Ryan Hunter has been on a roller coaster ride in his very young career.
In 2012, he started training at the former XWA academy under the tutelage of Johnny Phere.
Ryan showed passion for the business and watched countless hours of independent wrestling, looking for ideas and subtle things the wrestler would do, as a way of helping himself improve. However, Ryan’s appearance led to him being forgotten at the back of the class.
Being 18 stone always led to Ryan being judged before he’d had a chance to show what he could do. And while taller, or more athletic, or stronger guys like Shaun Vasey, Ryan Grayson, and Craig Kollins kept getting opportunities, Ryan was handed the camera and asked to film their trainee matches.
This appeared to be as far as Ryan would get in wrestling. Not in the ring, but watching from the outside.
Ryan’s confidence shrank, and his desire to be a star seemed to be gone too.
All the way to 2015, Ryan Hunter continued to work hard as a cameraman. He was known by the regular fans and well liked.
Well liked by pretty much everyone, apart from Bubblegum.
Bubblegum had recently turned his back on the fans who had followed him passionately, and wanted to put down anyone who the fans liked, such as Sam Gradwell, Cyanide, and even our cameraman, Ryan!
It started out with verbal abuse and intimidation tactics from “The Rascal” but it quickly turned into physical attacks.
Bubblegum even challenged Hunter to a match.
Amazingly enough, the young cameraman stood up to his bully, taking him on in singles action.
Though clearly out-matched and with no show level wrestling experience to speak of, Ryan was beaten and battered, and despite coming within seconds of defeating Bubblegum, ultimately ended with a loss.
Ryan was not disheartened though, and asked to team with Cyanide at Outbreak. Hunter was very eager to get back in the ring and prove his worth.
When Bubblegum pulled out of the match, Ryan and Cyanide teamed up with Sam Gradwell and defeated “The Leader” James Drake and his team.
This taste of Victory lit a fire under Ryan, and he was determined to become a permanent member of the Alpha Omega roster.
Alpha Male Stallion stated on numerous occasions, that after seeing the beating Ryan took at the hands of Bubblegum, he was not ready to be on the roster.
That didn’t slow Ryan down, he started training up and down the country, most notably with RJM’s mentor and British Wrestling legend, Marty Jones.
Ryan’s fans also started the #HireHunter movement.
This led to Ryan getting booked on shows from Manchester to Blackpool to Annan, Scotland.
With the support of the Morecambe fans and the #HireHunter movement, Alpha Male Stallion hired Ryan Hunter to a contract with Alpha Omega.
However, there was a caveat with Hunter’s contract. He would be under the guidance, supervision and tutelage of Xander Cooper.
Xander – the head trainer at the Futureshock training school in Manchester – claimed he would take Ryan under his wing and mould him into a star for Alpha Omega.
What we saw him do was berate, humiliate, and embarrass Ryan time and time again.
Whether it be making Ryan do laps of the Winter Gardens, having him exercise for 3 hours non stop before wrestling in a match, or telling him he can’t use his signature corner dropkick (as Xander wanted it instead), Ryan has been pushed around and held down, but kept moving forward and even improving despite the dubious teaching methods of his personal wrestling trainer.
At Golden Chance, Xander and Ryan had an opportunity to get a tag title shot, but Xander saw it as an opportunity to teach Ryan a lesson.
Because Xander doesn’t believe in tag titles, as only HE should be a champion, he made Ryan wrestle against the Island Brothers alone. Ryan showed huge improvement since his last match, but it wasn’t enough to take down a well oiled tag machine like the Island Brothers.
After this, both Xander and Ryan were in the Golden Chance Rumble, for a shot at the Alpha Omega Championship. This was something Xander took very seriously. and when Xander, Ryan (who had been in for the entire rumble) and Joey Hayes were in the ring, Xander ordered Ryan to eliminate himself. Ryan snapped and attacked his personal wrestling trainer, leading to both men being eliminated from the rumble.
Xander Cooper demanded that Alpha Male Stallion #FIREHUNTER as he had dared to disobey his orders.
Stallion pointed out that yes, Ryan was supposed to listen to Xander, but he’s not his P.A. and therefore doesn’t have to do everything Cooper tells him to do.
However, at Remember Remember, it was Ryan Hunter vs Xander Cooper.
The stipulation being if Ryan won, then Xander is no longer his personal wrestling trainer, and Ryan is a fully fledged member of the roster.
However if Xander won, Ryan would become Xander’s Personal Assistant. And be contractually obligated to do whatever Xander tells him to do, or he will be fired.
Ryan pulled off the performance of his life, and scored a huge upset, defeating Cooper and becoming a full member of the Alpha Omega Roster!
Now Ryan can begin his Morecambe wrestling career in earnest, and it looks as though his first opponent of 2017 may well be the man who is responsible for Ryan’s career existing at all, BUBBLEGUM!
Bubblegum didn’t take kindly to the rookie standing up for himself, and is determined to put the former cameraman back in his place!
This didn’t stop Ryan from facing his fear and doing what not many in his position would, he called out Bubblegum.
February 11th. Love & War. The final chapter in the unbelievable rivalry between veteran and rookie took place. Ryan Hunter defeated Bubblegum. One on One. Leaving no question as to whether or not he belonged on the roster. Bubblegum even took to the mic to point out how Ryan is one to watch and that Hunter himself has the weight of the expectations of the passionate Morecambe fans on his shoulders now.
You can view the match in full, for free, at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfH3ly0b7b0
At the beginning of 2017, Ryan was on top of the world. An official member of the Alpha Omega roster, appearing for companies up and down the country, and having defeated his tormentor – earning Bubblegum’s respect in the process. Now Ryan’s mission was to work his way up the ladder in Alpha Omega and be held in the same regard as established stars such as Bubblegum, Joey Hayes and Sam Gradwell.
At Love & War, when the debuting Dean MacManus attacked Gradwell, Ryan Hunter came to the rescue of the fan favourite. Then at War on the Shore, Sam was once again caught off guard by HellBound, and again Ryan Hunter came out to even the odds.
In an impromptu tag match, Hunter’s over eagerness to impress his tag partner led to a miscommunication, and HellBound picked up the victory.
Following the match, Gradwell shocked everyone when he assaulted Ryan, beating down the rookie before shouting “I’m better than this” and leaving.
Gradwell believes he is a star (and multiple appearances for the WWE certainly back up his argument) and that Ryan Hunter is a nobody.
Ryan appears to have a new goal in AOWUK, to earn the respect of another veteran in Sam Gradwell, even if he has to fight him to get it…