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By Brendan Higgins, contributing writer
Right now, all over the planet, there are literally thousands of young men and women trying to make it big in the crazy world of professional wrestling. They come from all walks of life. It isn’t something they kind of want to do. They have a deep passion for it. At times, it can become an obsession. On paper, the odds of making it big are not good. Just don’t try and tell that to Brett Gosselin. He has been listening to that rhetoric for years. He doesn’t let the negative chatter phase him in the least. He knows exactly where he wants to be. He is currently knocking on the door of making his dream a reality.
Gosselin is 25 years old. He grew up in West Greenwich. He graduated from Bishop Hendricken in 2016. From there, he attended Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. He graduated in 2020. He wrestles under the name The Victorious BRG. For the past decade he has been grinding it out on the independent circuit. This Friday night, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) will be at the Ryan Center in Kingston for Battle of the Belts VI. Gosselin is booked to wrestle on this show. What makes this special is the Ryan Center is about 15 minutes from where he grew up.
I spoke with Gosselin about his journey in the wrestling world. He is both intelligent and good looking. In fact, the fans have been known to call him Justin Bieber during his matches. When he was growing up, he wasn’t much of a wrestling fan. He said, “When I was 12 years old, I was at my friend Noah’s house. I noticed he had a bunch of wrestling figures. I actually thought it was pretty stupid. When I was growing up, I didn’t like wrestling. I was a hockey player. That was all I did.” Gosselin revealed he has always been a big Montreal Canadians fan living in Rhode Island. No wonder he became a bad guy in wrestling.
Gosselin eventually had a change of heart about the sport he once considered stupid. He recalled, “It was because of the Rated R Superstar, Edge. I remember watching an episode of Smackdown in January of 2011. Edge and Kelly Kelly faced off against Dolph Ziggler and LayCool. The world heavyweight championship was on the line. The whole thing ended with a cliff hanger. I had to watch the next week. After that I just kept watching. I was really into Edge, Christian and CM Punk.”
With the wrestling bug sinking its teeth deeply into Gosselin, it was only a matter of time before he wanted to step in the ring. “I got cut from the hockey team in my sophomore year at Hendricken. After that, it was all wrestling for me. One day when I was younger, I was at Kohl’s with my mother. I noticed a toy wrestling championship belt and asked my mom if I could get it. Then I texted Noah. I informed him I had a title belt. Noah has two brothers, Thomas and Joe. We would shoot wrestle whenever we could. We always competed for that belt. I called myself Blade because I was such a big Edge fan.”
While he was still in high school, Gosselin began training to become a pro wrestler. He explained, “I told my mom I wanted to try wrestling. I did a google search for wrestling schools in Rhode Island and found Showcase Pro Wrestling in Woonsocket. Before he was even old enough to drive, Gosselin enrolled in a pro wrestling school.
Gosselin’s mother is Christine Hebert-Gosselin. She has been a nurse for 28 years. I asked her about her son’s request to try wrestling. She said, “At first it was like, oh my God.
I remember seeing these big guys on wrestling and my son was a skinny kid at the time. It was three hours a night twice a week I would bring him from West Greenwich to Woonsocket. It was a little nerve racking at first, but it was something he really wanted to do. I guess you could say I was reluctantly supportive. I did like that he was trying something new. His life used to revolve around hockey. I was also looking at the whole thing through the eyes of a nurse. I was concerned with concussions. I still am. I go back and forth between the nurse and the mom. I’ve travelled all around New England to see him wrestle.”
Gosselin learned the basics at his new wrestling school. He began appearing on independent wrestling shows. In 2017, he made his way to the Xtreme Wrestling Alliance in West Warwick. This gave Gosselin the opportunity to further his training with Matt Taven and Mike Bennett. This was all part of Gosselin moving to the next level. He was now receiving training from world class caliber athletes. He said, “I trained with Matt and Mike for two years. It was primarily with Matt because Mike had gone to the WWE. Then in 2019, I trained with Ryan Waters at Top Rope. Last year I started training with Ken Doane and Thomas Santell at Beyond Wrestling.” Gosselin told me he is forever grateful to all his trainers. From his early days at Showcase to his more recent experience at Beyond Wrestling and everything in between. He praised all his trainers for helping him continue to add to his repertoire.
