The Scottish pro-wrestler is going back and forth between pro and amateur wrestling and is making it look easy.
Scottish pro-wrestler, Joe Hendry, has qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games; which is a multi-sporting event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. On April 4th, the games will commence and so will Hendry's quest for gold in the amateur wrestling group of the games. Hendry, while speaking with SPORTBible, wants to provide hope to everyone and let them know that their dreams are never impossible to reach.
"I feels pretty amazing. I came into pro wrestling pretty late in the day, I was like 24 just turning 25. I just decided to dedicate my all to it and it's really paid off. I just took the same mentality with amateur/freestyle wrestling, which a lot of people told me wasn't possible. To get to an elite level starting a spot like this at 26; but I've proved it is possible. If there's one thing I can kind of convey doing this whole thing, I want to show people it's never too late if you've got a dream."
Hendry will not only be representing Scotland in the games, but will also be representing the sport of pro-wrestling. Although he has had a successful amateur wrestling career, he genuinely respects the grind that pro-wrestlers put their bodies through; seeing as how he is a former ICW Tag Team Champion in his own right.
"I have a tremendous respect for the professional wrestling business. I'll do what's best for my career but also, I want to do what's best for the wrestling business." He said. "I've got so much out of the business in such a short space of time, I feel it's only right I give something back to it and if I can play a very small role in legitimizing pro wrestling, that makes me extremely proud."
Balancing the two can be a tough task, and what most do not consider, is the financial element of being involved in both forms of wrestling. Hendry would explain the difficulties that can arise at times.
"It's been extremely difficult. I don't think people realize how expensive it is to pursue a sport at an elite level without being paid any way shape of form for it. Everything that I've made in pro wrestling has been immediately invested somewhere else. Whether it be amateur wrestling, my Twitch channels or my recordings." Hendry would add, "It bore a financial burden, it had a burden on me in terms of the time and energy that you give to it, it's a very stressful thing competing. But when I learned to enjoy the process and embrace the nerves, the intensity and just understand I'm lucky to be able to compete at this level and show my skills. Not many people get the opportunity to do that so when you embrace those intense moments and enjoy them, then it becomes fun."
In October of 2016, Hendry would check off a goal of his when he would step into the ring with WWE Hall Of Famer, Kurt Angle.
Stepping into the ring with a legend like Kurt Angle would mean a lot to a ton of wrestlers, but Hendry had that opportunity and he could not be any more gracious about it.
"It was incredible, I've got a shortlist of people who I would consider to be heroes of mine; Kurt Angle's one of those. It's one of those things, I was hearing rumblings about it but tried to not get excited because I was like, 'It's probably not going to come to fruition' for whatever reason. It all started because a fan asked me, 'If you could wrestle anyone, who would it be?' And my dream program or feud would be The Rock, but my dream match is Kurt Angle. A fan asked me and I tagged him."
"I got this DM from Kurt Angle saying: 'Work hard, maybe one day I'll give you the match'. Hendry remembered. "That was kind of like the year before it happened and then 2016 came along, I gave him a DM and let him know what I'd been up to and it grew arms and legs. What Culture, now known as 'Defiant', brought him in and had the faith in me to wrestle a pay-per-view main event with Jim Cornette and Jim Ross calling the action of me against Kurt Angle. It literally can't get any bigger than that outside of WrestleMania. That was just about as big as it gets really. I think that day was really a turning point for me because I progressed a lot as a pro wrestler coming out of that and I'm thankful to Defiant, I'm thankful to Kurt for giving me the opportunity to do that."
Kurt Angle would recently congratulate the "Prestigious One" on qualifying for the Commonwealth Games, when hearing about it in early February.
Joe Hendry would continue to speak about the upcoming games and would further discuss the differences between amateur and pro wrestling. To read more of SPORTBible's interview with"The Prestigious One", click here.