DICKSON — It's not often you can close two chapters of your life in the exact same place.
DICKSON — It’s not often you can close two chapters of your life in the exact same place.
But for Dickson native Joe Herell, he got to do that and so much more this past Saturday night.
Herell officially announced his retirement from the world of professional wrestling, as he closed out the World Class Revolution Pro Wrestling event “No Way Out” at the Dickson High School Gymnasium, the same gymnasium he graduated high school from.
“It’s a bitter sweet feeling to be honest,” Herell said following his last match.
“It’s definitely my time to go though. 12 years is a long time, and I’ve wrestled for all the major companies and gotten to wrestle outside the USA. There are so many things I’ve gotten to accomplish in this business that not a lot of people can say they have gotten to do. I ended one chapter of my life in this gymnasium, and now I’ve gotten to end another here.”
In his final match, Herell, who was wrestling as the “Chickasaw Warrior Ky-Ote” had to go through three separate opponents inside a steel cage.
Making the moment even more special though, was all of Herrell’s opponents were his close friends.
First it was Javier Hernandez, who went head-to-head with Herell, before he was eventually pinned.
Next was the returning “American Outlaw” Dane Griffin, who had come out of retirement and put on a classic display against Herell, before eventually being pinned.
Bloodied and near the point of exhaustion, Herrell was then given a surprise when Montego Seeka came out instead of Bostic.
Weapons like kendo sticks, garbage cans, and pizza pans were used in the match, but Herrell managed to survive after a brutal encounter.
Despite facing overwhelming odds, Herrell found the heart and soul to carry on and went out with a bang to end his career.
With the greatest of ease, and his family and
wife watching at ringside, Herell went for a frog splash and connected for the 1-2-3 count and the victory.
The moment brought to an end a stellar 12-year career which saw the former Comets football standout wrestle for WWE, Ring of Honor, Impact!, and various other promotions across America. Herell was also lucky enough to wrestle multiple times overseas and outside the country.
Once the bell rang, Herell dropped to his knees in emotion, and was quickly surrounded by his friends who led the crowd in a “Thank you Ky-Ote” chant.
Following the match, Griffin, and Hernandez all took turns saying a few words about their friend.
“Wrestling is losing a good person, but the world is gaining a better man,” Griffin said to the crowd.
But before he could glide off into retirement with his wife Heather, WCRP CEO Jerry Bostic had one last thank you for Herell.
Dickson head football coach and athletic director Steve Day would come into the ring and present Herell with an old Dickson Comets football jersey, sporting the number 40, the same number Herell wore when he set numerous football records at Dickson High School.
“Tonight has been insane with so many emotions,” Herell said.
“The crying at the end was because I was sad, and because I was in pain. To see Coach (Steve) Day come out and give me a jersey and thank me like that, and remind me of the records I hold here, it meant so much to me.”
With wrestling now behind him, Joe can move on to a new life with his wife Heather, who he met following a wrestling show 10 years ago.
“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” Heather said. “Ever since we started dating, all we’ve known is wrestling. It was emotional and really hard for me getting in the ring and hugging him (Joe) after the match. It was hard because it hasn’t really set in yet.”
“This ride has been amazing,” Heather added. “There’s been so many ups and downs, but he’s made it so worth while. I want to tell him how proud I am of him. Wrestling will always hold a special place in our hearts. He’s accomplished so much that people never thought he’d do. I’m looking forward to the rest of our lives together.”
As for Joe, he’s ready for much of the same with his wife, and he’s ready to give back to her after sacrificing for years while he wrestled.
“I’m looking forward to starting a family with Heather,” Joe said. “She’s supported me for 10 years doing this, and it’s time to give back to her. I’m so grateful she’s been so supportive of me during this journey. She’s been my manager, my best friend, and looked after me in so many ways during my wrestling career. I’m ready to start looking after her and starting a family together.”
While he walked into the ring as Ky-Ote, one half of the IWR World Tag Team Champions, he left as Joe Herell, a humble man and a thankful husband.