Jesus “Ricardo” Rodriguez has realized a dream. Now, the former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star is working to help others realize their dreams as well.
Rodriguez has teamed with area businessperson Christopher Dreisbach to found Three Legacies Wrestling, billed in a company press release as “a first of its kind Pro Wrestling Training Academy.” Situated at 134 S. Centerville Road in Lancaster, the academy represents the realization of a goal Rodriguez has long held.
“The winds of fate blew me to Lancaster six months ago and it quickly became my home,” said Rodriguez, whose 16-year career includes being head trainer at pro wrestling academies around the world and in countries including Australia, Canada, England, Egypt, India, Italy, Mexico, and many more.
“I’m looking forward to rebuilding professional wrestling in Central Pennsylvania and helping an entire new generation of superstars realize their dream.”
Growing up in Los Angeles, Rodriguez watched Lucha Libre wrestling on TV and later wrestled in the heavyweight class at Van Nuys High School. Following high school, he trained in the San Fernando Valley before attending a WWE tryout at the Staples Center. Rodriguez signed a WWE contract days later and drawing on his experiences watching Mexican wrestling, spent several years as a pro wrestler under his ring name “Ricardo.”
Pro wrestling allowed him the opportunity to travel the world and experience various cultures. Outside the ring he wrestled with other issues.
“I had an alcohol addiction,” Rodriguez said, “and it got worse during Covid. I went to a detox center but the problem with alcohol continued.”
Continued to the point where Rodriguez reached out on social media. “I put it on Twitter that I needed help.”
Rodriguez’s call was answered by Dreisbach. The CEO and founder of Blueprints for Addiction Recovery saw Rodriguez’s tweet and contacted him. As someone who experienced issues with alcohol and drugs, Dreisbach understood Rodriguez’s situation. Rodriguez soon arrived in Lancaster, which he calls “a great place to live.”
Through it all, Rodriguez held to his belief that he was going to positively impact people’s lives. Dreisbach helped him convert that belief into reality.
“In each of the companies I’ve been involved with there is always an element of community building and helping folks achieve their goals and dreams,” Dreisbach said. “Ricardo and Three Legacies truly embody that dedication to community, and I’m thrilled to be a part of dream-making at Three Legacies for years to come.”
Rodriguez said Three Legacies opened in September and has 10 students ranging in age from 19-32 years. Not all his students have wrestling or even athletic backgrounds. What they do have, he said, is commitment and passion.
“Seeing their passion refuels me,” said Rodriguez. “My saving grace has always been wrestling. It keeps me focused on the academy and students.”
Three Legacies’ commitment to the community is exemplified in its offering a full scholarship per training cycle to a low-income individual who has the dedication and desire to pursue a new craft but does not have the financial means to pay for it.
The academy hosted a show in Lancaster in October and has another planned for November 18 in Lancaster. Rodriguez said Three Legacies wrestling shows are family friendly, adding that his academy is getting involved in food drives, helping the hungry and the homeless.
“I’m giving back to an industry,” Rodriguez said, “that has given me so much.”