Independent Focus: Ricochet Continues To Bring Aerial Excitement to Dragon Gate

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Independent Focus: Ricochet Continues To Bring Aerial Excitement to Dragon Gate
Ricochet flying through the air, about to collide with PAC. Such incredible grace. (Photo courtesy of S. Finkelstein - getlostphotography.smugmug.com)

There are literally hundreds of high-flying professional wrestlers out there, but very few have risen to the amazing heights of the man known as “The Future of Flight,” Ricochet.

While performers like Sin Cara (or Mistico) are wowing the mainstream audience with high-risk aerial maneuvers, Ricochet has quickly built a name for himself competing in promotions like CHIKARA, EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA.

His performances over the past year have been especially impressive, earning him the honor of being invited to compete for Dragon Gate in Japan, where he currently holds one-third of the Open the Triangle Gate Championships with CIMA and Dragon Kid.

He is also an integral part of the Blood Warriors faction, which is frankly one of the most impressive assemblages of talent anywhere in the world. The stable consists of not only Ricochet and his Triangle Gate partners, but includes the likes of Genki Horiguchi, Ryo Saito, Brodie Lee, Austin Aries and Naruki Doi.

Ricochet really began to build his reputation as an outstanding high flyer while competing for CHIKARA.

He took on the persona of Helios, a mysterious masked man, after losing a match against Chuck Taylor that forced Ricochet to leave CHIKARA. As Helios, he would go on to win the Young Lions Cup from Chuck Taylor.

As Helios (on the right), Ricochet teamed with Eqinox (left) and Lince Dorado to form The Future is Now team in CHIKARA.

The Young Lions Cup is awarded after an annual tournament consisting of the top young talent (under the age of 25) that CHIKARA and the independent scene have to offer. The winner of the tournament then must defend the YLC like a regular championship until the following year’s tournament takes place.

Holding the YLC is a major honor for young wrestlers, and it functions as the only singles championship in the CHIKARA promotion, though that will soon be changing with the introduction of a new singles belt.

Helios would hold onto the YLC for almost eight months, successfully defending it three times until he vacated it when the next tournament was held.

He also formed a trio called The Future is Now with Lince Dorado and “Equinox” Jimmy Olsen that became quite popular with CHIKARA fans and feuded with several other trios, including Team F.I.S.T. and The Osirian Portal.

Ricochet began competing for EVOLVE at the promotion’s debut show in January 2010. He continued to impress with his daredevil offense and eventually worked his way into a spot on the Dragon Gate USA roster, making his debut at their first anniversary show, Enter the Dragon 2010.

While Ricochet did make an impression during his debut, a four-way also including Chuck Taylor, Arik Cannon and Adam Cole, it wasn’t until the next DGUSA show that the fans would see the move that was voted Best Wrestling Maneuver in 2010 by the Wrestling Observer.

Ricochet drives Kyle O'Reilly to the mat during their clash at EVOLVE 5. (Photo courtesy of S. Finkelstein - getlostphotography.smugmug.com)

At Untouchable 2010, Ricochet unleashed his double-rotation moonsault, a truly breathtaking sight to behold. He hit the move on Naruki Doi, securing the win for himself and his tag team partner CIMA over Doi and Masato Yoshino, known collectively as Speed Muscle.

It has been called the night that Ricochet truly became a star. He was given a spot in CIMA’s then Warriors International faction, which eventually evolved into the Blood Warriors and has since become the top heel stable in DGUSA.

Though his win-loss record in DGUSA has not been too impressive, Ricochet’s performances between the ropes have been. It is not unusual to watch a match featuring Ricochet and at some point find yourself wondering, “how did he just do that?”

Between his incredible double moonsault, his devastating 630 senton and his vast array of standing moonsaults and splashes, Ricochet continues to show his fans why he was given the nickname “The Future of Flight.”

He also brings some high impact moves to the table, including a vicious backslide driver and the classic tornado DDT. Ricochet’s striking game isn’t so bad either and has likely only improved since spending time competing and training in Japan.

A few months back, Ricochet came close to defeating PAC for the Open the Brave Gate Championship, which is the secondary singles title in Dragon Gate in Japan. It was recently announced the “The Future of Flight” will get another crack at “The Man Who Gravity Forgot” at one of the Champion Gate shows being held in Japan this June.

Making good use of Johnny Gargano's ponytail at EVOLVE 3. Ricochet and Gargano have battled several times this year. (Photo courtesy of S. Finkelstein - getlostphotography.smugmug.com)

June looks to be a big month for Ricochet; he will be in action during all three nights of Dragon Gate USA’s huge second anniversary weekend.

On June 3, he will go one-on-one with one of the very best from Dragon Gate in Japan, Susumu Yokosuka, at the Fearless 2011 iPPV from just outside of Boston, MA.

June 4 is the Uprising 2011 PPV taping in Deer Park, NY. Ricochet will be involved in a three-way freestyle match against PAC and Chuck Taylor. All three men have picked up a ton of momentum in DGUSA and a win here could put one of them into contention for the Open the Freedom Gate Championship.

At Enter The Dragon 2011, the official second anniversary celebration, on June 5 in New York City, Ricochet will go one-one with Masato Yoshino in a match that could potentially steal the show. Both men are incredibly quick and after meeting several times in a tag team setting, they are certainly familiar with one another.

From the looks of it, June will be a very important month for the career of the awesome aerialist. His stock has risen steadily over the past year, and if he can pull out a few big victories and continue to amaze in June, that stock could go through the roof.

Want proof? Just go watch this video on YouTube featuring some of Ricochet's most impressive stuff.

This is the third in a series of articles focusing on up and coming, rising stars of the independent wrestling scene. Check out my first article, on Akira Tozawa, here and my second, on Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly, here. Keep an eye out for more features here on Bleacher Report about talent that you should be checking out.

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