The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan stickers are faded and curled around the car radio, hanging on by Scotch tape. With his stiff right hand clenched on the steering wheel, Gregory Iron stops his worn-in Saturn Ion at a recreation center in Rahway, N.J. In the backseat, next to a life-sized cardboard cutout of WWE superstar Daniel Bryan, sits Zach Gowen with his prosthetic leg – a black titanium rod – rubbing against the driver’s seat.
Hours later, when the music hits, the two limp up the stairs and through the curtain to face a 1,200-strong crowd at Pro Wrestling Syndicate’s Supercard 2014. For those who don’t know them, one’s a guy who wrestles without his left leg and the other without the use of the right side of his body. What they don’t see is a cancer survivor or a former victim of bullying. They don’t see that the guy without a leg battled drug addictions like his father. They don’t see that the guy with the gimp hand had a mother who sold his possessions for crack when he was sleeping.
It had to be a dream. A hallucination, maybe. It certainly couldn’t be real.
Gregory Iron wiped the sweat from his eyes, but the mirage in front of him did not disappear.
Were the synapses in Iron’s brain misfiring due to a concussion he suffered during the match, causing the illusion? These things happen in wrestling.
Iron shook his head to clear the cognitive fog, and took stock of his surroundings. Everything else seemed normal — or, as normal as can be expected at an independent professional wrestling show, anyway. A couple-hundred fans, mostly young men, were screaming inside the sweltering confines of the Berwyn Eagles Club in a suburb of Chicago.
But there, directly in front of Iron, looking him straight in the eyes, stood someone whoshouldn’t have been there.
CM Punk. The champ. The single most popular professional wrestler in the world.
Originally Posted By Dan Greene.
Gregory Iron is hurting. He's shirtless and barefoot, blue jeans sagging from his hips as all five feet and four inches of him limp out of the Pro Wrestling Ohio locker room at The Arena, a 27,000-square foot entertainment complex in a strip mall a half-hour south of Cleveland. On this mid-September Saturday night, Iron and the rest of PWO have just finished a three-hour taping for a local cable channel. The 25-year-old Iron leans on a small circular table 30 feet from an idle mechanical bull, his face dimmed with disappointment. Some two hours earlier he had been beaten down in the ring by the Dead Wrestling Society, a trio of heels who struck him in the head with a folding chair.
Originally Posted By Mike Trask
A few things about Gregory Iron: He works out like everyone else. He's not scared to take a chair to the head. He's a 24-year-old professional wrestler from Cleveland trying to make it big.
He also has cerebral palsy.
That hasn't stopped him from working at a tool store, learning to edit videos or dropping an elbow from the top rope. Nor has it meant his opponents take it easy on him. They seldom even ask if they can clothesline his 5-foot-4 body or twist his deformed right hand.