Anthony Ogogo Credits DDP For His Wrestling Career

Hamish Woodward

Anthony Ogogo has gone off the boil in AEW recently, having not been seen on Dynamite for over a year.

Since his 2021 feud with Cody Rhodes, which saw The American Nightmare end racism with one of the most cringe promos of all time, Ogogo has been out of action for a variety of reasons.

He has had various eye surgeries, to fix an injury he suffered in his boxing career, and now seems to be touring the UK indie scene as he waits for his AEW return.

Anthony Ogogo teaming with former footballer Adebayo Akinfenwa in PROGRESS

However, in a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, Anthony Ogogo spoke about how he got into the wrestling business.

He commented that he became friends with DDP after retiring from boxing, reaching out to the former WCW Champion after hearing about DDP Yoga on the Talk is Jericho podcast.

Ogogo revealed that he would hang out with DDP when he would have eye surgeries in the USA, and it was then that Page convinced him to try his hand in Pro-wrestling.

Speaking with Chris Van Vliet, Anthony Ogogo said;

“So I retired from boxing and I was friends with DDP. He is like my mentor in this game, what an unbelievable dude, I can’t put him over enough. So I was injured, I just hurt my eye, I had 9 surgeries on my eye in 3 years. It was a very difficult time.

I was training so hard, making and losing weight, and I got a back injury. I thought that I needed to do something, and being a wrestling fan I listened to podcasts, and Jericho was always putting over DDPY.

So I reached out to him [DDP] and he got back to me and we became best mates. I had 9 surgeries on my eye in three years, four in America. Every surgery I had in the USA I would come over early and stay over in Atlanta and we would hang out together.

We would do yoga together and hang out together, and he said ‘Have you ever thought of being a wrestler.’ I said ‘Dallas I am honoured.’ He said ‘You can talk, you got the look, you are athletic.

I think you can do this.’ I was really humbled but I told him that boxing is my thing, he got it, he is someone who is all about work ethic and achieving your dreams.

“So I had a surgery, and one of the maddest things happened to me. I woke up from the third surgery and I knew the protocol, 5th on my eye altogether, but then my heart stopped altogether.

They resuscitated me back to life, and it was scary as you can imagine. I stayed in hospital overnight to have some regular checks, and Dallas called me. He asked how did it go and I said not well, all the doctors were panicking, big thing.

He said ‘Listen, when are you going to give this dream up? It’s not happening for you. I can make one phone call and make you a wrestler today.’ That was the only argument that me and Dallas ever had. I snapped at him and said ‘F—ng hell!

I need everyone that everyone that I love and respect to be on my f—ing side now. I cannot have you dangling the carrot over here. I have got the blinders on.’ We had an argument and I said to him ‘Don’t mention this to me ever again.’

He said ‘I get it.’ That was March 2018 and I retired in March 2019. I Facetimed Dallas and said that I was retiring from boxing and to thank him. He said ‘I’m sorry. I know how much this meant to you.’ He took a beat, then the next thing he said was ‘So now do you want to be a wrestler?’ I said ‘F— Dallas, let me mourn my career! 18 years of unfulfilled dreams and pain and bitterness.’

“I wanted to sulk, I was still writing my retirement speech. He goes ‘When you are finished sulking then give me a call.’ So I retired the next day, and I went to WrestleMania with some friends from school for my 30th birthday, we all went to WrestleMania in New York.

I met Dallas there and he said to me ‘You gotta meet Cody, I’ve been telling Cody about you.’ So I met Cody and told him my story and all of the ins and outs, glossing over how my heart stopped on the operating table and having the insane belief that I was going to fight again. Incidentally at this time,

I did an interview after I retired with the BBC. I had tears in my eyes, I was boxing since I was 12. The journalist asked me what was next, purely to pop myself I said ‘I like wrestling, I might become a wrestler.’ It was purely to pop myself, I wasn’t thinking about the future at the time.

So word got out, BBC and it all goes around the world, WWE offers me a try-out. I ask Dallas what to do and he says to go and do the try-out, then meet Cody. So I did the try-out and they were impressed with me, I did promo class with Road Dogg and I killed it.

“I was asked to just watch while they did a two-minute promo where you had to have a turn. I asked to have a go and I was the second to last person, everyone did the usual ‘Duh duh duh and now I am a bad guy….’ So I switched it.

I came out and being really cocky and arrogant saying that wrestling is beneath me, then I said that I took a bump and realized how hard it was. Road Dogg loved it and asked me to come back next week with the scenario that I am fighting Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Title at Battleground.

Madly enough, I took my leather jacket with me to Orlando, did the promo in my jacket and sunglasses and they loved it. They basically offered me a contract, and then AEW offered me a contract. Two weeks ago, I was a boxer, two weeks later the two biggest companies wanted to sign me.

I met Tony Khan at a Fulham game in London and as soon as I met him and heard his vision for AEW, how charismatic and nice he was, I fell in love with his vision of AEW.”

Anthony Ogogo is being advertised as being part of the upcoming All In 2 show.

The event is taking place at Wembley Stadium on August 27th, 2023. AEW are hoping to sell 90,000 tickets for the event, which would make it the biggest wrestling event in British wrestling history.

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