How Wrestling Gives Back

Wrestling is more than just sports entertainment, it is what clears your mind from all the crap going on in your life. It is what gets some people through the day. Casual or diehard fans can agree that there are elements to the sport that are fake, but does wrestling still hurt? Simply put, yes! You are a human stunt double who puts their body on the line to give the people the best show on earth for the little money the independent stars make but for the love of the business. Sometimes wrestlers will wrestle just to get their name out there so there is no pay day. The big time wrestlers who get flown in from all over the world make about five hundred a show. With that being said there is one man who got flown in over the weekend who is use to wrestling a ton in the Chicago area back in his early days who was okay with getting paid with a hotdog and a handshake. That man just happens to be the next man going to WWE, that man is none other than Samoa Joe. One of the greatest wrestlers over the past decade, has to be the Samoan Submission Machine Samoa Joe. Being from California, Joe knew he had to expand his horizons if he wanted to ever live every wrestler’s dreams of going to WWE so he traveled all over the world making a name for himself by being one of the most dominant hard hitting in your face wrestlers in the world. So to get his name out there, Joe would wrestle for what he called when he was interviewed “A handshake and a hotdog.” He wrestled for IWA Mid-South in local places all over Illinois like Midlothian, Morris, and finally getting his big break in Chicago Ridge for a company called Ring of Honor wrestling. On October 16th of 2004, Samoa Joe was supposed to wrestle a former ECW Champion in Steve Corino but he couldn’t make the show. To make up for it the local Chicago boy CM Punk got a step at bat and boy was it ever a grand slam! These two went on to wrestle all the way up to the sixty minute time limit which made the ROH title match a draw! The crowd erupted in a five more minutes chant only to be denied by then champion Samoa Joe. But that match stands the test of time because on Dave Meltzer who has been the top critic of wrestling and writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated for many years has given only seventy six matches the honor of a five star match and that is one of them! This lead to Chicago becoming a main stay for wrestling and to think that match wasn’t even supposed to happen! Joe said to all wrestlers out there quote, “Be yourself in the ring and the rest will come in time.” Dream Wave and AAW wrestling would start up shortly after that match because of what that match did to revive wrestling in the Chicagoland community. Over the past couple weeks, every wrestling site in the world has covered the story on Samoa Joe going to WWE, exhibit A. Before he goes there though he is giving back to the fans who have supported him over the years by wrestling in independent wrestling companies all over the world. Some of his biggest matches though since he has come back to the independent scene were all in Chicago promotions. On March 14th of 2015 in Chicago Ridge Illinois, he wrestled a guy named Michel Elgin who like Joe is a big fellow in the ring. More importantly he also like Samoa Joe is a former Ring of Honor champion who didn’t get to become champion until he made a name for himself first in local Chicago companies like Joe did. His path however was made through some of the newer Chicagoland companies like Dream Wave and AAW pro wrestling. Once again, if Joe did not pave the road for guys like Elgin by having the matches Joe did in IL then this dream match would have never happened. Samoa Joe now gets wind of these companies and decides to check one out. Finally, he chose AAW in the Berwyn Eagles Club in Berwyn IL. On April 10th 2015 he wrestles a guy Elgin trained in Josh Alexander who is famous for his tag team wrestling in a group called Monster Mafia with All Ego Ethan Page. So for Joe to be wrestling a guy known for being a tag team wrestler instead of a top singles competitor it instantly makes Alexander known now as a singles wrestler just by facing Samoa Joe. Hence what that does is makes another instant star out of another wrestler who wrestles in Chicago every month. So by having this brutal match, Josh Alexander becomes a main attraction for the company so that way he can sell tickets for all the future Chicagoland shows he does in the future. Ticket sales equal revenue which equals more fly in talent for local Chicago standout wrestlers to face in the future which then not only benefits the wrestlers by helping them grow but makes the fans really happy to see talent from all over the world. The next day April 12th 2015 Samoa Joe goes to LaSalle IL to Dream Wave to wrestle Aria Davari the brother of former WWE star Davari. He wrestles every month in Chicago and facing Joe gives him all the credibility he needs to step outside his brother’s shadow with a win or a lost. Joe won and seems as unstoppable as ever! Now on May 1st is going for the AAW heavyweight belt against the champion Eddie Kingston and the man he just beat Josh Alexander. Tickets for this event sold out in minutes according to Jay Ralston the bartender at Bourbon Street that was interviewed. He also said, quote “It was one of the most successful nights Bourbon Street has ever had.” He has been there for over ten years and has seen it all there, so for him to say that was huge! The main event was a three way dance elimination match! This is a match where only one man would be left standing. The champion Kingston got eliminated first by Joe! Then there were two. The crowd was insane as the competitors battled back and forth for the richest prize in the game only one man walked away as champion and that man was none other than Josh Alexander! As confetti came down it was a true sign of Joe passing the torch on to another wrestler who looks to make it to WWE one day.
In conclusion, Samoa Joe is an icon in the sport already and will make waves in WWE just like he did in the Chicago independent companies. Joe is inspiration to any local wrestler out there that if you have the heart you can do it no matter what you look like. Joe is a near 300 pound guy and is not the ideal look WWE usually goes for but the times have changed thanks to people like Joe who made a name for himself in Chicago busting his butt off for the fans.

@SamoaJoe @Walkin_Weapon (Josh Alexander)

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