For Shark Boy, this time it's personal.
He'll be fighting Brutus Magnus in the ring at Eastwood Expo Center on Saturday, but he'll also be fighting for the freedom of his brother Trevor, who is being held prisoner in the aquarium at Eastwood Mall.
''As you can imagine, it bothers me greatly whenever a family member of mine is taken in captivity,'' Shark Boy said during a telephone interview from his home in the cool blue waters near Cincinnati (actually Centerville).
Win or lose, Shark Boy's ''brother'' isn't going anywhere, but in a sport known for its gimmicks, fighting for one's imprisoned relative is a pretty good one.
Shark Boy has been swimming in the choppy waters of the wrestling world for more than a decade. The man behind the mask said the character was inspired by the Toadies song ''I Come from the Water.''
''The song just got me thinking it would be cool if there was a superhero who rose from the water to battle the bad guys in wrestling,'' he said.
The character served another purpose as well. He was working as a referee with a different wrestling organization at the time, and if he wanted to compete, he had to wear a mask in order to keep his referee job.
Shark Boy's interest in the sport dates back to one of his earliest memories - seeing Rowdy Roddy Piper bust a coconut over the head of Jimmy ''Superfly'' Snuka. The skinny kid started telling people he wanted to become a professional wrestler.
''Enough people told me that I couldn't do it that I decided to prove them wrong,'' he said.
Now he has several TV appearances to his credit (TNA Wrestling is shown at 9 p.m. Thursdays on Spike! TV), and a Web site (www.sharkboy.net
) where he hawks Shark Boy masks and action figures.
The character has evolved over the years, particularly in the last couple when Shark Boy literally found his voice or, at least, a voice.
Originally, Shark Boy defeated his opponents in silence.
''I attended the University of Cincinnati, earned a degree in communications and then spent a decade playing a character who never spoke,'' he said.
But about a year ago, Shark Boy suffered an injury in the ring and ended up in a ''coma.'' When he awoke, he started spouting off like another another famous grappler. Shark Boy wasn't naming names, but one doesn't have to be a wrestling fanatic to notice some similarities between Shark Boy's patter and that of Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Now Shark Boy threatens ''to beat the shell'' out of people and ''stomp a fishing hole'' into opponents. And instead of Austin's Stunner, Shark Boy's signature move is ''The Chummer.'' Before that, it was the ''Dead Sea Drop.''
He hopes to use the Chummer Saturday on Brutus Magnus, who was on Europe's version of ''American Gladiators.''
''He's strong and a great athlete,'' Shark Boy said. ''I've got my work cut out for me.''
The main event Saturday will be a tag team match with former Olympic Gold Medal wrestler Kurt Angle and ''Big Poppa Pump'' Scott Steiner vs. ''King of the Mountain'' Jeff Jarrett and ''Samoan Submission Machine'' Samoa Joe.
Other matches will feature ''The War Machine'' Rhino, ''The Blueprint'' Matt Morgan, Beer Money, Inc., TNA X Division Champion Suicide, Madison Rayne, Sheik Abdul Bashir, Lethal Consequences and Sojo Bolt.
*NOTE: Yes, I already have a ticket to this show, & it is within walking distance of my residence. (Sme venue as Convention I wrote about with Honky Tonk Man, etc.) My latest cell phone has a camera on it, to, so if I can just figure out how to connect the cam & PC, I'll be able to post pics with whatever I have to write afterward.*