It’s not easy being a lackey.

In what seems like a whirlwind, I’m nearing the one year anniversary of my time in professional wrestling, when I first stepped through the ropes and into the ring at the Limitless Dojo in Brewer. What was then supposed to be just a fun night out with my buddy has turned into something of a second career.

Since my first match in June, I have consistently been booked in matches, mostly with Let’s Wrestle, the offshoot promotion of Limitless Wrestling, run by 22-year old wunderkind Randy Carver Jr., who also runs the Dojo. Making my official debut with the company in the fall, I’ve been given a rather large role for a rookie. I’m currently the protege of “Classic” Kalvin Strange, the company’s champion. A wrestler who prides himself in being smarter than the average wrestler, Strange is the brains of our duo, while I’m a more lovable — and for lack of a better term, dopey — sidekick who provides the muscle. The inspiration for my character’s current actions is very loosely based off John Malkovich’s portrayal of Lennie Small in the 1992 movie “Of Mice and Men,” based on the John Steinbeck novel.

“The Belfast Bulldog” Dave Dyer

The responsibility of being Strange’s lackey is fairly simple — make sure he wins matches, keep the belt on the champion — but there is pressure. As champion, Strange is normally in the main event of the shows, and if I don’t know my part of when to EXACTLY interfere — or what specifically I’m doing when I’m involved — I can ruin the match for everyone. During a recent match between Strange and Aiden Aggro — one of my trainers at the Dojo — there were multiple parts to the match where I try to stop Aggro from beating Strange. I managed to remember everything, including the finale, where Aggro slaps me across the face (full force, and boy did it sting), but Strange manages to pick up the win.

I must say, it’s an absolute blast to be a bad guy in professional wrestling. I have the creative license to say things to people that I would never say in the real world (within reason, of course). I get to hurl insults. I get to scare small children sitting ringside. You can take the frustrations of the world out on other people. It’s almost therapeutic.

Inside the ring, I’m certainly making strides. I’m happy to report that since the early days of my training — where I nearly blew each of my knees out — I have not had any major injuries. My wind has improved, as I can get through a nearly 10-minute match and not want to pass out. I’ve even managed to lose 20 pounds from when I first started, which has managed to make me a little lighter on my feet and do particular moves — like throwing a dropkick — that I otherwise thought might have been impossible nearly a year ago. My joints have certainly been thankful for it.

My biggest test came at the last Let’s Wrestle show on Dec. 14 in Orono. I was booked in a tag-team match with Strange against “Masshole” Mike McCarthy and Brett Ryan Gosselin. I took the brunt of the punishment in the match — several of McCarthy’s chops left marks on my chest for days — and Gosselin landed a suicide dive on me outside the ring. The match ended when McCarthy put me in the “Rings of Saturn,” a submission move that stretches my arms behind my back from a laying position. I tapped out almost immediately, much to the displeasure of my boss. We managed to put together an entertaining match for the fans, and I was thankful to all involved for helping me get through it.

Within the past month, I’ve been booked for other promotions within the state as well, including Victory Championship Wrestling out of Machias. I’ll finally make a local appearance when I debut for Mat & Muscle Wrestling at the Buker Community Center in Augusta on January 25.

So long as my body holds out (that’s asking a lot of a 34-year old), I plan to continue this journey for a while. For now, I’m just thankful to be living a life-long dream, and having a lot of fun along the way.

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