Running With The Big Dog
August 9, 2006 by John Nocero
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If you’re reading this, you’re probably like me. You bust your butt at your job each day, working harder than 9-5, being politically correct to please the boss while not bucking the corporate system. Or you’re in school full-time in an MBA program to climb higher up the corporate ladder. Not to mention taking care of family responsibilities, mowing the lawn, doing the dishes and keeping the wife smiling.
In short, leading productive lives.
Think pro wrestlers can’t relate to us commoners? Meet M-Dogg 20, an indy star who handles his business in and out of the ring.
M-Dogg, 25, born, raised and living in Cleveland, has a wonderful family as a support system, who is really proud of him for what he has accomplished to date. He currently is a full-time student at Cleveland State University working towards a degree in communications. He graduates this December and hopefully it’s off to grad school to get his Master’s Degree in Exercise Science.
“Life can be hectic with school Monday through Friday and wrestling all over the world on the weekends but I'm maintaining a 3.9 GPA so I'd say I'm doing all right,” he says.
An accomplished gymnast, M-Dogg won gold medals in both the rings and vault at the Amateur Athletic Union National Junior Olympics, capping off a successful ten year career. I first met M-Dogg probably back in 2000, when he and longtime friend Josh Prohibition were laying the foundation in backyard wrestling for what the world would later see in worldwide rings.
Out of sheer boredom and an ever-burning athletic drive, M-Dogg took to backyard: brawling with his friends, denting ladders, and forever revolutionizing the pastime. With his gymnastic background and apparent disregard for heights and the law of gravity, the world took note, as Mom and Dad did when M-Dogg was a young pup.
“My parents love telling people about how when I was younger I would escape from my crib and come crawling downstairs,” M-Dogg says. “To this day they have no idea how I got out of the crib. The only way I could have "escaped" is to have physically climbed up the bars of the crib and down the other side to get out.”
When he was younger, M-Dogg enjoyed watching Hulk Hogan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and even named his dog “Dusty Rhodes” since he was such a fan of The American Dream. However, one fateful day his father told him professional wrestling was, ahem, fake, and he didn’t watch again until high school. There, he discovered Extreme Championship Wrestling.
“Three ECW feuds made me say that I wanted to be a wrestler: Rob Van Dam versus Jerry Lynn, Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka and Super Crazy vs. Tajiri,” M-Dogg says. “This will always define “hardcore” wrestling to me.”
With his 10-years of gymnastic experience, M-Dogg felt he could make a mark in pro wrestling. So for about a year he was put through the paces by JT Lightning at the Cleveland All Pro Wrestling School in Cleveland and debuted December 9, 2001 against Chris Hamrick at CAPW’s Season’s Beatings. In five short years, he’s wrestling in Japan, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy and England. He has held the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Title, the XPW and CAPW tag-team titles with long-time partner and lifetime friend Prohibition, and the Union of Independent Professional Wrestlers Heavyweight title, defeating Jerry Lynn on October 11, 2003.
“I like working with Jerry Lynn because he has such a great understanding of professional wrestling,” M-Dogg says. “But my favorite match was probably against Ultimo Dragon in January of this year for the UWA in Toronto. It was such an honor to get to work with him and he was a very down to earth, friendly and all around awesome guy.”
Like you and I, M-Dogg takes his chosen profession very serious. Anyone who treats it differently does not get his respect. “Wrestling is a 24/7 job,” he explains. “It dictates everything I put in my mouth and forces me to go to the gym four to five days a week. I literally eat, sleep and breathe wrestling. I have to work a million times as hard as most guys because I don’t take steroids.”
It’s no secret that wrestling is at a low point right now and has been for a number of years, but M-Dogg believes that TNA and MTV’s Wrestling Society X can create some buzz and competition. M-Dogg believes there are a lot of wrestlers out there who should have jobs. If you are considering becoming one of the chosen few, M-Dogg says get trained, lift hard and look the part. “People paid money to see you so make it worth their time and money,” he says. “I'd like to make my living with professional wrestling, and the ONLY way to do that is to be on TV each week. I consider that my ultimate goal. Once I graduate, I'd like to make a serious run at getting a job in NWA-TNA, Japan, WWE, or wherever fate takes me. “There's not really a choice: either you want to pursue professional wrestling or you don't,” he says.
For updated appearances, merchandize and videos, visit www.mdogg20.com.
(Author’s Note: M-Dogg’s debut obtained on OWW.com; other information courtesy of www.mdogg20.com)
by John Nocero ..
Dustin H. wrote:
Thank you... thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!
I can't believe somebody else has finally picked up and started signing this guy's praises... I first saw him on the bonus feature video clips on the Backyard Wrestling videogame, and since then I've been hooked, on not only him but his part time rival / part time 'Youthanazia' tag team partner, Josh Prohiibtion. In my mind, these are two of the most overlooked and under-rated talents in the business today, and need to be picked up by somebody... ANYBODY... immediately. I won't be happy until I can see them on TV on a weekly basis. These guys are incredible, and deserve every bit of praise they get, because no matter how much they DO get, it will never be enough.
Somebody sign this guy!!!
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