A FORMER rugby league player turned WWE wrestler says it feels great to be back in the ring after missing the last nine months through injury.

Luke Menzies, 33, who wrestles under the character name Ridge Holland, broke and dislocated his left ankle, dislocated his knee cap and ruptured the patellar tendon on his right leg in a wrestling match in October last year.

But last week he made an impact in his return to the ring, taking down two opponents and aligning himself with two others including a fellow English grappler.

He shocked the wrestling world by beating down Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher and teaming up with their opponents Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan on this week's episode of World Wrestling Entertainment's NXT show.


Menzies says he is delighted to be back in the ring and lifted the lid on the long road he has been down in recovering from what he previously described as a 'freak' injury.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, he said: "It feels great to be back. I’ve been champing at the bit.

"Unfortunately this isn't ballet and injuries happen but that’s all behind me now and I’m looking forward to showing what a healed up Ridge Holland is capable of.

"The recovery process was a grind. As soon as I got hurt I was thinking of what I had to do to come back.

"It was Groundhog Day but I had the best physios and trainers working with me on a daily basis, five to seven days per week.

"I came back by battering Tomasso Ciampa and Timothy thatcher and aligned myself with their opponents Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan."


Menzies added he is targeting titles as part of his new three-man group.

He added: "My plans are to continue where I left off and along with Pete and Oney, grab NXT by the scruff off the neck and do with it as we please.

"Obviously championship gold tickles our fancy."

The former Bradford Bulls Academy ace suffered the injury on an episode of WWE's NXT programme, where Holland brawled with fellow wrestlers Lorcan and Danny Burch after defeating the latter in a match.

As he caught Lorcan leaping over the top rope to deliver a cross-body move, Holland suffered the injuries and he had to be stretchered out of the arena.

Menzies says he cannot wait for the WWE to resume touring to the UK again and is looking forward to coming back to his native county for a show.

He also coined his wrestling character's catchphrase by saying his fans in Bradford should 'keep causing bother'.

Menzies said: "I’m definitely looking forward to coming back to the UK a show in Yorkshire would be perfect."

Just prior to his injury, Menzies competed in a couple of high-profile matches, challenging for an NXT North American Championship match in the weeks before his injury.

Menzies was a former Spen Valley Sports College in Liversedge student, who stays true to his West Yorkshire roots in his wrestling persona.

As Ridge Holland, he walks to the ring wearing a flat cap, calling himself the Bother Causer and using Northern Grit as a hashtag.

Menzies still has strong roots in the Bradford district as his father, Alan Menzies, who used to play rugby league for Odsal Sedbergh, lives in Shipley.

His Twitter page previously featured a black and white photograph of Albert Terrace in Saltaire.

Menzies previously said: "Ridge Holland is just an extension of me. He keeps himself to himself, likes to be physical when the time is right and doesn't mind causing a bit of bother if the mood takes him.

"The hat he wears is an homage to Yorkshire heritage and the hardworking fellas that Yorkshire is synonymous with.

"I dish out my own version of Northern/Yorkshire grit in the squared circle.

"There's a slight Peaky Blinders influence along with a dash of Jack the Ripper and Bill Sykes from Oliver.

"I'm immensely proud of my Yorkshire roots, my boots have 'Made in Yorkshire' stitched into the back of them.

"Sometimes people in the States can't understand me and don't get my sense of humour but that's tough. It's me and I can't change my spots."

Away from the wrestling ring in the States, Luke own sporting past in rugby league started in Bradford. He went on to play as a prop for clubs including Batley Bulldogs, York City Knights and Toronto Wolfpack between 2007 and 2017.