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Published on August 31st, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz


“Absolute” Ricky Starks On Signing With AEW, Musical Influences, Art, Taz & More

AEW is a new professional wrestling league headlined by Cody, Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, Jon Moxley, Mr. Brodie Lee, Matt Hardy, MJF, Nyla Rose, Hikaru Shida and Brandi Rhodes. For the first time in many years, AEW is offering an alternative to mainstream wrestling, with a growing roster of world-class male and female wrestlers that is injecting new spirit, freshness and energy to the industry. The inaugural event under the AEW banner was the sold-out Double Or Nothing PPV in Las Vegas’s MGM Grand Garden Arena in May 2019.

One of the AEW stars who has had people talking as of late is “Absolute” Ricky Starks. A native of New Orleans who resides in Austin, Texas, Starks made his in-ring debut close to a decade ago. Since signing with AEW in May — he made his on-air Dynamite debut as a surprise challenger against then-TNT Champion Cody Rhodes — Starks has aligned with Brian Cage and wrestling legend Taz to form Team Taz. But in watching Starks for just a few moments, you will undoubtedly pick up on his charisma, his mystique and the fact that he takes a very original approach to professional wrestling.

On August 31, 2020, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ricky Starks via Zoom about his past, present and future in wrestling, as embedded below. He also opened up about his musical influences, which are surprisingly more vintage and soul-influenced that you may know; Ambrosia and “yacht rock” fell into that discussion. More on Ricky Starks can be found online by visiting,, and

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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