Dustin Thomas has been nicknamed "No Legs" because, well, he has no legs. He lost them at a very young age and he joined our WINCLY podcast to talk about his upbringing and why he isn't a fan of the No Legs nickname.
"I was born with a spinal issue from my knees down, so I had to have them amputated at like three so it's all I've ever known," said Thomas before adding why he doesn't prefer the No Legs nickname.
"That's not even my name. That was a miscommunication. I just go by Dustin Thomas and that was something crowds chanted and I guess the commentators said it too. But that's not even a name I go by.
"I can't tell people what to chant. It doesn't bother me and it's not something I haven't heard before. As long as they're chanting for me, rather than against me, I guess I'm for it."
Thomas' finisher is a 619 which was erroneously referred to as the "Nub19" thanks to another internet miscommunication.
"Yea that would be another second-hand Internet thing," stated Thomas. "I think that goes back to people thinking they are creative when they're not.
"I thought [the 619] was something that would be really cool because I don't see a lot of people doing it besides Rey Mysterio. This was while he was doing indie shows so I wasn't seeing it as much. So I thought that would be a cool thing to bring back and I can do so many springboard moves so that was the perfect thing to set it up."
Thomas has been working towards being a pro wrestler basically all of his life and he talked about his first taste of wrestling on the amateur side.
"It was always a dream of mine. I've always loved pro wrestling for as long as I could remember…I was an amateur wrestler my whole life – since I was four years old through college. I knew I wanted to do it, it was just a matter of how," said Thomas.
"I was lucky enough to join a really successful program, it is actually the one that Jon Jones is from…I was really successful and I was great at it. It was never really a problem for me as I was always stronger than most of the other kids anyways."
Due to his disability, Thomas was asked if he ever had any opponents who were scared or nervous to lock up with him.
"They weren't ever nervous for me to compete as far as I know," stated Thomas. "But I do remember a few kids that were crying because they didn't want to wrestle me since my arms were so much bigger than theirs."
Since he didn't have any legs, Thomas was much lighter than other wrestlers with similar physiques. Thus, he was able to wrestle in lower weight classes against much smaller opponents.
Thomas getting his first big break in the industry took some time as he had the door slammed into his face a number of times before his first shot.
"I tried a ton of companies and I got some flat out "No's" and non-responses. I ended up contacting ECPW in New Jersey with Geno Caruso and he gave me a shot when no one else would. He is the reason I'm here today," Thomas said before adding that he would commute two-and-a-half hours each way to go train at ECPW in a custom vehicle to accommodate his disability.
"I have an F150 that has all of that stuff in it [to allow me to drive]. But I also have a portable pair [of leg extensions] that I could rent cars and drive any car with."
Some people in Thomas' position would be happy with anything they could get in pro wrestling. But Thomas revealed that he's turned down a number of requests of him from wrestling companies.
"Some people think they are creative when they're not," Thomas said of the ideas presented to him. "That's the biggest problem as there are so many minds in wrestling that they think they are the first person to come up with something.
"The worst one was when they said they wanted to put me on a guy's shoulders and they have that big trench coat like that old gag…Not great."
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.