Over the years, he wrestled under a few different names. It occurred to him his real name was much better than any made up name. He knew he wanted to somehow incorporate The Notorious B.I.G. into his wrestling persona. He started to develop his own version of who he wanted to be. He discovered his ring entrance music from an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. He explained, “I was watching a video and this song came on. Yes, my ring music is from one of the highest rated episodes from the SpongeBob series. It’s such a bad ass theme song. Some people will laugh, while some won’t get it at all. It’s a fun song to vibe to. Prior to that I really didn’t know who I was. I wasn’t really a rich kid, but I was being told to play a rich kid. I’ve always been extremely competitive. I always want to win very badly. So, I went with Victorious. Once I got into this Victorious persona, I felt it was something I could work with.” When Gosselin put all the pieces together, the Victorious BRG was born.
Complete with a Hockey jersey never forgetting where he came from. On the back of his wrestling/hockey jersey is the number 10. This has significant meaning to Gosselin. He explained, “The 10 is an ode to my father. He passed away. He loved Guy Lafleur. He was number 10 for Montreal. So, when my dad played hockey, he also wore number 10. That number was passed down to me.”
In his personal life Gosselin and his girlfriend, Kayla Bacher, have been together for three years. They live in Cumberland with their two dogs, Lance and Charlie. He said, “I love Kayla. She is the woman I’m going to marry. She has made so many sacrifices for me. She supports my wrestling career. It’s not easy for her. I appreciate everything she does. I could go on and on for hours about everything she does for me. She is going to be my wife one day. I’m very happy. We also have over half a million followers on TikTok.”
Gosselin continues to rack up the miles on the road. There is no telling when an Indy wrestler will get called up to any of the big promotions. They must remain sharp and ready to travel at a moment’s notice. This Friday night Gosselin will not have to travel far when AEW invades the Ryan Center. This will also be a homecoming. During his youth Gosselin played hockey on the campus of URI. He said, ‘When I was a kid, I played for the Southern Rhode Island Junior Rams. Making the drive there was a common thing for me. This will be a full circle moment.”
On Friday however, he will not be skating. He will be entering the squared circle to do battle with one of the top professional wrestlers in the world. He won’t know who that will be until he arrives at the building. That in itself shows how real wrestling actually is.
Gosselin will have a big cheering section at the Ryan Center. His family and friends will be at ringside cheering him on. I asked him what that moment will be like. He said, “It’s going to be a great moment. Just being there is going to be incredible.” Gosselin has a message for all his followers and fans. With a sincere tone in his voice, he said “Thank you to everyone who keeps sticking by me. Especially when I have been going through my own ups and downs. There are people out there that don’t even know me, and they care. That is an amazing feeling.”
The goal for any wrestler is twofold. First, if you don’t have aspirations of being a world champion you are probably in the wrong sport. Second is to get a contract with a major wrestling company. Gosselin has as good a chance as anyone to achieve his dream. They say timing is everything. For Brett Ryan Gosselin, what better place than here, what better time than now.
You can follow Gosselin on all platforms at @victorious_brg.
Brendan Higgins, writer and author, RIPTA bus driver, former professional wrestler (Knuckles Nelson), and North Kingstown resident.
We welcome Brendan as a contributing writer to RINewsToday.
To read a story about Brendan, from our sports department, go to: https://rinewstoday.com/knuckles-nelson-waking-up-from-the-wrestling-ring-to-the-yoga-mat-john-cardullo/
To read all stories by Brendan, here, go to: https://rinewstoday.com/brendan-higgins
Higgins is the author of “Waking Up: From the Wrestling Ring to the Yoga Mat