Be serious… but that’s the path that Ryan Fontillas has taken since he graduated from Foothill High in Pleasanton in 2007. The pandemic played into it big time.
He got married in October, 2019 to Kayte Enea and they purchased a small home in Danville in February just before the 2020 Covid lockdown. Kayte’s real estate business came to a complete halt for 90 days, while none of Ryan’s clients wanted to hear from him about Botox. You might remember that government fiat stopped all medical procedures other than emergencies—we will pay a health price for that ill-advised decision for years.
Confined to their Danville home, Ryan built a home gym in the garage and resolved to get in the best condition of his adult life. Remember, there was nothing on television. He’d been a wrestling fan growing up in Pleasanton so he ended up downloading the WWE app and watched wrestling. He became intrigued and actually checked out pursuing pro wrestling at Big Time Wrestling Academy in Fremont in November 2020.
When it came time to make a decision, he was returning to a regular schedule at work so he passed. A few months later, he was at reopening day for Fitness 19 in Danville and he got a tap on the back from a masked woman who was concerned she was stealing his bench. He recognized her as Bayley from the WWE who was in town for a family event. She encouraged him about the Fremont school and, taking it as a sign, he signed up.
That was June 2022, starting wrestling school at age 32. I saw him speak at the Teen Esteem+ fundraiser last Saturday night. He had an abbreviated visit because he had to catch a 5 a.m. flight Sunday to Las Vegas for a WWE show that evening. The timing was so tight on his return flight that he boarded the plane wearing his tights with a shirt covering his torso. Fortunately, the flight attendant allowed him to change his clothes in the lavaratory.
Asked what drove motivated him, prior to the birth of his daughter, was he needed something that excited was him to get up in the morning other than his career. He needed more.
Just how long he will pursue pro wrestling, given that he started when most wrestlers are winding down, is an open question. He’s clear on his priorities (family with his 15-month old daughter Ryla –Katye would not allow him to name her Ryan so this is the closest he could come—and they would like more children), career, and then wrestling and/or community.
That’s what’s drawn him, despite his very busy schedule, to Teen Esteem+. He suffered with anxiety and depression for more than 10 years growing up before he sought help. That’s a key message for him—get help now—that he delivers in 9th grade classrooms throughout the valley. He wants to give back to communities such as Pleasanton and Danville that have been important to him.
Incidentally, his dad was a police officer in Pleasanton for 21 years.
If you go looking for him, understand that his high school buddies labelled him The Fonz or the Big Fonz. Professionally, he goes by the EOC—the epitome of cool. He loves it because it’s perfectly chantable: E..O…C.
You can catch him in action locally on Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at East Bay Sports of San Ramon. The show is titled Puppet Wars Marionette Massacre.