Typing the first words of my first blog seems like something that I would never do. From a young age, I've always been told that I have a gift with words, so I think that there is no better way to use that gift than to tell my story and connect to any eyes willing to read this. I have no idea how long this post (or any future posts) will be, and nobody is currently here to make me stop rambling on, so buckle in. Who knows where these will take us? Hopefully my story will make a connection with at least one person that sees this, and I can connect in ways that I never thought possible.
First of all, welcome to this website and to my blog. This is a project that I am going to do my absolute best to continuously update. A ton of this is holding myself accountable and promising myself that I would use any media possible to build my brand and connect with as many people as I possibly can. Anyone that knows me on a personal level will tell you that I am one of the most introverted people you would EVER meet, so things like blogs and eventually vlogs always seemed like an impossibility.
When the title of this first entry says "Into The Future", I by NO means mean to forget the past, because I am a firm believer in never forgetting where you came from. In a little less than two weeks, I will have achieved eight years in Professional Wrestling, and it was not until 2017 that I began to truly find myself and find who I could be comfortable as. The years from 2009 to 2016 allowed 2017 to be so positive, and I think that some people lose sight of that kind of thing.
I believe that as a Professional Wrestler, you become somebody larger than life, and "50 Caliber" Barrett Brown is somebody that would have intimidated me as a child and even the person I was in my first few years in wrestling. The irony is that to a younger Barrett Brown, someone like "50 Caliber" WAS larger than life because he broke every "norm" that I used to know.
Imagine that: this kid breaks into the wrestling business at fifteen years old, is clean cut, has a shaved head almost to the point of being bald, is one of the smallest people in any wrestling company for many years, and is as soft-spoken as they come. Imagine that this kid would grow up in the business and realize that everything he would need to become would be everything polar opposite of who he was as a kid.
For a long stretch of my career, I was in one of the deepest ruts I could have imagined. Sure, I was happy still wrestling, but I never wanted to just be "comfortable". I knew that any sense of comfort would cause me to stray off of my path, and that is what almost happened many times from about 2014 through the end of 2016. Sure, the list of names I have shared a wrestling ring with is long and illustrious, but if I wasn't using those experiences to find myself or further my career, then why was I killing myself week after week for just the same old thing? Going from consistently wrestling on television for Traditional Championship Wrestling in 2012 and 2013 to only using that knowledge at mostly small shows during the next few years definitely paid a very high mental price.
Now, that is not to say that I do not appreciate those smaller shows. Those small shows built the foundation of who I am, and they are the backbone of the Independent Wrestling scene today. It was just a situation of knowing where I WAS, and knowing where I WANTED TO BE. The periodic larger shows were great, even including appearances at Ring of Honor and an appearance on WWE Monday Night RAW, but those appearances were not consistent, and it seemed like they continuously became fewer and farther between.
Enter 2017, a year of opportunity and actually deciding to invest in myself. Wrestling at companies such as EVOLVE, Full Impact Pro, Style Battle, and many others over the last year gave me the opportunity to travel the country more and it allowed me to do some serious soul-searching. It was in this period that I started to gain recognition as "50 Caliber", and from there it was as if a lightbulb went off in my head. For the longest time I was told that it would take seven years to find yourself in the business. Ironically, almost seven years to the day of my first match, it was as if it found me first.
I've always vowed to never get a "big head" in wrestling, because I believe in being humble and never throwing your weight around. Sure, a ton of people come to me for advice and sure, I am on all of these lists of some of people's favorite wrestler. The ability I have been blessed with and the hard work I invested in myself over the years even granted me the title of NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion on August 12th of last year. But I refuse to let things like that go to my head. I believe that the minute I become arrogant about my ability, I lose sight of my overall goal and why I began this journey in the first place. See, not many people know this, but Professional Wrestling, in a sense, saved my life.
Long story short, I became very sick with a very severe case of pneumonia when I was very young. Certain medications and steroids obviously saved me, but the side effects would stay with me for a long time. My appetite increased, and with that, so did my size. In my eyes at least, it seemed that year after year I slowly "inflated", and I generally had nothing outside of school that I was interested in except for video games. It became an every day ritual; go to school, come home, play video games all night, eat, sleep, repeat. However, Wrestling was always there, but to me, almost more as a guilty television pleasure than anything else. I always loved wrestling and looked up to the wrestlers I watched, but the thought of pursuing it was far beyond the realm of possibility. It wasn't until I turned 15 and learned that a local trainer lived practically next door to my parents' house, that I decided I needed to make a change. I invested in working out (something I HATED), and overall preparing for the eventual day that I would pursue Professional Wrestling, even though I was never sure if that would ever happen or not. Obviously, Cody Cunningham would take me under his wing in October of 2009, and from there, the rest is history. From Cody to "Killer" Tim Brooks, Johnny Mantell, Steve Anthony, and every single person that has had a hand in making this journey possible, thank you. Without wrestling, the tutelage I received, and nothing more to strive for, who knows? Maybe I would still be growing in an unhealthy way playing video games day in and day out. Thankfully though, fate had other plans, and I became the very thing I looked up to.
With that said, I think I have used up enough time and space for one blog post. Thank you for taking the time to read some of my thoughts scattered across a page. As I said, a blog never even began to cross my mind until around November of last year, and even then it seemed far-fetched and like something I would never invest the time into doing. But here we are, and hopefully this first entry in my blog posts have pulled back the curtain enough to keep you here, and to keep you coming back for more.
Obviously I have much more of my story to tell, and I would love to share it with you as it continues to unfold.
Here's to the future of this website, this blog, and this story. I'm happy to have you here.
See you soon.