Ryan “Acid” Zero has bled for our sins. Now he wants a pound of flesh in return.
That’s the gist behind the current iteration of Zero’s in-ring persona anyway. Since September, the character has been making waves in the still-young Orang-K Pro Wrestling promotion, referring to himself as “the martyr of wrestling” and leading villainous faction Fatal Error on a take-no-prisoners warpath.
Teaming Zero with wrestlers Trip, Wrath, Ace X, and Jakki Daniels, Fatal Error, inspired by mercurial “hacktivist” collective Anonymous – even going so far as to adopt that organization’s signature Guy Fawkes mask as a symbol of its own anti-establishment ideology – is a stable of squared-circle anarchists with just one goal in mind: ultimate destruction.
“We’re not like (famed World Championship Wrestling outfit) the New World Order,” Zero says. “We don’t want to take over. We just want to burn it all down.”
What could motivate such unapologetic nihilism? For Zero, or rather the larger-than-life version of Zero that rears its head between the ropes, it stems from bitterness. It stems from a long history of sacrificing his body in brutal hardcore matches for the amusement of the masses. Most importantly, it stems from real life.
“I love (technical wrestling). I can go in the ring and technically wrestle my ass off, but you won’t see that at shows. The last time I tried it, the fans did not give two s—ts,” he says. “I’ve gotten Facebook messages from people asking me when the next match is where I’m going to bleed all over.”
With Zero’s claim to fame remaining a severely injurious incident from 2010 in which a botched move resulted in him being thrown from the ring to the floor below, landing squarely on his head and neck, the wrestler’s reputation as a battle-scarred, Kendo stick-swinging deathmatch gladiator is legit.
While he’s quick to point out that his storyline bitterness is, conversely, not legit, in a sport/art whose artifice is a big open secret, it is those kernels of truth at the heart of all the melodrama that give wrestling its power.
“You should always try to build off what you’ve already done, because people do remember it,” Zero says. “For me, personally, I think it’s very important to have some reality in what you’re doing. Any time you can use a real emotion and just dial it up to 11, it helps make it that much better.”
With Zero and Fatal Error teammate Trip both scheduled to take part in Orang-K’s upcoming “Gold Rush” heavyweight title tournament in February, 2014 promises to be a big year for Fatal Error. Fans should note that the tournament’s brackets also include several “good guy” wrestlers that Zero and his crew of troublemakers are feuding with, indicating sparks are sure to fly.
As with Anonymous and Guy Fawkes, though, one man’s terrorist is another man’s hero. Zero and Fatal Error blur not just the borders between reality and fiction, but those between good and evil as well. After all, the group’s mission is arguably not too different from that of the Orang-K brand itself.
“Really, what Fatal Error wants is to change the scope of things, forcibly if need be. Specifically this area, it needs something to shake it up,” Zero says.
“I started wrestling out here back in 2009, and I look around sometimes and I don’t see a lot of things changed. It’s stale, the same characters doing the same things for too long, the same guys having the same matches. It doesn’t help anything in the area. You have to evolve.”
Until next time, remember: when fact is stranger than fiction, wrestling is as real as anything else.