Jamie Henwood discusses being one of two female graduates of Stu Hart’s Dungeon, in-ring career ending due to concussion issues

Photo Courtesy: @natbynature on Instagram

Jamie Henwood tells her story. 

The newest AEW mobile game is out and it is titled AEW: Rise to the Top. Referee Aubrey Edwards was a part of the game’s development and there was a collaboration with East Side Games to bring the new mobile game idea to fruition. 

Edwards was in communication with Jamie Henwood, East Side Games’ Lead Narrative Designer and the lead writer for Rise to the Top. She invited Henwood onto the AEW Unrestricted podcast. Before getting into the ins and outs of the game, Henwood dove into her in-ring career. She trained at Stu Hart’s Dungeon in Calgary. She grew up in the city and went to school with Teddy Hart and T.J. Wilson. 

She ventured into training alongside her brother but he gave it up. Jamie showed up solo to a Stampede Wrestling event and told Bruce Hart she was ready to train and he welcomed her in. Out of generosity from the Hart family, Henwood trained free of charge and became the only other female graduate of The Dungeon alongside Natalya. 

And I just walked into Stampede Wrestling one night by myself and I went up to Bruce (Hart) and I was like, ‘Hey, I’m here. My brother’s not here. I don’t know if you have a spot for me. I haven’t really trained.’ He’s like, ‘Well, let’s fix that. Come to The Dungeon.’ I’m probably one of the only people in the world that can say I trained in Stu Hart’s Dungeon for free. It was by full invitation by the generosity of the Hart Brothers and Bruce and Ross trained me. Other than Nattie, I’m the only girl to graduate from The Dungeon so that’s a really proud thing for me. I was in there for three years getting my butt kicked and bumping on the cement floor and The Dungeon is exactly, you know, when you see it on the shows and you see it in the thing. The only thing that you’re missing from those videos is when you get your face grated into the mat and you’re like, ‘Oh! It smells like cat pee and mold. What’s happening?’ But yeah, I was taking powerbombs in The Dungeon which was hilarious because they had a low roof but me and Nattie were just short enough to flip over and my feet would just catch it and all the guys are like, ‘No! Nobody takes powerbombs in The Dungeon!’ So, anyways, that’s probably why I’m not wrestling today.

Henwood’s in-ring career would ultimately come to an end and she explained that she was reckless with her body, especially considering she is of smaller stature. She suffered five severe concussions in a short time span. Ross Hart put her in contact with a concussion specialist. 

She was told she was in trouble in regards to the damage that had been done and that she might never get better. Henwood did not take the advice to heart and she chose to wrestle again. That ended up being her last match and she does not remember it. Henwood said she was ill for months following that. 

I did (get injured). I was really careless I guess in my early days, choices that I made. Being smaller and being like, ‘I can take any bump. I’m not scared. Sure, slam me on the floor, put me through a table, whatever. Nothing bothers me,’ right? That was kind of my thing. ‘That’s why people are gonna like me. I can do it all!’ But, by doing it all, I made poor choices and I ended up getting five severe concussions within a short time of each other. I actually got two within one week of each other. I just didn’t care and I didn’t remember these matches. I’m in the matches and I’m getting out of them and they’re like, ‘Why did you call for a German? Why did you do these things?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t even remember doing that.’ So, it just got to the point where I was so sick all the time and I couldn’t even function now at work because I was so ill and dizzy and all of the rest so, Ross Hart actually set me up with a concussion specialist that the Calgary St. Peter’s use. So, I went in and I saw this fella and he was like, ‘Girl, you are in trouble.’ I was like, ‘Okay, but, how much longer till I get better?’ And he was like, ‘Never. You might never get better. What do you mean?’ And I’m like, ‘But I could probably go out and have a match tomorrow…’ and I just kept trying to talk him into telling me I could do it I guess is what it was and finally, I walked out of that office and I’m like, ‘I don’t think he’s right.’ So I went and I had another match and that was absolutely the last match that I ever had because it was a disaster. I don’t remember any of it. I don’t even remember being in there, none of it, right? And afterwards, what was the result? Well, I had a 10-minute match and then I was like death-sick, couldn’t move for months because I’d made these choices. So yeah, long story short: I got post-concussion syndrome and it wasn’t even a possibility anymore. For so long, I was trying to convince myself that, ‘Well if I found the right partner and I took the right bumps’ and that’s not how wrestling works. You don’t go in with a hundred requirements before. Oh, you can’t do all these things to me but we’re gonna go out and tear the roof off this place. It’s just not safe so, yeah, and then that’s when I was like, okay, yay! Plan B. Oh wait, I don’t have one.

In April of 2020, Natalya posted a photo of herself and Jamie on Instagram. She noted that Jamie was one of her first matches and she loved being in the ring with her. She added that Henwood helped her so much in her early years. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit AEW Unrestricted with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 8757 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.