The Beginning. February 3rd, 2003. It was a cold, dark winter night in small-town Iowa. Things in childhood seemed to be a lot easier than most things in adult life—carefree, joyous, and delightful happenings. I decided to turn on my little RCA television set in my bedroom since I wasn’t allowed to be outside past seven o’clock at night.
As a curious young lad flipping through stations, through the likes of MTV, VH1, Adultswim, etc…I happened to come across a fascinating spectacle – “Welcome everyone to Monday Night RAW.” Fireworks, thousands of screaming fans, it was eye-popping and caught my attention. That night, one man stepped out of the darkness and into the light to the roar of Motorhead’s “It’s time to play The Game.”Triple H, one of the most decorated wrestlers of all time, holding one of the most prestigious titles in wrestling history.
Alongside him, three other giants in wrestling are Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Batista. Up until this point, I never really knew what wrestling was. After seeing this huge man in a suit with his gold belt and larger-than-life look, it immediately pulled me in.
Enamored with Evolution
Triple H, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, and Batista were collectively known as the super faction Evolution… and little did I know, at the ripe young age of eight, I’d experience an evolution of my own. Falling in love with professional wrestling. I looked on in awe. It was amazing!
Tommy Dreamer kendo stick in hand, waited in the middle of the ring to fight Evolution. They put the boots to Dreamer… I didn’t even know who Dreamer was at this point, but later I’d finally understand what the hell was happening. These guys were here to dominate, that much I could tell. Triple H grabs the microphone and presents his group, Evolution. RIC FLAIR – 16-time champ!! The GOAT! Batista – 6’5” 325lbs… of genetic stomping power and destruction. Randy Orton – The business in his blood as a 3rd generation superstar…this was the beginning.
Do you see what I’m getting at? He puts others over to get himself over being larger than life: the leader, the unsung hero of this great faction. Triple H gave me hope that one day I could be just like that. Someone that can lead, someone that can prosper even if he needs to build himself an army.
As a kid, I always wanted to be a firefighter, police officer; I wanted to be a hero to someone, no matter the cost. I was always taught that hard work would always pay off. Although I didn’t really do all that well in school or any sort of learning environment that required reading a book or taking tests, I excelled out on the playing field in sports. My love for pro wrestling never changed, though, as it was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to be in the squared circle at some point. But, the typical growing-up process started to happen.
Internal Turmoil Led to Lashing Out
My parents separated at a young age, and that sort of made me lash out a little. Getting into trouble and running with some of the wrong kids. I wouldn’t necessarily say what we did was truly all that terrible… but if you consider drinking and smoking weed behind your parents’ back at age thirteen bad, then I guess it qualifies.
My friend that I grew up with (his whole family was like my second family) always wanted to do these things and not play sports or do anything physical other than cosplaying Star Wars and playing video games. I would never, ever, take these things away, though, as they were some of the greatest moments of my life.
Good things always come to an End.
As I said earlier, my parents had separated. We moved away, about three hours away from everything that I had created for myself. Once I moved and got comfortable, I won “Athlete of the Year” in middle school and thought I was on top and ready for the big leagues in high school… I was going to be like Triple H and have this cult-like following, make all these friends and be super popular, but boy, was I in for it.
As I went through my high school years, I kind of lost sight of pro wrestling as I started to get older, which meant more partying, girlfriends, what have you. I fell in love, believe it or not. She had my heart, and I let go of everything in life and focused on her and my sports. This was the beginning.
Wrestling Was Always Within Me
Wrestling was always in the back of my head, though. I watched as CM Punk was making his run at the time, and I loved Punk. Very open-minded and outspoken in his path to making a name for himself… sounds familiar. I latched on for the two years he was relevant on the main event scene, and I lost hope when he left.
To be honest, I stopped paying attention. My blinders were completely closed, and I stopped following all pro wrestling. Getting ready to graduate and make a living was on my mind, and Hy-Vee was there for me. I decided not to go to college, instead make money and move up with a great company at the time.
I had nowhere to go after that and was set for life… or so I thought. A coworker of mine invited me to a WrestleMania party back in 2015 when Seth Rollins won the WWE Championship. The wheels started turning there… if Rollins, a small-town Iowa boy, could do it, then why couldn’t I? Someone who believed in him…. Triple H, it all came full circle for me, though some years after.
As I stated that I wanted to make money, I didn’t have any to pay for any training whatsoever. I kept telling myself that you must do this now. Otherwise, you may never get the opportunity to do this at all. If I want to have this following and be what I sought out to be as a child, I would never have this chance. Life from 2015-2019 was rough, to be completely honest, but I dusted myself off and took a chance. Pulling money from areas that probably shouldn’t have been pulled from to make my dream a reality. This was part of the beginning for me.
Training in Iowa
Once I showed up on my first day of training, I knew this was it. I went to train at one of the best places to train in Iowa. Impact Pro Wrestling was a sanctuary at a very desperate time of need for me. There were some ups and downs, days I wanted to give in to the dark, but I used that dark to my advantage. Thus, Damien Saint was born. In the grand scheme of things, wrestling never left my mind.
Being a pro wrestler was always the dream. Honestly, Triple H was the core of that dream. Back on that cold winter night in 2003, I said to myself without knowing it that I wanted to create a character that someone can latch on to, enjoy watching and live through just like I wanted to live through Triple H and Evolution. It took me a full twenty years to understand that wrestling isn’t just wrestling but storytelling as well.
Wrestling is a dance, a play, and sporting event all crammed into one. I’m so glad I learned from some of the best so far. The likes of Steve Manders, James Jefferies, Jaysin Strife, Nate Redwing, Travis Shillington, Christian Rose, J Fowler, JJ Garrett, Dom Garrini, Justin Decent, and many more. I owe all of you a thank you for helping me start this journey. The path of 666 is just getting started. “The Heretic” Damien Saint has been born. This was the beginning.