Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Consequences Creed had severe stage fright


Total Nonstop Action wrestlers are learning about consequences.

Georgia native “Consequences Creed” debuted in TNA just two years ago and has already competed for the X Division Championship several times.

Born Austin Watson, Creed’s childhood dream was to be a professional wrestler.

“It’s been my goal as long as I can remember,” he said.

Creed got involved in athletics in middle school with amateur wrestling, and then moved on to track and field and football in high school.

“But I had severe stage fright,” Creed said. “I was really shy for a certain part of my life.”

Knowing he had to overcome that fright to reach his goal, he was convinced by a friend to join his high school’s show choir. At Furman University, he also performed in musicals and honed the showmanship skills he now uses in the ring.

Those college years proved a busy time for Creed. While working toward degrees in psychology and philosophy, he trained or wrestled at least four nights a week the last three years of college.

“I sent audition tapes to TNA about every two weeks to stay on their mind,” he said.

While working at home in the Atlanta area one summer, a friend offered Creed the opportunity to work out for a few days with wrestler “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles. A year and a half later, a spot opened in a show in Atlanta and TNA called Creed.

“I’ve never been so nervous in my life,” he said, adding that rather than the warm-up match he expected to compete in, he found himself competing for the tag team title in front of a live audience of 6,000 people and a pay-per-view audience of millions more.

Creed’s dream came true that night, but he’s about more than what people see in the ring.

While at Furman, a woman came to a psychology seminar he was in, spoke to the class about autistic children and brought along the parents of some of her students.

“Twelve or 13 parents spoke to us for an hour and a half and had us all crying,” Creed said. “To hear those parents talk, it hurt.”

Now Creed has taken the cause to heart and uses his knowledge to work with autistic children.

“There is not enough treatment, not enough government involvement, not enough volunteers,” he said.

He has gotten TNA involved as well. The company has donated profits from its Web store to the Sadler Foundation and helps Creed raise funds for them as well, according to publicist Chris Thomas.

By Laura Shirley at Macon.com

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