One of the UK’s favourite soap stars has spoken of his ultimate respect for WWE… before calling out former Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey!

Ryan Moloney has become a household name in Britain after portraying lovable lawyer Jarrod ‘Toadfish’ Rebecchi in Aussie hit show Neighbours for over 25 years.

The 40-year-old is a staple part of the cast on Ramsay Street – and is never too far away from the topic of wrestling, which often features in the show.

Moloney’s character is the resident wrestling superfan, with the star even revealing he’s had to undergo wrestling training in order to perform the occasional grappling scenes down under.

He's never scared of getting physical on set, having even created the wrestling persona 'The Law Man' on the show, complete with spandex costume.

Toadie from Neighbours, played by Ryan Moloney, has been on Australian soap Neighbours for 25 years

In an exclusive interview with Daily Star Sport , the veteran performer revealed that he himself was every bit the wrestling fan as a kid and spoke with huge admiration for the skills and sacrifices made by stars of Vince McMahon’s empire.

He said: "When I was a kid there was always the big thing where you'd say 'I think this is real!'

"I think now everyone takes it for what it is... but I say that knowing exactly what those wrestlers put themselves through.

"For all the wrestling stuff [in Neighbours] I had to actually do some wrestling training so we could do bodyslams, piledrives, hip-tosses and all that jazz.

"The things those guys put themselves through is absolutely brutal.

"It's a testament to anyone who has any kind of longevity in it as there must just be so many injuries.

"People may not see them as a real 'fighter' or anything like that, but I think they probably get hurt more than a 'real fighter!'"

Ex-UFC star Ronda Rousey is now a WWE regular

Stars from Neighbours were recently serenaded by WWE Superstars – including Aussie duo Billie Kay and Peyton Royce – who sang the show’s iconic theme tune in videos for social media.

That coincided with the latest wrestling-related scene on set in which Moloney’s on-screen brother hyped the legendary wrestler Ric Flair.

Former WWE Champion and Hollywood star Dave ‘Batista’ Bautista even once visited Toadie and co in a cross-promotional scene – leading us to ask the question of Moloney as to who else could make the trek to Australia to tangle with them, or indeed head in the other direction.

He joked that he’d fancy a crack at the world of wrestling himself – before welcoming former WWE Champion and UFC legend Ronda Rousey to Ramsay Street.

Aussie duo Billie Kay and Peyton Royce – who sang the show’s iconic theme tune in videos for social media

He added: "Yeah, I'd definitely give it a go! I could be the Commissioner of the Neighbours world!

"We had Batista come in a while ago, but we are definitely always happy to have any kind of WWE star in to cross-promote.

"What about Ronda Rousey? Let's get her in! She is a natural born fighter!"

As for Moloney’s wrestling favourites, the answers were clear and decisive as the likes of the iconic Undertaker came in for a mention.

"It was on once a week as a kid when I was growing up,” he reminisced.

"My favourite was The Ultimate Warrior and then The Undertaker after that.

"We even had a mate who when he got his first car, got the number plate PHENOM!

"I haven't been able to watch it for some time so I will have to and see what it looks like."

Vince McMahon has kept WWE on screens during the Covid-19 pandemic

WWE Superstars have continued to battle on through the global Coronavirus pandemic having been ruled an ‘essential business’ in Florida as they record and air their weekly Raw and SmackDown shows and pay per views from a closed-set location at their Performance Centre training facility.

Neighbours, meanwhile, resumed filming back in April under strict health and safety measures.

It’s meant that on-screen performers have, at times, had to remain at a distance and avoid any physical contact – though the magic of the show’s production has meant this has barely been noticeable in scenes now beginning to air in the UK.

"It definitely is a challenge, but it is one I'm incredibly proud that we're able to take on,” beamed the father of three.

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"We're having to wear masks as soon as we leave the house and when we get on site the first port of call is a temperature check from the nurse.

"When we get inside, everyone has masks on and we're all allocated a desk... the whole production team has been broken up into different parts of the building.

"The work [they've] put in to actually make it COVID-safe is absolutely spectacular."

Neighbours airs Monday – Friday at 1:45pm and 5:30pm on Channel 5.