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Riverhead grad, Breezzyy, making his way in wrestling’s ‘minor leagues’

For an answer to the question perhaps most commonly asked of professional wrestlers, why not go directly to the wrestler nicknamed “The Answer”?

The question: Is pro wrestling fake?

“I say it’s not fake, it’s predetermined,” Josh Breezzyy said. “So, everything we do is a hundred-percent real. It’s not like we’re animated in a studio, but we just know who’s going to win and what’s going to happen.”

The injuries, bumps and bruises, they’re all too real. Often they are the result of things like flying through the air off a turnbuckle and landing hard on the canvas or crashing through a table. That’s all part of it, too.

Breezzyy, 26, who grew up in Riverhead, was known as Josh Brewster when he played baseball for the Blue Waves. (Interestingly, he did not wrestle in high school). He took on the Breezzyy name when he became a hip-hop artist —he was named Artist of the Year at the 2020 Josie Music Awards — and kept it when he entered the world of pro wrestling.

Wrestling was something of a life preserver for Breezzyy back in the dark, early-pandemic days of 2020. His music tour was canceled as normal life came to a screeching halt. With his world seemingly falling apart, Breezzyy noticed pro wrestling schools were open at the time and thought that might be a neat option. One day he was in his car driving toward a pro wrestling school when he received a phone call from his coach, Q.T. Marshall. Breezzyy was told he could land a spot at the Nightmare Factory, a training center for All-Elite Wrestling in Atlanta, if he wanted. Breezzyy was in. He immediately turned his car — and perhaps his life — around.

“I think my life would have been a lot different if I didn’t get that call and say, ‘Yes,’ and turn around,” he said in a phone interview from his Deltona, Fla., residence.

Riverhead High School graduate Josh Breezzyy, 26, said the results may be predetermined, but the injuries are real in pro wrestling. (Courtesy photo)

Breezzyy commuted from his home at the time in Fayetteville, N.C., to the Nightmare Factory, which ultimately led to his dream of becoming a pro wrestler realized.

In the late summer of 2020, Breezzyy began a rigorous 12-week training camp. Half the day was devoted to strength and conditioning, he said, before an hour break and wrestling in the ring. “We would either be learning moves and things or would tape study and watch old matches and learn the psychology behind everything, why you do this at this point and what to do here and there,” he said.

The Nightmare Factory came to Breezzyy’s rescue in another way. He was homeless for about two months late in 2021, sleeping in his car and relying on making food and grocery deliveries in addition to receiving music royalties to pay for food and training, he said. On some winter nights, a caretaker friend at the Nightmare Factory let him sleep in the facility. Other times, a few wrestling classmates allowed him to crash on their couches.

“It helped build character, and I guess faith that, you know, it’s all going to be worth it one day,” he said.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Breezzyy has wrestled for Pro South Wrestling and High Royalty Wrestling, essentially working in the minor leagues of pro wrestling.

So, on which side of the pro wrestling world does Josh “The Answer” Breezzyy reside: good guy or bad guy?

Well, he’s a good guy, “for the most part,” he said.

Sometimes he can be both in a matter of days.

“Let’s say I do a match in Florida on Friday and a match in Georgia on Saturday,” he said. “I can be a good guy on Friday, and then they put me as a bad guy on Saturday. You got to always be ready for whatever they need.

“Both of them are fun because as a bad guy, you just get to be a bad guy,” he added. “Who doesn’t want to be a bad guy? You get to cheat. You get to yell at people.”

As for the good-guy side, he said: “You come out doing the high fives with all the little kids. They see the cool face paint, the bright colors and they’re just automatically your fan now. It’s just cool to be somebody’s superhero.”

Breezzyy, who applies paint to half of his face for matches, can appreciate the value of wrestling training from personal experience. One time an opponent jumping on him landed the wrong way and kneed him in the face, knocking a tooth through his lip. “There was blood everywhere,” he said. “It was a good time.”

Another injury wasn’t exactly wrestling-related. Breezzyy said he was lying on a cement floor at a gym when a friend jokingly stomped on his back, breaking a rib.

Breezzyy said he enjoys interactions with fans. He even had his own sort of Joe Greene moment (see the 1979 Coca-Cola TV commercial involving the Pittsburgh Steelers great and a young kid) with an unusual souvenir. It came after wrestling outdoors in a park under a pavilion in April. Breezzyy had lost the match.

“As everything’s closed and people started to leave, I came back out to the crowd and this little girl comes up with a piece of the table that I went through,” he said. “She comes walking up to me, asking me to sign it for her. And she’s like, ‘You should have won. You’re a lot cooler than that guy.’ ”

A Josh Breezzyy action figure will hit the market soon. Breezzyy said a prototype for the figure has been developed and he hopes it will come out by the end of September.

Breezzyy said his fiancée, Fatima Brown, another Riverhead High School graduate who ran track and played volleyball for the Blue Waves, attends his matches and is supportive of his wrestling career.

“She tries not to show it too much, like with this action figure,” he said. “I think she thinks it’s super cool. She just won’t tell me.”

Breezzyy said what has surprised him most about pro wrestling is “how fun it is, even though it hurts.”

Nothing fake about that at all.