Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Stride stars show off ink

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

July 17 is National Tattoo Day. Tattoos and wrestling go hand in hand. The Undertaker, The Rock and Randy Orton immediately come to mind when thinking about inked Superstars. Several on the Stride Pro Wrestling roster have spent time with the tattoo artist through the years. I reached out to them to get the story behind the body art.

Arron Brooks has five tattoos. Starting from the top left; the sparrow on his neck is flying over the ocean. It's Jack Sparrow's tattoo from Pirates of the Caribbean. That film is one of Brooks' all-time favorite film franchises. He says it's a symbol of freedom and taking your own path, which he tries to do all the time. 

The dove on his left hand is a memorial to his brother, Ricky, who died of cancer right before his birthday. The green arrow on the forearm symbolizes Green Arrow, who is one of Brooks' favorite comic book characters. The Cantonese symbol on his chest stands for 'survive'. Brooks says he had difficulties growing up as his parents divorced. It's also the same tattoo Green Arrow has on the TV series Arrow.

The phrase 'It can't rain all the time' is from one of Brooks' other favorite films, The Crow. It means no matter how bad times are, it'll be okay. 

Cash Borden has a few tats, he told me about 'Made in China' on his neck. The story is pretty simple. His mother's name is China and he always told her before she passed away that that would be his first tattoo.

There are a couple of stories behind Midwest Monster Hunter member Bo Sawyer's tattoo. He's a huge Incredible Hulk fan. Secondly, the brick going around the Hulk will eventually go down the rest of his arm. It will be a tribute to Jesse Meredith who wrestled as Drake Graven. Jesse had a full brick sleeve down his left arm. He died in 2014 and was one of Sawyer's best friends. He says when he sees his tattoo it reminds him no matter what comes his way, nothing will get through the brick.

Bo's current tag team partner and fellow Monster Hunter 
Jason Tiller got his ink shortly after his wife left. He says he wouldn't have gotten it otherwise. He has the 10 Count Blog and it (along with wrestling) has served as a coping mechanism. The tattoo celebrates that. 

Farmer Billy Hills has several tattoos as well. I've often wondered about his, so I'm glad he answered the question. The 'Jesus' tattoo has an interesting story. One summer Farmer's car broke down and as he walked for miles in the triple-digit heat he stumbled upon one of those Jesus fish you see on cars. It was just lying on the road. He picked it up, put it in his pocket and was able to continue the eight-mile walk. He later took it to a tattoo artist who added the design.

"Only God can judge me" is a quote Farmer says he's lived by for years. He admits he was a big, weir kid and stood out amongst others. It took time, but he realized that other people's opinions didn't matter. He's also a big Tupac fan. The praying hands are an homage to the man who raised Farmer, his great-grandfather. He says he was the greatest man who ever lived.

The skull you see was Farmer's first tattoo. He says he was young and stupid when he got it and after he had his daughter he wanted to find a way to commemorate her and always have her with him while on the road. That's where the bow and the name Kaylin came in.

The wrestling turnbuckle logo with PMA means a lot to Farmer too. He explains why a positive mental attitude is important. "I am very hot-headed. I can anger quickly. This tattoo helps to try and bring me center in the world when I am angered."

The turnbuckle helps to hold the wrestling ring together. So putting the letters PMA together helps keep anything together that comes up in Farmer's life.

Roger Matheus has Jormungandr tattoo. He is one of Loki's children and was thrown into the great ocean in Midgard. He grew up so large he could wrap around Earth and grip his tail. He is also known as the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent. When he releases the tail, Ragnarok will begin. Roger's wife, Jenn is the artist.

Do you have any ink? What about something that pays tribute to pro wrestling? I eventually want to get a tattoo. If I went to get one today, it would be the My 1-2-3 Cents monkey (who still needs a name).

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