January 23, 2011
Joe, who the hell are you?
By JOE E. LEGEND - For SLAM! Wrestling
"...And the 'Book of Legend' was opened up at the page marked 'LEGENDWORLD'!"
Chapter 1... Joe, who the hell are you?
Well, I suppose it would be best to start off with some formal introductions and thanks to all involved.
So, a hearty "thanks for the forum to mouth off about my business" to the editors, distributors, owners and (especially) those who sign my cheques here at SLAM! Wrestling. Your donations are appreciated and please be assured that all funds will go to the LEGEND layabout fund and will be used to increase the quality of my nap time and to better waste my free time.
Now, on to the business at hand.
My professional name is Joe E Legend (though I have been forced to work under other pseudonyms throughout much of my career and we WILL get in to those mistakes as these columns progress) and I have been wrestling all over the world for the past 20 years in places well known by all as well as small towns and villages I can pretty much guarantee you've NEVER heard of.
My real name is Joseph E Hitchen (and as I told Tommy Dreamer, the E in both my personal and professional names stands for "Edward" which is my middle and my dad's given name and not something like EXTREME!!) and while I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I now make my residence in Hannover, Germany with my wife of eight years (Svenia), my twin toddler sons (Connor Logan and Maverick Joshua... my reason for being and inspiration for EVERYTHING I do) and our pet rabbit (Phoebe, the toughest female bunny on the face of the Earth!).
Professionally, I've had contracts with major league outfits like WWE and TNA as well as deals with some of the bigger promotions in Japan (NOAH, FMW plus more), England (All Star, FWA) Euro-National touring companies (WWA, NWE, RAMPAGE), and ICWA in France.
Actually, I have had championships all over the world of which I'm flattered to think that promoters believe I've been both enough of a draw as well as a consistent, top level performer to have put me in a "figurehead" position and be the face of the company.
I'm the first foreigner ever to be pushed as the "World Heavyweight Champion" in Russia for the IWF promotion who have a lot of good talent on the ground floor who just need some development and a little exposure to move on to the next level.
I've been "World Heavyweight Champion" in Japan for an independent promotion there called "Wrestle Aid Project." While it wasn't one of the "big leagues" in Japan, I was still honored to not only work for these fine people, but also to be booked on top of the company was a good feeling as the company (as is indicated in their name) had a good portion of their proceeds go to various charities. Being able to do what I love to do for a living PLUS to do some good for people as well was a great bonus for me.
So, I have a few stamps in my passport.
But I've also had a chance to help develop some excellent talents who I'm sure you've heard of as since you're reading THIS website, I would imagine you would have more than a casual interest/knowledge of the major players in this game beyond, "Wrestling? You mean like Hulk Hogan? D'you know The Rock? Stone Cold was the COOLEST!" And so it goes.
You MIGHT feel that way, but I would imagine your interest making you a LITTLE bit more absorbing of wrestling knowledge than that.
Off the back of all of this, I've had some nice opportunities like, two major prime time TV series in the UK featuring myself, D'Lo Brown and Roddy Piper as the main stars, a graphic novel featuring me as the main villain, offers to lecture at universities in the USA and Canada on the "Sociology of Pro Wrestling" and starring roles in independent feature films in the UK.
Not to mention the privilege, honor and abject JOY in being able to write a column for SLAM! Wrestling, one of the first, if not THE first, publications to notice me (how's THAT for a kissing up, shameless plug!! LOL)
Fine. Now you have a brief overview of me, my career and all of the things that make up the "magic that is me" (shameless plug #2). But to really get to the "nuts and bolts" of it all, I've been asked to give you through this column, a detailed account of my career.
So, in keeping with the wishes of those who contribute to paying my bills, we'll get down to brass tacks and take you back to 1982, and my very first independent wrestling show ...
But that's next week!