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 Joe Stanton, <Joe>
 Posted: Jul 15 2018, 01:12 PM

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A man's back is to us, he walks the hallways of the backstage area, heading for the gorilla position. The footage and audio are out of sync, everything's in slow motion. Already there's a chant of "Joe's gonna kill you" ringing from out there, the fans as restless as the man walking. His hands fidget and he tenses & relaxes his right hand a dozen times over.

"Who is Joe Stanton?"

There's a transition to an old photograph of Joe Stanton, though much younger with a colored mohawk and wearing more simplistic trunks. A mature, distinguished sounding man speaks as a voice-over.

"When Joe first came to my school he came with a knowledge of boxing. And street fighting. His parents had hoped the boxing lessons would be an outlet for him when he was a teenager without really giving him what he wanted. Wrestling. But he tried to find a way, he got himself involved in every street fight ring he could find and backyard wrestling events too. I remember him telling me that he saved what money he made off of that junk so he could afford to enroll at my wrestling school."

The photograph is replaced by Joe Stanton wrestling in his rookie year. A younger, more bombastic voice is heard now.

"Joe was a trip. He left home to start training on account of his folks not really wanting him to do it and so one day I came in early because Keenan had given me a key to the place and I get near the ring and I hear something. Sounds like somebody snoring. I pull up the apron and there he was, sleeping. He didn't have anywhere else to go. Once we realized that, me and some of the other boys let him couch surf until he could get his living situation sorted. He did. When he got on the road for bookings, motel rooms became his home. I don't think that dude had a home till one promotion he worked for set one up for him!"

The voice laughs and the footage transitions to a more experienced Joe Stanton in Japan. He's taking a beating in the highlight reel from the more seasoned and veteran hands. Though something in him, a spark, a fire keeps him rising back up and absorbing more punishment from the strong style experts. A new voice speaks up, an accent is pronounce on them.

"Joe Stanton-san we first saw when some of our talent had been on a learning excursion to America. They sent back tapes every week and we kept seeing him wrestling them. The upper management of the front office took an interest in him and extended an invitation to him, a trial run to wrestle on a tour and train at our promotion's dojo. Stanton-san struggled in his first tour to adapt to the very different style of Japanese wrestling. He was left off the next tour though he asked if he could stay at the dojo, which impressed many above him. We watched him work as hard as any other student every day for months and eventually he made his way back onto tours. When he did he debuted something he had picked up from watching our Ace perform."

Smash cut to Joe Stanton performing the Shoryuken. A montage of Shoryuken's plays and the footage morphs to Joe Stanton back in the states, his style having evolved. He batters opponents with hard hitting strikes and dumps them consistently on their heads. The mature voice is heard again.

"Joe loved Japan, he loved the culture, the fans, the style of wrestling. He took to it all like a fish to water but he had always wanted to be more than just a wrestler in Japan or a wrestler in the Mid-West. He wanted to test himself, to push himself to his limits. It's why while him coming back from Japan surprised a lot of people, it didn't surprise me. Joe took every booking that he could get. Some of them were very much in his wheelhouse, others were definitely out of his comfort zone."

Some of Joe Stanton's greatest moments and biggest defeats are spliced in. Some of them come from traditional matches and others are violent, bloody affairs. The emergence of deathmatch wrestling matches in his career, and Joe going from a human pincushion in these matches to picking up the weapons & fighting back is shown.

"IYHWF has a reputation that speaks for itself. It is the lightning rod that's sparked a revitalization of the pro-wrestling scene in Australia. I think you're going to see something incredibly special when you put Joe Stanton in there against all those great talents."

A wipe brings the scene back to Joe Stanton as he walks up the steps & stands behind the curtain. His music playing, the fans going nuts, yet he's as calm as a cucumber. A smirk crosses his lips and he throws back the curtain, the lights are blinding and lead to a white out.

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