What a hectic and chaotic, yet productive week for the "Handicapped Hero" Gregory Iron.
After announcing last week that he was petitioning the WWE for a spot in 2012 Royal Rumble, Iron was a featured guest on the Fox News "Fox & Friends Weekend" television program. http://video.foxnews.com/v/1272933370001/wrestler-overcomes-cerebral-palsy/ He talked about his quest to enter the Royal Rumble and even playfully laid out a challenge to the C.E.O. of WWE, Vince McMahon!
Numerous current and former WWE talent such as CM Punk, Colt Cabana, Dolph Ziggler, Joy Giovanni, Dave Lagana, Jimmy Korderas, Matt Cross and Zach Gowen, among others have showed their support for Gregory Iron via Twitter, YouTube, and/or through his petition for entry into the 2012 WWE Royal Rumble. http://act.ly/4og.
A story on Greg for Sports Illustrated, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/more/11/10/The-life-of-Gregory-Iron/index.html was published to critical praise.
Iron also announced that limited edition, "Handicapped Hero Gregory Iron Royal Rumble" t-shirts have been developed by BarberShopWindow.com and plans to distribute them are forthcoming.
Whether you agree or disagree with Iron attempting to secure a spot in the 2012 Rumble, there's no denying that there is a method to his madness, and so far it's been extremely successful. There is an undeniable buzz on the internet from countless wrestling-related websites, and now the mainstream media has picked up on the story. Mainstream media has a reputation for shunning professional wrestling, especially on the independent circuit. For Greg to have broken through that wall is a tremendous accomplishment in it's own right. With several more news stations and media outlets lining up interviews and features on the "Handicapped Hero," it appears the pop-culture genre is beginning to not only accept, but embrace the world's only wrestler with cerebral palsy.
Admittedly, Greg's chances of making an appearance in the Rumble are a million to one. But the fact that he's getting his story out -a story of abuse, neglect, pain, tragedy and how through hard work, dedication, perseverance and support he's overcome the negatives, is truly inspirational. In some way or another, we can all relate. Gregory Iron is turning a childhood nightmare into a dream come true. As wrestling fans, we're fortunate to witness this reversal of fortune with our own eyes. Even if the 2012 Royal Rumble is an Iron-less one, he can still claim victory as a man who won the respect and admiration of people from all walks of life. His petition isn't only about the fact that he suffers from cerebral palsy and wants to enter the Royal Rumble. It's more than that. It's about every kid that sits in Math class and daydreams of stepping in between the ropes to team with CM Punk. It's about every adult that's ever been yelled at by their boss and entertained the thought of giving him a Stone Cold Stunner. It's about every person that's walked into their house and played their own ring entrance music. It's about triumph over tragedy.
As promised, Gregory Iron took time to read and respond to questions and comments made on this website, as well as emails received, tweets and facebook messages from you. Questions and comments were selected randomly and are printed in no particular order, with minor modification to fit this column:
Q: I was more than happy to sign your petition, Gregory. I have been a fan of the WWE since I was 6 years old, and it has always been a dream of mine to be a superstar in the WWE, but since I can't make my dream come true, I want you to have your dream come true.
LaKeisha Chestnut, Facebook
GI: Lakeisha, that is very sweet of you. But I encourage you to still go after WWE, or whatever it is you are passionate about. No matter the odds, never give up on the things you truly want in this life!
Q:Woooooooooooo *signed the petition* Hope he gets his spot! he can replace someone like Hornswoggle
Thatrandomguyyouknow, WrestleZone.com reader
GI: Woooooo? Who are you? Ric Flair? Kurt Angle? Tony The Crow? Whoever you are, I appreciate your support.
