirt while lifting weights. To Jay’s surprise, the man was Vinnie Zukko. As an independent wrestler, Vinnie had an on-again-off-again career with the sport in Texas.
The two men struck up a conversation and found out that they both had a lot in common. Within a few days of meeting each other, Jay was with Vinnie training in a wrestling ring. Since then, Vinnie has been something like a father figure to Jay and someone he can get guidance from. Offering advice about wrestling to the Rottweiler has been beneficial. Vinnie has become such an important person in his life that Jay lovingly refers to him as “Pops.”
“He has taught me a lot of things that I would have never picked up on my own,” Jay stated. “He has impressed upon me how I should carry myself in this business, in the locker room, and to respect the men and women who have come before me.”
Meeting Vinnie has been a blessing for Jay. For Vinnie, it has motivated him to rededicate himself to wrestling which has helped him rekindle his passion for the in-ring activity. The two men do not only push each other to be at their best, they help keep each other accountable.
However, wrestling has a much deeper meaning to Jay than just participating in a sport. Wrestling is a big part of the relational bond he has with his grandfather. In a way, you could say that his grandfather is living vicariously through Jay. He had always wanted to be a wrestler as well. Life’s responsibilities did not allow a wrestling career for Jay’s Grandfather, but there is no doubt that he is the Rottweiler’s number one fan and supporter.
Jay’s family constantly shares stories of when he was a small baby. At any time when Jay was crying or upset, his grandfather placed him on his lap and they watched wrestling together. Within minutes, Jay was calm. Due to his grandfather’s age and the concern of the pandemic, he only watches his grandson through the internet.
“He’s pretty proud of me. I have a nice picture of him holding one of my championship belts,” Davis smiled. “Sometimes it brings a tear to my eye when I see him watch me wrestle.”