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February 21, 2014

 

‘Average Joe’ wows wrestling fans

Cortland man moonlights as professional wrestler in matches across tri-state area

WrestlingBob Ellis/staff photographer
Local wrestler Joe Post of Cortland will compete in the East Coast Professional Wrestling Showcase tonight at the Ramada on River Street.

By TYRONE L. HEPPARD
Staff Reporter
theppard@cortlandstandardnews.net

Cortland resident Joe Post would tell you he is just a regular guy.
Born and raised in Cortland, Post, 32, graduated from Cortland High School and works two normal jobs — a kitchen gig at Denny’s Restaurant in Cortland and a part-time job as a security guard.
In fact, you can just call him “Average Joe,” as he is known to his pro-wrestling fans.
“I’m just an average Joe ... trying to make it in wrestling and trying to prove everybody wrong,” Post said.
When he is isn’t working, Post is flying through the air at venues all across the tri-state area as a regular for independent professional wrestling organization East Coast Professional Wresting, or ECPW, which is something he has been interested in since he was younger.
“I started watching when I was 5 and from then I got hooked on it,” Post said. “It’s been something I’ve always wanted to do (and) growing up, you have a stream of people say, ‘Oh, you’re not gonna do that,’ and when ECPW opened its training school, which was out here in Cortland back in 2008, I signed up, started training and been doing it ever since.”
Post said in the beginning, his parents were not too keen on the idea of having their son become a pro wrestler. But now, Post said it’s a family affair, with his parents supporting him at every event, and his younger brother, Glen “The Cruisin’ Cripple” Post, 33, who was born with spina bifida, cheering him on outside of the ring as his manager.
“We’re trying to prove a point out there,” Post said. “That just because you’re disabled doesn’t meant you can’t live your dream.”
Post said he can still recall the first time he set foot in the ring as a rookie. While that was thrilling enough, other moments he will never forget include training with wrestling legends like Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and Marty Jannetty .
“I needed work. I’ll admit that,” Post said. “Any person going into their first match is still green, but working with these guys who were in the business for a long time, you learn all the things you need to and eventually become better.”
Post has been fortunate in that he has never been seriously injured, but his regular tag-team partner has been out for the last 8 months or so, which is why he is always working with his fellow wrestlers to help them improve and avoid injury.
“I enjoy ... working with the other guys coming up with me,” Post said. “Helping the new guys that are just getting out there and trying to help them get better.”
ECPW Executive Producer Keith Zimmer said he has been watching Post wow the crowd since he first started wrestling and his performances are exciting to see, especially when he is wrestling outside of Cortland.
“In Cortland, he has a lot of local flair,” Zimmer said. “He’s very well-received as a hometown hero. At other venues, he’s that perennial underdog; you’re not really sure he can win when you look at him but then you see him do it and you’re kind of surprised by that.”
Post agrees with Zimmer and says his favorite part is the reactions he gets from the fans every time he walks down the aisle.
“I love all the Cortland fans,” Post said. “When I’m out in PA (Pennsylvania) I’m well-known out there, but they don’t go as nuts as they do in my own hometown. They’re unbelievable.”
Post said he hopes to see those loyal fans turn out for his Street Fight Match during the ECPW Wresting Showcase at the Ramada at 7:45 p.m. Friday. He said anyone who has never experienced a pro-wrestling event is in for a good time.
“A ECPW event is jam-packed,” Post said. “Lots of action, excitement. The fans never leave disappointed.”

 

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