By Bleacher Report Featured Columnist: Jon Fisher
Ever since I was a little kid, all I ever dreamed of was becoming a WWE superstar. Growing up watching Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Shawn Michaels, I believed in my heart that a small guy like me could make it.
There was this one moment that hooked me for life. I watched the first Wrestlemania and that just blew me away. The adrenaline rush and excitement overtook my soul and I knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
In the back yard, my friends and I always practiced moves on our trampoline and even on the ground sometimes. Money was tight other years. No matter the circumstances, I persisted along with heart and passion.
We even had our bed sheets set up just like a curtain. My one friend brought his radio over and we had our own entrance music.
Each day passed and I felt like I was getting closer to the ultimate goal. I’ve been practicing my moves and it looked as if the next step in journey was to test out the Indie scene. Only a high school graduate, I had a choice to make.
Instead of college, I chose my true addiction: professional wrestling.
I mean, I had experience in middle and high school, so it isn’t like I was completely oblivious to the sport. Moving on to the indie scene, it was a culture shock.
Everything I believed it was became a rude awakening. My body wasn’t prepared for the constant beating and travel. Not to mention I worked a night job on the side to make ends meet.
At this time, my parents didn’t believe professional wrestling was a responsible way to live a life. I was on my own at the age of 19.
A few months into the indie scene, I became acclimated to my surroundings. I had the people I enjoyed working with and vice versa. Naturally, I was the underdog, because most competitors were much bigger than me.
Unfortunately, the wear and tear of my body finally caught up to me. During a match on a cold Saturday night, I was minutes away from defeating Steel Cobra, until I went for a suplex and my leg gave out.
The MRI revealed the next day that I tore my ACL. I was on the shelf for about a year.
Going through my head, I contemplated quitting. The people who didn’t get injured and were out there every night getting one step closer, while I sat and was painfully hurt physically and mentally.
I looked in the mirror depressed, full of hatred and said to me, “You can do this.”
A year past and I was back in the squared circle. Now 21, this year felt like the year to break through.
Doing show after show, I was starting to hone my skills. My favorite part was my high-flying set. I felt as if I was on top of the world.
After a couple of months, a man approached me about working for the WWE. I was completely blown away by his offer. Never in a million years, did I feel that I was good enough for the biggest wrestling promotion in the world.
I witness guys like Batista, Triple H, the Rock, John Cena grace the stage with a bodybuilder persona. I was a small high-flyer, so why would Vince McMahon want me? Only so few small guys break through in this business.
In a heartbeat, I accepted his offer and I was on my way to Florida to perform in FCW, the minor leagues of the WWE.
There was one problem though, instead of using my name, Vince created a name for me. I wasn’t too keen on the idea, but I didn’t have a choice really. Jason Steele was my name. I kept my gimmick, so it’s no tragedy.
I busted my butt in FCW, working every match like it was my last. I saw most guys spend a lot of time in FCW, just about a year, but they called me up after about five months.
Reactions were limited at this proposition. I said yes, not knowing the journey ahead of me. 300 days on the road, missing loved ones and sleepless nights were included in the package deal.
My debut match was on Friday Night Smackdown. I was set to face the Great Khali in a squash match. I didn’t know what to think. Why would they bring me up just to get crushed?
Sticking to my guns, I kept my mouth shut and the giant pinned me in a matter of minutes. One squash match turned into months of humiliation, as I was what’s known as a “jobber.”
That term to me was a bad enough word, but to be associated with such a label hurt me. I was always taught that battling through adversity will make you stronger. Thus, I continued on.
After a few years on the main roster, doing backstage segments and random interviews for WWE DVD’s, I got a call that I would be put in a feud for the Intercontinental Championship.
My eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas. I saw guys like Chris Jericho grace the belt and it was an honor to be able to hoist such a prize. The feud was against Rey Mysterio. I was even more gracious, because I could now showcase my unique wrestling style. Although, my mic skills needed work.
That’s another thing I noticed. If you couldn’t talk or bench press a truck, a main event wasn’t in your future. For this reason, it became my personal crusade to put smaller guys on the mark, along with HBK.
After four months of back-and-forth action, I finally won the belt at SummerSlam. I finally reached another one of my dreams. This beats the paper belt I created out of macaroni art in grade school.
Creative was high on me as champion, so they said a long reign would be in my favor. Indeed it was, five months to be exact. I went through talent after talent. Feud after feud, I was finally inching closer to my ultimate goal.
It was time for the Royal Rumble and I dropped the Intercontinental Title at the previous Raw show. Before the pay-per-view, we found out who was going to win and go onto headline WrestleMania.
On the drive to work, I didn’t believe it to be true. There was no way I could win the Rumble. As I stumbled through the door, one of my friends approached me and asked if I heard the news.
I shook my head and was curious. He told me they picked the winner for the Rumble. Those same eyes lit again. I sprinted into Vince’s office and on the poster-board, I saw my name.
I cannot explain the emotion that rushed through my body. It was as if a rollercoaster started at my head and down into my toes. I won the Royal Rumble. I actually did it. As I through the last man over the top rope, I just cried.
Bawling my eyes out, with streamers falling from the ceiling, I wept in happiness. I was about to enter a world where my dream started back in the days of childhood.
There isn’t much to comment in between the Rumble and the Grandest Stage of them all except for my adrenaline high every day. I was feuding with John Cena, who will hold the title at WM. Everyone counted me out.
That’s what made my crusade for the WWE Championship even more special. If I defeat him, I will have taken down the proverbial beast.
The day finally came. It was the day of WrestleMania. I entered through the door of the building and I couldn’t breathe. Full of emotion, I laced up my boots and prepared for the main event of the biggest wrestling spectacle in the world.
It was time. My match was about to begin and the director cued my music. I ran through that curtain like I practiced all those years ago. It was finally time. The bell rang and finally, I was here.
The match lasted 45 minutes. There was no blood. There were no chair shots or hardcore paraphernalia. Only pure wrestling. Cena went up for his standard finisher, but I reversed it into my submission finisher.
He broke out of it after 20 seconds of fighting. The ref pulled me off and Cena charged at me. I avoided the clothesline and jumped of the ropes to hit the lionsault. 1…….2…………………………..3!
The whole arena was screaming my name. I couldn’t move for a second. Life stopped. For years on end, my dream was to become the WWE Champion like many other small wrestlers before me.
I realized my dream. Through adversity, I pushed through. In times of sickness or injury, I worked 1000% harder to get back.
On this day, I lived my dream.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I realize it was pretty long. This was my first shot at fiction. I would love your feedback and I would appreciate any comments that I receive. Have a great day everyone!
“For the benefit of those with flash photography….”