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FROM GAMER TO GRAPPLER: How Chris Danger Programmed His Path To The Pros

Chris Danger went from being an onscreen image in a video game to a real-life wrestler, who recently debuted for Deadlock Pro Wrestling.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger | SCREENSHOT: DEADLOCK Pro-Wrestling/youtube

Chris Danger went from being an onscreen image in a video game to a real-life wrestler, who recently debuted for Deadlock Pro Wrestling

Almost every wrestling fan has done it: You get a new wrestling video game, and you create a likeness of yourself to compete inside a virtual ring. Of course, you give yourself cool ring gear and an awesome name to top things off. And that’s exactly what Chris Denker did when he became his digital doppelganger – Chris Danger.

Chris Danger’s wrestling debut | SCREENSHOT: DEADLOCK Pro-Wrestling/youtube

37-year-old Chris Danger is now the newest star for Deadlock Pro Wrestling (based in North Carolina) following his well-documented ascension into the industry. His digitally dynamic story is one that anyone who ever dreamed about going from the sofa to the squared circle can relate to.

On his YouTube channel, Danger produced a documentary about his unique journey. In it, he explains that, in 2014, he began playing a WWE video game and decided to create a character of himself. He said at first, he used his real last name, Denker, but it wasn’t on the default list of names. So he then decided to try and find something that sounded at least similar to his surname.

After tinkering around with the game, he listened to a few options and finally heard it. The perfect ring announcement: Now making his way to the ring… Chris DANGER! And a simulated star was suddenly born.

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Having been a lifelong fan of professional wrestling, he had always dreamed of pursuing the industry. Unfortunately, he was concerned that his size would hold him back. But as he played the game more and more that itch grew. Eventually, he put down the controller and decided to give it a go.

He sought out some close friends who ran Deadlock Pro Wrestling, where Danger eventually began performing as a manager. While working with DPW, his fire to compete began to grow and his interest in the creative side of the business grew. He began evolving in the way he approached wrestling. And, it led him to finally hitting the start button on his in-ring career.

After training for a while, Chris Danger finally fulfilled his dream on November 12th, when he made his pro wrestling debut against one of his trainers, AEW star Shawn Spears, at DPW World’s Strongest 2023. Because of his online status and story, Danger got an ovation that few grapplers get when they walk through the curtain for the very first time.

Chris Danger may not have gone the traditional route to the ring. And many old schoolers would scoff at the idea of someone going from pixels to power slams and from screens to suplexes. But the innovative way that he marketed himself also says something about the ingenuity of the people in today’s pro wrestling landscape.

Chris Denker went from a guy with a controller and a dream to a bona fide pro wrestler. One who debuted against a performer who has wrestled globally for both major US promotions. No matter where his career goes from here, his story will be interesting. For that matter? It already is.

He went for the high score in real life and achieved it. He took something from a virtual world and brought it to the actual world – like any good dreamer should. And as far as what the future holds for him in the ring? Who knows? But we will likely be hearing a lot from Chris Danger in the future. Considering the lengths he has gone to get this far, little is going to hold him back. Because like his t-shirt says, ‘It’s Not A Game Anymore.’

Ryan Boman is the author of the 2023 book, Pop Music & Peanut Butter: A Collection of Essays about Embracing Life with Laughter & Love, and has covered pro sports and wrestling for 30 years. Follow him on social media @RyanKBoman

Ryan K Boman is a freelance writer and author of 'Pop Music & Peanut Butter: A Collection of Essays... More about Ryan Boman

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