WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels isn’t the only star from the pro wrestling world to have his own outdoor adventure TV series.
TNA Impact Wrestling’s Eric Young brings his eccentric personality from the ring to some of the great fishing spots across the country in “Off the Hook: Extreme Catches.”
Viewers get a sneak peak of the show with a pre-Shark Week premiere 9 p.m. EST Monday, July 30 on the Discovery Channel. The show will air regularly 9 p.m. EST Sundays on Animal Planet starting Aug. 19.
“It’s been a blast,” Young said. “We started at the end of April and are still taping…People are stoked about it. Discovery is premiering the show on Discovery Channel. It’s an Animal Planet show, but they are going to air the first episodes on there. So everyone really loves it. I will tell you that anyone who has never done TV and thinks being on TV is all glitz and glamour is sadly mistaken. It’s hard work.”
The first episode takes the host to Florida where he fishes for sharks on a paddleboard. The next show chronicles his search for sailfish in Miami on a raft made of plywood and an inner-tube.
“I love Miami,” Young said. “The city is just so alive, and where we were was right on the water going out on this huge charter boat. They would stick me in this handmade raft that I built. We were there with a guy Captain Ray Rosher. He is like the king of catching sailfish. Some of the local fishermen there said that if you’re going to catch a sailfish, it’s going to be with Ray.
“His boat leaves out of the dock there, and the sailfish literally follow him. That is the legend this guy has. There is this sailfish tournament there out of these handmade rafts. They do kite fishing, which involves two kites that are way up in the air with three to four separate lines on each one. It’s a lot of reeling, letting out slack and reeling, checking the bait and constantly moving and working. It’s all done in this tiny handmade raft.”
Rosher showed Young how to build his own raft using plywood, PVC frame to hold the inner tube and catch sailfish over the course of five days. He saw Young on TV but didn't know much about him.
Rosher, who heads up the Miss Britt Charters, said: “[Young] picked things up pretty quickly. I built a raft for myself, and he built one, so we had a little competition going there.
“He was a really interesting guy and very athletic. He was really funny. I think that is his greatest asset that he is really entertaining. He is a great improvisational athlete and comedian. It was really fun. I think it's going to be a good show.
“He had one fish that was like a tuna that he got near the raft, and the thing started swimming in circles. Instead of passing the rod around the raft, he had a bunch of lines out with the kites and so on. When he was done catching the tuna, he had about five lines spun around him like a spider's web. It was like he was inside a web of line. It was hilarious. He had to reach through to grab the tuna, and he held it up.”
Young has wrestled anyone from Knockouts to Scott Baio, but the dangers of the sea are a different animal. Looking at his in-ring career, it’s easy to see EY is crazy enough for the gig. His wrestling persona is not far off from how he is on the show.