Pastor finds new purpose in most unusual place
Inspiration and motivation gives people the determination to do some pretty incredible things but the feat bringing Stuart Perry and Jonathan Ramser together could be a testament to faith and fate.
Perry lives a double life. The wacky youth minister from Adventure Christian Church on Sunday morning turns into a professional wrestler known as "The Pastor of Disaster" on Saturday night. Perry said, "I think so many times people get the wrong perception of Christianity. They think you have to sit there and just not ever do anything exciting and you have to be dull and boring and that is completely the opposite. GOD is the GOD who invented creativity."
In January Perry began training with Louisville based Ohio Valley Wrestling. The wrestling school is affiliated with TNA Impact , the second largest wrestling company in the country. The developmental territory's graduates make up the who's who of the professional wrestling industry over the last 15 years. Current WWE champion John Cena, current WWE World Champion Dolph Ziggler, and former MMA superstar Brock Lesnar all trained in OVW's famed Davis Arena. Current stars from the OVW roster like Rob Terry regularly appear on national television with "Impact Wrestling" on Spike-TV.
Ramser would also be in that January class hoping to join the ranks of legends and legends in the making to get their start in Louisville but he needed a kind of help that even the well experienced trainers had never seen before. In this world where whispers matter more than you know, the wrestler they call, "Ram Jam" can't hear a single word. WDRB News reporter Gilbert Corsey interviewed Ramser with the help of a sign language interpreter. Ramser said, " I want to be the first deaf wrestler. The communication is tough. At the very beginning it was like I was not certain how to do anything because I don't even use my voice."
The pastor's purpose was suddenly revealed. Perry said. "I worked with a student whose entire family was deaf so I was able to sign a little bit." Perry would become a life line, using the little sign language he knows to help bridge the gap between the trainers and wrestlers. They all write and text message with Ram Jam, developing their own kind of sign language with gestures. Former WWE Superstar Nick, "E-Gene" Dinsmore leads the beginning class. Dinsmore said, "A lot of it is the mannerisms that we use so if I'm going to slam somebody I show with my arms or a hip toss with my hips or threaten to punch I draw back. It has been a challenge but very rewarding to see him (Ramser) take to wrestling as well as he has."
May 11th Ram Jam and the Pastor of Disaster made the card for OVW's biggest show of the month, The Saturday Night Special. It's just their second professional bout. They were opponents on opposite sides of the ring.
Ramser teamed with the trainer Nick Dinsmore. Perry teamed with another rookie from class. As the story unfolds in the ring, the wily veteran becomes frustrated when his pupil won't follow his instructions. The crowd pops for every bump, every shot and every slam. Ram Jam eventually grows tired of the abuse from the heavy handed teacher, fires back and helps his classmates get the win. The capacity crowd rises to its feet.
In the locker room after the match both young athletes are congratulated by their peers for a stellar match. Ramser said, "I got some texts and pages people saying oh my gosh you just did a wonderful job. Friends were supporting me and people in the stands started telling me how good I did. Wow that was a good experience. I want it again"
The next day in Sunday School at Adventure Christian Church Perry explains to his young students, "I'm a little bit sore I wrestled last night so I fell down and I got a little bit banged up. I got kicked in the face." The kids laughed. He doesn't hide his alter ego. "There have been other people who know me and they're like you can't be doing this wrestling. Those guys are full of terrible stuff. I say they don't know these guys, " said Perry.
The night after the event two rookies from the Pastor's wrestling class sat in his church congregation. He said, " It has been so cool they've asked me to pray before shows for them for them to stay safe. Some have just asked me to pray for things going on in their lives."
This story mirrors an old spiritual that reads where he leads me I will follow…to Perry it's the most important message. He said, "With Jonathan, he's following his dream, not letting anyone tell him he can't do it and that's kind of what I'm doing too."