COLDWATER — Nick Hahn, a 2004 graduate of Ansonia High School, has decided that WAR, an independent wrestling company he has been associated with out of Lima as an announcer and a wrestler over the years, isn’t for him anymore.
“I’m done with it…for now,” he said. “Never say never. My last match was May 11. In February, I took a step back from WAR. I will always listen for an offer with the same company or another company, whatever.”
He doesn’t regret joining the wrestling circuit.
“I trained in wrestling in 2010 at Body Slammers Wrestling in Lima for three months, and wrestled with different groups, but worked with War the most,” he said.
He was first known as The Mangler and then the Ultimate Athlete Mike Mathis during his wrestling days.
“I wrestled full-time for two years, and then became a full-time ring announcer and wrestled occasionally under my own name,” he said. “ I am a manager in Canton for Ohio Championship Wrestling now and then.”
For the past two years, he organized wrestling benefits for two young people with health issues in Coldwater, where he resides. Last year, he raised $8,000 for Scarlet Unrast and this year raised $6,100 for Shane Homan.
“My favorite wrestling match was last year in my hometown,” he said. “It was a rush to be in that front of that many people.”
When did Hahn become interested in wrestling?
“At birth,” he replied. “I have never known a time I didn’t like wrestling.”
Who are his favorite professional wrestlers?
“Hulk Hogan, and of course, Triple H,” he responded. “Now looking back, I liked Bobby ‘the Brain’ Heenan and Jim Cornett as announcers. I love managing more than wrestling because I can interact with the crowd more. I am in a flux right now…pushing a product for the younger generation.”
He has met Jake Roberts and Brett Hart, and he also got hit in the head with a cookie sheet by Hornswoggle in Marietta, Ohio.
“I had no idea that was going to happen,” Hahn said.
His signature maneuver is the leg drop.
“I used it as my finishing match,” he said. “And I cupped my ear (like Hulk Hogan does). He did it, why can’t I?”
Hahn, who has wrestled in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, also announced mixed martial arts cage fighting for two years.
“I always liked wrestling,” he said. “Mom and Dad were very supportive. When I first mentioned it to Mom, she wasn’t jumping for joy but Dad said, ‘If you want to do something, do it.’”
“Wrestling is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I don’t regret it even a little bit,” he said.
He said his favorite manager’s moment was when he went to the Dustin Batdorff Invitational, a Pro Wrestling benefit event to promote drug awareness in Stark County.
“A buddy I wrestled with lost his brother to addiction,” Hahn said.
In addition to all of the wrestling events he has done, he has worked full-time for Cooper Farm in St. Henry for 11 years. An attendee of Defiance College, he is an umpire at Ohio High School Athletic Association, a softball umpire at USA Softball and ring announcer at Alliance MMA and will continue to do that.
When asked if he caught any flack from the audience at those other athletic events, he beamed, “I haven’t had to body slam anybody yet.”
Hahn said when he was in high school at Ansonia. he was shy more than he is now.
“Wrestling definitely helped me get out of my shell,” he said.
He said his parents, Rick and Diane, have come to his shows and that his sisters, Christian Riffell and Lori Hemmelgarn, have attended a couple of them.
”It’s not for everybody,” he said.
Hahn met his wife, the former Jennifer Van Trees of Fort Recovery, in 2006, and they will celebrate their 10th anniversary on Sept. 12. They have a daughter, Ella, who will turn 8 on June 11.
The couple met on a blind date.
“I was watching football at Mississinawa Valley and the other coach set me up with her,” Hahn recalled. “It was his wife’s half-sister.”
Now, she’s Hahn’s “right hand” and very supportive of him.
“She is always there for me and even helped me in getting raffle prizes for the two events I promoted,” he said. “I could not have had better help. Ella even made a basket to give away. It was a complete family effort.”
What does Ella think of her father wrestling?
“When I wrestled, she was a baby,” said Hahn, who loves being a father. “She thought it was cool when we wrestled in Coldwater.”
He loves spending time with his family.
“This will be our third year for Disney World with my wife and daughter,” he said.
Contact Staff Writer Linda Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (937)569-4315 ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.