What’s in a name? Well, for Chris Hero, his moniker is a manifesto of sorts. The pro wrestler – who once competed in WWE under the nom de guerre Kassius Ohno – has taken the name “Hero” to heart. F4WOnline reports that the grappler recently competed in a demanding three-hour “infinity gauntlet” match, raising over $3,400 through pledges. The money he raised will be donated to ALS Canada, a nonprofit organization that funds research related to the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gherig’s Disease.
Chris Hero’s historic gauntlet performance was hosted by Smash Wrestling at their June 7 event in Toronto, Ontario. Hero competed in a total of 17 matches over the course of the show, facing the likes of Rip Impact, Façade, and Tarik. Hero also locked up with rising independent star Jason “The Gift” Kincaid twice during the show. Kincaid won this year’s ECWA Super 8 competition and he is the current NWA Southeastern heavyweight champion. Kincaid commented on his participation in the event on his Facebook page.
“Last night, I got to participate in something truly special,” Kincaid said in his Facebook post.
“I wrestled Chris Hero for 26 minutes of his 3 hour and 10 minute straight #InfinityGauntlet and watched the rest. What I saw (and felt), was a warrior-athlete put everything he had into a seemingly impossible task, for charity, for his love of an art form, for his pride as a competitor! It was a showing of heart, character, and fighting spirit on a scale that most people only get to experience secondhand. To be there in that unique moment in pro wrestling history… It’s the moments like that, that make all the hardships of the lifestyle more than worth it.”
For his part, Hero publicly thanked everyone involved in the endeavor via Twitter.
I'm alive! Thanks to everyone who donated, participated, supported & spread the word. I'll never forget this.
— Chris Hero (@thechrishero) June 8, 2015
Reporting on Hero’s charity work, WrestlingINC noted that Hero once noted that his longest match had been against former WWE superstar CM Punk over a decade ago. A thorough review of the Punk/Hero match on Pro Wrestling Smackdown indicates that the aforementioned bout took place in late 2002 through IWA Mid-South. Around the 92-minute mark, Chris Hero earned a submission victory over Punk, winning the IWA Mid-South heavyweight championship.
Despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth by many fans when Chris Hero was unceremoniously released from WWE back in 2013, the wrestler seems to have come into his own in the wake of the whole experience. Once he returned to the independent scene, Hero quickly became a key performer in promotions like Ring of Honor and EVOLVE. Now he’s transcended the simple rewards of fair-weather fans and independent title gold to earn the kind of respect and admiration that comes when people go above and beyond everyday expectations in an effort to make a difference.