IT shouldn’t be surprising that pro wrestlers Chris Morrus and Brad Laman are willing to give their time for a great cause today when the “Fill the Shelves” with food event is beginning at 6 p.m. at the J.D. Byrider lot at 2645 N. National Road.
Both have given to an even bigger cause.
Laman, who graduated from Columbus North in 1998, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2000 to 2004. Morrus enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2006 and served as a construction mechanic, fixing things such as bulldozers and cranes. Both were deployed overseas.
In 2003, Laman earned the Purple Heart when he was first shot in Iraq during a drive-by and then was shot again, this time in the calf, by an Iraqi policeman who was returning fire at the drive-by vehicle.
Laman, who is 32 and now lives in Indianapolis, didn’t return home immediately.
“I had to rehab myself,” he said.
He was honorably discharged in 2004. He began taking classes at IUPUI and graduated in 2008 with a degree in physical education and health.
Morrus, 30, was honorably discharged on March 27 after a 15-month deployment to Iraq and a 12-month deployment to Afghanistan. The 2001 Columbus East graduate is back in Columbus getting used to civilian life again.
Both were interested in wrestling before they joined the service. Laman started training to become a pro wrestler right after high school but was told he didn’t fit very well. He had a friend who had just joined the Marines, so he followed suit.
Morrus began wrestling right out of high school and followed the circuit for five years before deciding to join the Army.
But their love of wrestling brought both back to the sport.
As a kid, Laman used to to get his Nintendo keyed up to play introduction music for his mock wrestling “walk-up” to the ring.
“I was just a huge nerd wrestling fan growing up,” he said.
Now he is more than just a fan. Although he wasn’t considered a good fit out of high school, he has found regular work as a pro wrestler at age 32.
“I usually have two to three events weekly, and I’ve probably fought in more than 400 matches in my career now,” Laman said. “I get to be very busy.”
Morrus hopes to be just as busy now that he is home.
Laman said he has a main goal when he is in the ring: “To break your clavicle,” he said. “No matter how big you are, the clavicle is the weakest bone in the body. I can break it.”
Morrus said he is “more power than finesse,” in the ring. “I’m really not a high flyer,” he said.
Both will be performing for Jerry Wilson’s Hoosier Pro Wrestling today in the annual event that charges no admission but asks fans to donate six cans of food per person.
Wilson said that all food will be donated to local food banks.
“You just need to bring six cans of food and your lawn chairs,” Wilson said.
No coolers or food or drink will be allowed in the event.