TNA announced today that they have signed Chris Melendez to a multi-year
agreement. Melendez is a former Army Sergeant who joined the military at the age
of 17 following the events of September 11th, served in Afghaanistan and
returned home as a single-leg amputee after injuries suffered from an IED with
twenty-three days left of his deployment. He was awarded the Purple Heat
Melendez began training with Team 3D Academy in 2012 and will debut for the
company during next week’s Impact tapings in New York City.
Here is the official announcement from ImpactWrestling.com:
TNA Wrestling is happy to announce the signing of a true American
hero! Chris Melendez is a former Army Sergeant, who served his country in
Afghanistan and was awarded a Purple Heart. Because of injuries suffered in
combat, the brave soldier returned home a single leg amputee. Melendez, a member
of the Wounded Warrior Project, had another dream to realize when he returned
home. He dreamed of becoming a pro wrestler.
Chris’ remarkable story
begins as a kid growing up in Spanish Harlem. His grandmother introduced him to
professional wrestling at a young age and, ever since, he has been
“The ability to captivate an audience without having to say any
words is what got me hooked.”
Inspired by his father, a Vietnam Vet, and
compelled by the events of September 11, Chris joined the U.S. Army at the young
age of 17. At age 19, and with only 23 days of his Iraq deployment remaining, he
sustained horrifying life-threatening injuries from an IED.
“When I was
able to open my eyes after the explosion I looked across the battlefield to see
what I thought was a fellow-soldier in need of help. I quickly realized it was
After being resuscitated three times and enduring numerous
emergency surgeries and procedures, Melendez’s long road of recovery took him to
Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Through pure grit and
determination, cutting edge science and technology delivered via the VA, and
support from friends, family and The Wounded Warrior Project, Melendez was
walking with a prosthetic within 40 days.
In 2012, Melendez entered Team
3D Academy of Professional Wrestling in Florida where he trained day-in and
day-out under the tutelage of Bully Ray and Devon. Now, TNA Wrestling can
announce the signing of Chris Melendez to a multi-year contract.
known in the locker room as “Sarge”, Melendez is set to make his debut for the
company during the August 5-7 tapings at New York City’s legendary Manhattan