Dave Madeley sounds sore. His voice is hoarse and you can almost feel a wince in his words while he is talking. This is because Madeley is still feeling the effects of a broken nose, which, as he casually informs me, is the result of a “stray headbutt.”
Madeley has a very different way of spending his time outside of the classroom than most TRU students. He travels around British Columbia chasing a dream, a dream that just so happens to not only see him receive a bunch of bumps and bruises but also dole out a lot of punishment himself, as the holder of both the All-Star Wrestling Trans-Canada Cruiserweight and Heavyweight Champion belts.
Growing up in Smithers, B.C., Madeley loved watching wrestling as a kid, though he never thought of emulating one of his favourite childhood grapplers until 2007, when he watched a wrestling show live for the first time.
“I just fell in love with it, to a point where I said I could probably do that,” he said.
Professional wrestling is known as one the most physically demanding sports. It requires a lot of sacrifices from those hoping to make it big, and Madeley began making those sacrifices immediately after watching that show. He saved money for a year before moving out to Calgary to study the craft under former WWE superstar Lance Storm, where a rigorous training schedule proved too difficult for a lot of his fellow wrestling protégés.
“This is one of those things where you definitely have to want it. If you don’t, you get weaned out really fast – only the ones who love it survive.”
All of that hard work and sacrifice began to pay off this year, as Madeley not only captured the two titles that he currently holds but also was named number 477 of the prestigious Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine’s top 500 wrestlers in the world. To be included on the same list as prominent wrestlers like John Cena and Randy Orton is a level of recognition that Madeley has been striving for throughout his wrestling career and provides some proof that all of the broken noses and dislocated elbows have been worth it.
Madeley, who wrestles under the name Adam Ryder, plays up his business student persona when in the ring.
“Ultimately, I like being the bad guy. I like being able to tell a story and be kind of a jerk in the ring – the business-suit-wearing uptight kind of bad guy – it’s a lot more fun.”
Although Madeley is on track to graduate in December with a bachelor of business degree from TRU, he doesn’t think it’s time for Adam Ryder to hang up his boots just yet, even though he knows that time is running out. “There’s definitely more to go out and accomplish. I’m 27 right now, so I’m kind of at the age where I make it big in the next two or three years or it’s not going to happen.”
Madeley will next be in the ring in Vernon on Saturday, Oct. 24, although don’t be surprised if you recognize him from school and notice a big change in his personality at the event because, in his words, “Dave Madeley is a business student, but Adam Ryder is an ass-kicking wrestler.”