There have been a few wrestlers over the years who have overcome disabilities to step into the ring and Dustin Thomas is the latest. He had both legs amputated at a young age but that hasn't stopped him from chasing, and fulfilling, his dream of being a pro wrestler.
Nick Hausman of Wrestling Inc caught up with Thomas to talk about his wrestling life and answer how he's handling the buzz that was created from his appearance at Joey Janela's Spring Break.
"The best I can," Thomas said on WINCLY. "I've been really busy trying to answer people who book shows and stuff. It's been great, I can only appreciate the love I get from it."
Thomas said that Janela saw one of his ECPW matches and reached out which led to Thomas appearing at his Spring Break. Janela was asked what it was like to work with Tony Deppen there.
"Awesome and easy because he's great at what he does. I went down there and didn't know who I was performing with. But it was great," said Thomas.
Thomas is extremely grateful at meeting Janela and spoke about how much he's helped him.
"It's changed my life. He put me on that show and I don't think I was truly prepared for the response I got. But he's been nothing but helpful and great," Thomas said before adding that others have also reached out to him via social media.
"Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks [reached out] on Twitter. That was great as they saw my highlights on Twitter."
Speaking of the head honchos at AEW, Thomas was announced for the Casino Battle Royal at Double Or Nothing later this month. Thomas is one of those wrestlers who is happy to see a promotion like AEW on the rise as it gives more opportunities to people like him.
"It's great. I love doing this and I would love to continue doing it. I've got plenty of shows lined up and AEW is going to be great, I think. I hope they have a successful run because the more companies, the more entertainers and wrestlers can get shown worldwide."
As for having any talks with other promotions like WWE, Impact or ROH, Thomas admitted that he hasn't had any.
"No, none of them as of yet. I'm gonna be on GCW tomorrow, ECPW on Sunday and there will be more as we go on. It's a lot of bookings so I'll be everywhere," said Thomas.
Thomas was then asked if the ultimate goal was to one day work for WWE.
"Of course it would be great. That's the pinnacle and I wouldn't mind being there," said Thomas. "But that's not really the end goal for me, the end goal is to just show people that they can do whatever they want. Just inspire people."
Someone who inspired people in WWE before was Zach Gowen who had one leg. Thomas was asked if he ever had the chance to meet or was inspired by someone like Gowen or Gregory Iron who wrestles with an arm deformity.
"I wouldn't say inspirations as much. Of course, they are inspirational people, but I don't remember watching either one too much. But I haven't contacted either one of them as of yet," Gowen stated before adding that he remembers Gowen being squashed by Brock Lesnar during his WWE run and he has bigger plans than that.
"Something I've always learned is that you can't be afraid to say no. It's great that he made it and I don't have a problem with any of that. But it was never something where it was I wanted to do just that."
Thomas' full interview was included in Tuesday's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded player at the bottom of this post. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes or Google Play. Listen to the show via Spotify here or through TuneIn here.