I am currently on a plane, somewhere over central New York State.
It is February 1st, and I am flying to Philadelphia to enjoy National Pro Wrestling Day. As I look out over the clouds, all I can think is how excited I am to finally see ACH wrestle live and in person for the first time. Think about that for a second: of all the things that could be running through my mind, this is suddenly and urgently the most important. I am in what equates to a metal tube with wings, piloted by two people I’ve never met yet somehow entrusted my life to. I am living the dream of thousands of inventors, designers, engineers, and visionaries over the years. It was only a short time ago in our history that we could only look up in the skies, and now we can soar through them.
But here’s the thing: ACH is special. The fact is that he is the most exciting wrestler on the indie scene today, primed and ready to take off to the next level of his career by heading off to ROH. If you’ve missed any of his matches in the past year, you really have missed out. But that’s okay! He wrestled just about everywhere, so they’re not hard to find. And when you’re watching, I dare you not to feel something. I dare you to look at someone who is wrestling their heart out, giving a piece of himself to the audience with every move, and loving every minute of it, and feel nothing. It’s infectious. Even if he’s just there to do the job, or help put someone in your local promotion over, you can’t help but root for him. It’s in his smile. It’s in his kicks. It’s in his flips and dives and any of the moves he’ll come out and surprise you with during his match. It’s not hard to tell what “it” is. It’s his heart. You can feel it. And that’s why I’m excited. When I watch I’m invested. I mean, his most recent iron man match against AR Fox in Cleveland’s AIW damn near threw me into an existential crisis it was so good.
There may be better technical wrestlers in the world, sure. But when was the last time we could really take a step back, ignore storylines or feuds or whatever was going on, and just enjoy watching someone doing what they love? Tomorrow, as he enters the afternoon card as part of the Rey de Voladores match, I’m going to consider myself lucky. We all should. ACH gets to live his dream, and we’re lucky enough to come along for the ride.
Danielle Matheson is the curator of The Mandible Claw, and spends every Thursday night trying to prove that TNA isn’t as bad as you think it is for With Leather. When not writing, Danielle can be found painting fat man wrestlers, Skyping with goblins, and arguing at 3:00am about the proper scale for Hank Pym to accomplish things because her life is sometimes super weird.