No matter how they tell the story of professional wrestling, it is always the same. Good vs. evil; babyface vs. heel. The fans cheer for their favorite hero to finally overcome the bully that stands in their way of achieving their goals.


However, outside the obstacles the heels may place, they do not seem to have many problems in their life. They smile, laugh, and have a good time. Maybe they have a family and are portrayed to have it all together.


While fans do enjoy these characters, the ones they have always naturally gotten behind are the ones that seem the most real. Stone Cold Steve Austin became the biggest star in professional wrestling solely due to the fact the Everyday Man could see themselves in Austin. Everyone has had horrible bosses they wish they could give it back to. 


Daniel Bryan (now, Bryan Danielson in AEW) was relatable because every person in some sort of fashion has felt like they have been held down and told they aren’t what companies or people are looking for. Fans lived through Daniel Bryan as he beat the odds and finally became the WWE champion during the main event of Wrestlemania.


Eddie Kingston fits into that mold in that he is very real and relatable. He speaks his truth without hesitation. Unlike Austin and others, however, Kingston’s enemies aren’t just bad guys on television. They are not keeping him from winning a championship. Eddie’s biggest villain is his own mind.


The last several months, we have seen an interesting storyline develop between our mental health hero Eddie Kingston and CM Punk. Leading up to Full Gear, Kingston has pulled back the curtain and shown the world what it is like to be him. He tells the story of how Punk judged him for looking and acting the way he does. He expressed the need of escaping his mental battles and the craving of brotherhood from the locker room. Kingston didn’t get that from Punk. To Kingston, Punk is the physical embodiment of the evil thoughts that try to drag him down every day. He hears Punk calling him a bum and accuses him of not putting in the work to be the best the business has to offer. “You have the talent, but you failed,” is what Punk says to Eddie. 


Eddie knows deep down he’s not a bum nor a failure. He has fought tooth and nail to get to where he is today in AEW. He wants to prove that to not only CM Punk and the fans, but most importantly to himself. 


Their match at Full Gear was a grueling one. Eddie gave Punk everything he had, but he still came up short. Even though he had told Punk that “winning or losing didn’t matter”, you could see it eating away at him as he refused to acknowledge his opponent in the ring and left. Those dark feelings and self doubt were trying to crowd his mind. However, we know Eddie Kingston. He doesn’t give up and he will one day rise to the occasion and gain his victory. We know that. We need to know that.


For those of us who suffer from depression and anxiety, we can all sympathize with the battles that Eddie Kingston faces on a daily basis. We know that our own mind tries to sabotage everything we try to do. We know that simply getting out of bed on some days is a feat.


Along with Eddie, we want to “fight the world”. The CM Punk’s of our lives don’t understand, either. They want to accuse us of being lazy and not working hard at whatever it is we are trying to do. We, too, fight to keep those words from haunting and paralyzing us. 


Eddie Kingston shows us we can fight those destructive thoughts and feelings. He gets up and faces the darkness every day. 


This imperfect world needs Eddie Kingston, an honest and real person. We need to see that bravery, that tenacity on television. We need to know there is a hero who doesn’t give up, even when the biggest heel he is fighting is his own mind. He gives us mental health warriors hope  that we can fight, too.


This imperfect world needs Eddie Kingston, and it needs to see Eddie Kingston finally get his win.


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