Cal U student goes from ringside to a battle inside the ring of “Pro Wrestling”…And lives to tell about it!


Jonathan Sakaguchi, (on left) known in the ring as “Timberwolve Jaxon Hawk,” awaits the starting bell versus Gus Gardner in a recent Local Athletic Wrestling (LAW) “Triple Threat Match” at the Cassidy Compound, New Salem, Pa.

Jonathan Sakaguchi, Staff Writer

As kids, we all watched WWE or for me, it was WWF (World Wrestling Federation). Then you and your friends tried to have matches in the backyard, trampoline, living room, or some have dragged their mattress down to the basement or garage and tried being your favorite wrestler or being your own super star.

Eventually you stop doing that and you let the pros handle it on TV every week. Some of us, however, do not stop and find ways to continue that game from when we were kids. But others actually decide to go out and try out for the independent pro wrestling circuit, and earlier this year in 2020, that is just what I did.

I got this crazy idea years ago goofing off with a few friends of mine that were in the Indies, one fall afternoon. We started like a real match which ended with me hitting a “Twist of Fate” (Hardy Boyz finishing move) on one of them and going for the cover.

One of them looked at me and said, “Jonny I think you could do this with us. You like acting at the haunt and you can sell a hit. So why not give it a try?”

I took it into thought and for the next few years I sat and waited to go with them to tryout and train, but nothing ever came up of it. So, going to live shows for WWE and AEW and a few Indi shows in the area was as close to getting into the ring as I was going to get. I could only sit and watch for now until I could get the chance.

In late spring 2020, after being out on the lake fishing all morning, my friend Brandon Swaney calls. “Hey Timber, still want learn how to wrestle?!” he said.

I replied “Yeah, I do.” “Well, get here as soon as you can we’ve got to get there by 3 p.m. if we want to get any kind of ring time in,” said Swaney.

Once we arrived at the ring, we started to warm up and stretch and get ready for practice. I climbed in between the ropes after I dusted off my shoes. Along with two other trainees, myself, two trainers, and four other members of the league got ready and started with the number one thing all wrestlers learn and that is taking a bump. A bump is where you fall on your back from standing up this is so when you take a move like a close line or shoulder-tackle ect. That first practice me taking a bump and falling on my back did not go so well. To tell the truth, it took me a few weeks to get it right.

Every practice I picked up on something new; from taking a bump to learning how to throw a punch or giving a leg drop. I have been doing this for several months now. Swaney and I had started writing a storyline for us and came up with a good one, but I am not telling anyone until later on or it would ruin the surprise.

However, all the hard work came to pay off at the beginning of August. I got a phone call from one of the guys that I was training with asking if I wanted to be on the card for that weekend. I agreed to it and called up Swaney again because he was supposed to be my opponent for this match. We came up about a 7-minute match using moves and tactics we learned training at the “Cassidy Compound” so I went home and went to sleep and got ready for the match next day.

I showed up at the ring and started stretching and warming up with the other guys and when Swaney and I started going through everything and told we had Dennis added to our match; so now our match has become a “Triple-Threat Match” for my in ring debut. So, the story of the match has been changed and I took most of the beatings from Swaney and Dennis was how the story was supposed to go.

I go to the locker room and I started talking with the other guys asking for pointers and tips and I listened to everything they had to say. I changed into my gear, my MMA trunks over top of my fighter pants, black shoes, red bandana on my face, and a black cut off shirt I wore to the ring. My heart was racing faster than a drag racer. I looked at the crowd and saw the excited faces of the kids and the parents and other fans that were there the faces of the other guys in the locker room poked out just to watch.

“Ding Ding.” The bell rings and its match on I tried to play to the crowd and being the face. I watched the kids light up. Swaney and I go after Dennis and we had it going. Dennis took a big boot from me and I went for my first cover attempt and the brawl with Swaney started. I took my spot waiting on Swaney got sick so Dennis and I went from having a work shot to shoot the rest of the match (going from pre-planned to making it up as we go) so Dennis and I started brawling all over the ring. Both of us took our share of beatings and bumps. Dennis and I get told to wrap up the match after doing a test of strength Dennis takes me out with a flying clothesline and cover 1, 2, 3, done.  I take a minute after the match before I roll out of the ring just taking a moment to take it all in hearing the kids chat my in-ring name.

I got up and went to the back the guys all came up and told me I did well and not to dwell on the match, things have happened like this all the time. I went and checked on Swaney after the match he came down and got changed and was fine after a bit.

Since then, I have kept practicing and getting ready for the next show with a new gimmick. Next time I step foot in the ring for a show, I will be known as the Timberwolve Jaxon Hawk. I am excited to see what that leads to next, as well as what happens in the ring with the other guys I train with. Hopefully as the semester goes on, I will have more stories from inside the ring. But until the next time the following contest is scheduled for this fall.