Hailing from Scotland, after 5+ years of experience in the wrestling business, “The Prestigious One” Joe Hendry has found himself as a part of the Ring of Honor roster. He has competed for the company on various occasions including a stint in 2016 and 2018 and in August of 2019, ROH announced that Joe Hendry was no longer a free agent because they signed him to an exclusive deal.
Prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, Joe Hendry formed an on-screen partnership with Dalton Castle that was originally a feud between the two before they formed a team. The two also teamed at Ring of Honor’s ‘Free Enterprise’ event on February 9th in Baltimore, Maryland and it was at that event that I had the opportunity to speak with Joe Hendry. He was candid about his experience in ROH thus far and how positive things had been going. Hendry credited all corners of the Ring of Honor team and also praised the company’s efforts to help out the local communities that they stop through for shows and the community outreach programs that he and his fellow ROH roster members play a role in contributing to.
“Its been awesome. When people ask me about it, I tell them it’s what I thought the dream would be. I love it. I love the travel, the crew’s amazing, the fans are awesome. There’s a lot of creative freedom. For me, that was kind of the main thing. We do a lot of cool visits. We get to go out and reach out to communities and hospitals and things like that so, it’s a very rewarding job as well.”
Joe Hendry has told the story on several occasions of how he was able to secure a match with WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle in 2016. Hendry always wanted to wrestle Angle and he decided to try and make it happen. During a Q&A on Twitter, Joe was asked who’s his dream match in wrestling and he responded, “Kurt Angle” and tagged Angle in the tweet. That led to Angle sending Joe a DM which read that Joe should continue working hard, Angle’s heard about him and if he continues working hard, he’ll get the match one day. At the time, Hendry was working with Defiant Wrestling and they had trouble booking Kurt. Hendry decided to reach out to Kurt personally and was able to set up a match between himself and Angle for the promotion.
“It wasn’t finessed. That was probably the ballsiest thing I’ve done in wrestling I think, to be honest. It’s weird. [It was] just [one of] those moments in life where I was standing across from Kurt Angle in the ring and I’m like, ‘You’re wrestling Kurt Angle. What’s going on? Is this life?’ But no, that was an amazing experience.”
Despite their match taking place four years ago, Hendry does remain in contact with Angle. The former ICW Tag Team Champion told POST Wrestling that he’s spoken to Kurt a few times since their match and spoke about how much he admires Angle for his work ethic and in-ring ability that he’s been able to maintain throughout his storied career. One of the more valuable things that Hendry picked up from Angle was how to conduct himself as a professional and pass on his knowledge to the next crop of wrestlers.
“Yeah we’ve spoken a few times. Quite a few times, and the thing is, I look up to Kurt in a huge way, and he was a great person to talk to about advice and creative advice and someone who’s really been there and done it at the highest level in both amateur and professional wrestling. So, he was great for advice in both those realms, and I’ve really used a lot of the advice he gave to me and he’s a very giving performer. He’s very focused on what he can do to help the next wave of talent so that showed to me how top talent should carry themselves and how they should conduct themselves. He’s just a classy individual.”
In May of 2018, Joe Hendry was a part of the television tapings for the reboot of World Of Sport on ITV. The show featured the likes of Rampage Brown, Justin Sysum, Grado, Kip Sabian, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Kay Lee Ray, Piper Niven (Viper), Bea Priestley, Will Ospreay, and Stu Bennett and SoCal Val were on commentary for the weekly program.
After the first set of television tapings wrapped up, World Of Sport went on a live show tour and the show did not return after that. When Hendry was asked if he’s heard anything about a possible return for World Of Sport, he said he has not and his main focus is Ring of Honor.
“My focus is on Ring of Honor. So no, I haven’t heard anything and I’m happy here so…”
Joe Hendry’s fellow Scotsman, Drew McIntyre has found a great deal of success in the WWE over the past several months. McIntyre won the 2020 men’s Royal Rumble match in January and went on to defeat Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36. After the WrestleMania tapings, Drew McIntyre had his first title defense against The Big Show and it was a successful one. Hendry said McIntyre played a role in him realizing that he could be more than a comedy wrestler. With there being a handful of Scottish wrestlers on the rise in the business, Hendry thinks it’s great to see so many representatives of Scotland that are doing well in wrestling.
“Well, Drew’s probably… he might be the person who taught me the most by wrestling them. Again, Kurt is probably — because I wrestled Drew many times. I also got to wrestle Kurt once but I feel like Drew really forced me to up my game, up my intensity level and trust myself to be more than just a comedy act basically, so, I think Drew really pushed me to do that. Drew is a great guy, a locker room leader and a super hard worker and you know, what he’s doing is quite inspirational and I’m inspired by that. I want to… I wish him the best and like I said, he’s doing his thing there, I’m doing my thing here and it’s a great time for Scottish wrestling.”
Joe Hendry’s path has led him to Ring of Honor and he feels respected by the company. While speaking about the creativity he puts into piecing together his own theme songs, he said when it came down to his ‘Wave Your Hands’ theme in ROH, they let him come up with the song and just told him to submit it by a certain date. That type of trust and creativity went a long way with Joe. He also broke down the process of creating his ‘Wave Your Hands’ theme song.
“Well I think the parodies are the things that get the most response but in terms of the entrance music, the cool entrance music, this is by far the best one [Wave Your Hands], and I just kind of deconstructed it and I really thought, ‘At what point am I gonna be doing this thing? At what point am I gonna be standing on the stage? When am I gonna be in the ring? When am I gonna wave my hands?’ And I was like — I really took it back to basics and I was like, ‘What do I want the audience to do? I want them to interact’ so I put the couple of claps and then I was like, ‘Then I want them to wave their hands, then I wanna be standing this way’ so I really, really enjoy the creative process of reverse engineering an entrance and again, being in Ring of Honor, they gave me the creative freedom to do that, and that’s the amazing thing about working for this company is we didn’t have to go through loads of different channels or red tape and all that. They were just like, ‘Do you want us to do your music or do you got this?’ And I was like, ‘I got this’ and they were like, ‘Cool. Get it to us by this date’ and that was it. They just trusted me to do my thing and I really respected that and I feel very respected working here as a talent. I feel respected as an individual and it’s a great place to work. I can’t speak highly enough about it. When people ask me about it, I always tell them, ‘It’s what I thought the dream would be.’”
To keep up with Joe Hendry while Ring of Honor has suspended their in-ring operations until the COVID-19 outbreak settles, the company launched blogs for their wrestlers to update and Hendry’s blog can be found at this link. Joe Hendry also has a YouTube channel that is nearing 7,000 subscribers and he can be found on Twitter and Instagram @joehendry. Our full interview can be watched on the Andrew Thompson Interviews YouTube channel or the video below.