TNA Wrestling is an interesting promotion. The second largest wrestling company in the country has done some interesting things in trying to stay in business and compete with the WWE. For the most part, the company’s attempts have been a bit embarrassing (52-year-old Sting vs. 57-year-old Hulk Hogan anyone?) or short-sided (Pacman Jones, TNA tag team champion).
But every once in a while, TNA does something pretty cool. The company recently announced the signing of former Army Sergeant and amputee Chris Melendez to their wrestling roster. The Purple Heart winner has always dreamed of being a professional wrestler, and is set to debut this week during TNA tapings in New York City.
TNA Wrestling is happy to announce the signing of a true American hero! Chris Melendez is a former Army Sergeant, who served his country in Afghanistan and was awarded a Purple Heart. Because of injuries suffered in combat, the brave soldier returned home a single leg amputee. Melendez, a member of the Wounded Warrior Project, had another dream to realize when he returned home. He dreamed of becoming a pro wrestler.
Chris’ remarkable story begins as a kid growing up in Spanish Harlem. His grandmother introduced him to professional wrestling at a young age and, ever since, he has been hooked.
At age 19, and with only 23 days of his Iraq deployment remaining, he sustained horrifying life-threatening injuries from an IED.
Through pure grit and determination, cutting edge science and technology delivered via the VA, and support from friends, family and The Wounded Warrior Project, Melendez was walking with a prosthetic within 40 days.
Melendez’s story is so incredible that it fits in perfectly in the wrestling world. A star overcoming the odds to attain success in the industry is usually the perfect scripted story, only this time, the story is 100% true. Here’s hoping TNA stays in business long enough to give Melendez a real shot.