When I was 5 years old I fell in love with
professional wrestling and immediately knew
it was something that I wanted to be a part
I tried everything from entering competitions,
to applying to hundreds of jobs at certain
companies, to even training to become a wrestler.
The first time that I stepped into a ring,
I knew that it was where I belonged.
But then, I walked away.
Wait wait wait wait…. you watching wrestling?
My name is Dylan Mescherschmidt.
I am from Villanova, Pennsylvania.
I’ve been wrestling for 3 years now under
the name, The Pennsylvania Warlock Dylan Mesh.
I’m Damaris Dawkins and I train here at the
I’m Ryan Stingel, otherwise known as Ryan
Nova in the professional wrestling world.
I’m Corey Randolph.
I created a character – Hyena Hexx.
How would you describe wrestling to somebody
who doesn’t watch?
I would describe it as entertainment.
It’s a sport, it’s not a sport.
It’s theatre, but it’s not.
It’s just an animal all to itself.
It’s something unique, it’s something crazy.
It’s something awesome.
One of the best things about wrestling is
that it has something for everybody to enjoy.
I think that wrestling is like any other form
I see it as theatre combat in a way.
We demonstrate our type of styles of how we
perceive our characters in the ring.
And I think that’s the beauty of the artists:
to be able to perform their creativity.
It’s a complicated answer for why I walked
away from training when I actually enjoyed
But a few years later, I now find myself wanting
to walk away from wrestling entirely.
So I went to the Worldwide Wrestling Dojo
in Bristol, PA, run by Ring of Honor’s Cheeseburger,
to confront everything that I had been feeling.
Maybe I just needed to be inspired.
Maybe I needed a reminder about why I love
this ridiculous sport so much.
No, no, don’t.
Perhaps the best place to start is to ask
myself why I love wrestling in the first place.
Honestly, I don’t even remember how I fell
in love with wrestling.
I remember as a little kid seeing Andre the
That’s where it started.
And then Hulk Hogan and Randy ‘Macho Man’
And I think Randy Savage was like what really
drew in because I remember just absolutely
loving him and Miss Elizabeth.
When I was five I wanted to be Miss Elizabeth.
The theatricality of it is why I loved it
And it was just like, it was this physical
strength that I envied.
What made you fall in love with wrestling?
I started watching wrestling when I was 10.
I was always a fan of wrestling ever since
I could remember.
Literally as long as I can remember.
At first I didn’t like pro wrestling when
I was a kid.
I think everybody falls in love with the theatrics
It’s the glitz and the glamour, the characters.
I guess The Hardyz, the first ever TLC match
had me like, I wanna do this.
This is too extreme.
They’re jumping off ladders and all this other
I want to just jump off anything, just rough
housing-wise and all that.
I guess just the larger than life characters
and just like the incredible stories that
they were telling just captured and I never
let it go.
I was really mesmerized by Rey Mysterio because
it was this guy, a smaller guy, who would
do all these crazy athletic things and fight
these big guys.
And he would wear a mask.
How did you come into wanting to be a professional
So ever since I’ve been a fan I’ve wanted
to be a wrestler.
But I was like, I was never like an athlete
So it’s like, I don’t know if I could be a
But then I was just like, okay if I have a
dream then I have to go for it ’cause you
don’t know unless you try.
It was something I always thought I wanted
to try, just to see if I could do it because
I didn’t want to wake up 40 years from now,
somewhere down the road, and say to myself,
“Man, what would have happened if I had tried?”
It seems that we all have a common bond when
it comes to wrestling.
So, then why was I so miserable?
Why did I no longer have any desire to even
Have you ever lost your love for wrestling
and wanted to quit training to be a wrestler?
If anything I probably lost… like, I’ve
need more out of wrestling.
So I want to explore my horizons more pretty
For a very brief time during my childhood.
Other than that, no.
It’s been on my mind my whole life.
Yeah, I mean… wrestling is just one of those
things that’s, you know, it’s entertainment
It comes with its highs and its lows.
You just… the thing you have to do is ride
the rollercoaster ride that is wrestling.
Have you ever lost your love for wrestling
or for wanting to be a wrestler?
Like, do you ever want to quit doing this?
Sometimes it has gotten very discouraging
and you kind of question if you’re good enough
to do it.
I don’t think I will ever lose my smile for
It’s the main thing I watch.
I would never say that I regret getting involved
in wrestling despite the highs and despite
I think that you take the good with the bad
and I think that’s what makes wrestling great.
It’s not perfect, but there’s something beautiful
And remember why you started and just remember
that you wanna inspire somebody to follow
So that stuff really helped me keep going
when I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore.
I mean, you get those times where you’re discouraged
and stuff like that, but honestly, if you’re
focused on your goals and you know what you
want to do, and this is what you want to do,
those thoughts pass real fast.
I’ve never full fit into the boxes I’m expected
to be in as a wrestling fan.
Maybe it’s because I’ve outgrown them and
that’s why I’m unhappy.
I’m always chasing after something more.
I just don’t know where that is yet.
But thanks to the wrestlers at the Dojo, I
do know I still want it to be in wrestling.
I don’t know what I expected by visiting the
Worldwide Dojo, but what I experienced was
that feeling of being where I belonged and
a sense of community that’s been missing from
It was a reminder of my failures and my insecurities
and how much finding the right people matter
to your success.
Do you find that there is a toxicity surrounded
in wrestling or the wrestling fandom?
I think that toxicity just exists in every
facet of the world that we live in.
I think it just comes with the territory.
You’re just gonna encounter toxicity whether
it’s from fans, whether it’s from other wrestlers,
but you’re also gonna encounter a lot of great
people that are gonna help you and prop you
up, and help you build a great support network.
Help you get through the lows and help you
get back to the highs.
If you were to ask me why I love wrestling,
this is what I would say: it’s a physical
artform, it’s entertainment.
It’s simple storytelling that dates back thousands
of years with themes that are still relevant
It’s poetry in motion in the literal sense
and it makes you feel something.
So, perhaps this is a love letter to wrestling
and to its craft.
To the people who don’t run away from their
passion and don’t ask themselves, “What if?”
To those striving for their dreams no matter
what, this is for you.