Ocala wrestler prepares to make professional debut

Hans will wrestler for All Elite Wrestling July 16 in Orlando
Jamal Hans stands in the ring at Top Rope Wrestling Academy.
Jamal Hans stands in the ring at Top Rope Wrestling Academy.(WCJB)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:35 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Over the past two years, Jamal Hans, a.k.a. “Cobra” has put his mind, body, and spirit through the workout of his life in his quest to become a professional wrestler.

TV20 first met Hans when he was starting his journey with the Funking Conservatory School in Ocala, under the guidance of legendary wrestling pioneer, Dori Funk Jr. Since then, Hans has attended three more training facilities across the Southeastern United States. He spent time in Tennessee learning from the renowned Dr. Tom Prichard, then moved down to Atlanta to refine his skills at The Nightmare factory, and recently, trains at Top Rope Wrestling Academy in Jacksonville.

“When I first got into this business I thought ‘oh, this is something I can master in a year, but very quickly I realized that is not the case,” said Hans. “Some people it takes decades to master this craft and some people never master it. Most probably do not.”

All this time he’s been learning, failing, and growing, which has taught him the importance of patience and how becoming a household name isn’t an overnight process.

“If anyone is three years into this business and they know everything they’re lying. I’m still what they call ‘green’ I don’t know if I ever will. That’s part of the reason why we’re in this. The passion, the hard work and everything it takes to make it or even to have the slight chance of even making it.”

Along with practicing his moves in the ring and on the mic, Hans has also gotten to put his training to the test by performing in nearly 400 shows. Even though not all of them have gone according to plan, the experience is still invaluable.

“I’ve had the best night of my life, my first televised match coming back that hotel, everything went great. I remember that feeling. On the opposite side of that I had a terrible match in some tiny little town in the middle of nowhere and I got back to my hotel and I felt the worst I ever felt. This business is a rocky road. It is a rollercoaster of emotion.”

The dedication Hans has shown is nothing short of impressive to his current trainer at Top Rope Wrestling Academy.

“For someone to train in Atlanta, then come here, and do steady shows...he was basically up 24-36 hours with no sleep,” said Top Rope Wrestling Academy Head Trainer Chris Turner. “He has more drive than most people I’ve seen come through the door.”

Turner’s been a part of the wrestling business for more than 30 years, and has seen thousands of people walk in and out of his facilities doors. So, he quickly recognizes when a student has what it takes to become a professional.

“Every time you’re in this ring I tell them, act like you’re in front of millions of people because you are potentially. That’s your opportunity to be the best and you have to take it. They’ll be some disappointments, they’ll be some doors shut in his face. That’s this business. But just keep finding the door that’s gonna open. If you want this keep going for it, keep fighting for it and I see him on top very soon.”

After what seemed like forever, Hans finally got his call up to the big time. He will make his professional debut on Saturday, July 16 at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, when he steps in the ring for All Elite Wrestling.

“This has been a big goal of mine, but getting there is one thing. Now, the crowd is the people who you really have to win over. That’s how you can really have a long career in this business. This is a good step forward and me getting a foot in the door with one of the biggest companies on the planet.”

While Hans plans to soak in the moment of standing where he’s always dreamed of, he’s also focused on doing his best to make turn a once-in-a-lifetime experience into a full-time job.

“Maybe down the road I get offered a permanent job. I want to get to the grand stage. No matter who that is or where that is.”

Despite what happens in the ring on Saturday, Turner believes Hans is on his way to greatness.

“Jamal is one of those that no matter what he does he’s already successful in this business because he’s helped others, he’s learned a lot, and he’s improved, so if he stays on that track he’s definitely gonna make it.”

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