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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Former RFT Ad Salesman Launches New Career as Professional Wrestler

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 10:53 AM

I recently had a chance to catch up with former Riverfront Times ad man, Jason Garrison. (No relation to yours truly.)

Garrison worked at RFT from mid-2005 to January 2007 before leaving to try his luck as a grappler with Ohio Valley Wrestling. Two months ago, the 26-year-old Garrison made a giant leap toward becoming a big-name wrestler when Vince McMahon's WWE recruited him to attend the company's developmental school in Tampa.

click to enlarge Jason Garrison, aka "Fletcher Chase"
  • Jason Garrison, aka "Fletcher Chase"
Garrison now spends his days in Florida training and developing his square-circle persona all on the WWE's dime. Garrison's nom de guerre, btw, is "Fletcher Chase" -- a nod to everyone's favorite investigative journalist: Chevy Chase's Fletch.

"My character is a sort of intellectual egomaniac," explains Garrison, who notes that Fletcher Chase is a "heel" -- wrestling jargon for a bad guy. "He sort of annoys people with his book smarts."

A fan of pro wrestling as a boy, Garrison says he was re-introduced to the, ahem, "sport" in the late 1990s. Later, as an undergraduate at Saint Louis University, Garrison majored in theatre in the hopes of one day becoming a professional wrestler. But don't let that degree fool you, says Garrison. Wrestling is not, he repeats, not fake.

"Not at all," he says. "The theatre degree just helps with my ring presence. You know, wrestlers do a lot of talking and entertaining before and after their bouts."

click to enlarge Garrison puts the hurt on another grappler.
  • Garrison puts the hurt on another grappler.

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