Q: He will end up being humiliated like Zach Gowen was. Sure is it a nice thing to do? Yes. Will it make wwe look a tiny bit better? Sure... But what about us that will have to suffer watching him and him potentially taking a spot away from someone whos earned it? Plus what if the guy gets even more injured? I think its a big risk with little pay off. The guy will get his 15 minutes of fame, we will be like..."aww thats nice". Then we will forget about the guy the next night. There is no way this guy would become a full time wrestler. TNA will see this and steal him away in a heartbeat, do a battle royal of some sort and have him win. If WWE does this, they have to sign him now because TNA will be knocking on his door any minute.
mrpops, WrestleZone.com reader
GI: MrPops, while you are entitled to your opinion, I am not sure what you mean by "have to suffer watching" me. Despite my disability, I have been told, and would like to think, that I am one of the better performers in the Midwest area. I am not trying to take away a Rumble spot from someone who has earned it. It's very hard for a guy with c.p. to get a dark match or a tryout, so creating this petition was a way for WWE to take notice. Besides, The Rumble has anywhere between 2 to 4 mystery entrants every year, so I am sure they can make room for a kid with a dream, wanting just one chance.
Q: I signed the petition, shared it, tweeted it, told friends about it, its just a matter of time before Vince McMahon Signs it!
Roscoe Lifee, Facebook
GI: Roscoe!! You are a good man, with an extensive wrestling collection. I hope people take time to buy some DVDs off of you via your facebook, as I have in the past!
Q: Anyone who doesn't appreciate the use of a gimmick doesn't really get professional wrestling. I have had it up to my neck with wrestlers who are cowboys, Russians, Iranians, lovable rednecks, sexy ladies men, blah blah blah. Wrestling is, as a profession, always looking for a gimmick that's genuine, actually possible to get over with the fans. Greg, by having such a gimmick, and by not asking for any pity from anyone or to get out of any hard work, is doing the entire profession a favor. And what happened with Punk is a result of that.
Ron Graham, Facebook
GI: Ron, I agree that most wrestling fans want a character that is more reality based nowadays. On occasion, cowboys, Native Americans, ladies men, Samoans, ambassadors, and security guards may work, but only if done correctly. No matter, I appreciate you backing me up!
Q: I watch WWE for wrestling not feel good moments, with not payoff. Unless they let him tie santino's record for quickest elimination.
Jeremy Lynch, WrestleZone.com reader
GI: Jeremy... so you're telling me that you have never enjoyed a feel good moment in wrestling (which, often times, ends up being the payoff)...? You have never celebrated when a wrestler you loved fought his way back from a career ending injury to compete again..? You have never cheered when your favorite wrestler, after years of sacrifices and hard work, finally won his first world title...? Despite the fact that we live in a harsh reality in which we always hear bad news everywhere we turn, I think we all like to see happy endings. Plus, I think my story can shine a positive light on the wrestling world, one that is often looked at as very negative from mainstream media.
Q: Can we just all agree that he's an inspiration and an amazing wrestler?
John Timmermann, Facebook
GI: John, I will agree. Thank you for your kind words!
Q: What happens if you get into the Rumble and it comes down to you and CM Punk??? He publicly endorsed you and started this whole thing. what happens then? Would u fight him?
GI: If I had to wrestle Punk in the Rumble, I would in a heartbeat.
Q: What do you feel your best match was that's on youtube and can u give a link?
Ahkeelius Tink, Facebook
Q: Do you keep a spare tire in your trunk, or just hope for the best?
Aaron Bauer, MySpace
GI: I do not keep a spare. I like to live on the edge. Just search me on youtube and you'll see my experiences with flat tires.
Q: I watch you on PWO, who would you like to wrestle most from there?
Eric Graham, Facebook
GI: In PWO, I would love to wrestle Kirst/Eric Ryan. He's wrestled several times for places like DGUSA, Evolve, and Chikara. He's one of the few guys in the Ohio area that can bring it.
If you would like to contact Gregory Iron, he is on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/thehandicappedhero and twitter @GregoryIron and can be seen Sundays at 10pm on Sports Time Ohio's PWO TV. Iron will also be appearing for Absolute Intense Wrestling on Nov. 25, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Aaron Maguire is strong with twitter @FairToAar and is available for roasts. He lives next door to a kid named Stink.