• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Bluegrass Brawler aims to make history


Former Versailles resident Dereck Higdon has had a life long love for professional wrestling. As a child, he and his father attended the local flea market where they would show live Pay Per View events. His professional name is the Bluegrass Brawler and he has been in the ring preparing to make a name big enough to be noticed by a major wrestling organization. “I'm looking to make my dream a reality,” said Higdon. “I will show everyone from sea to shining sea, and my beloved city of Versailles that nothing is impossible and no dream is too big. So many people want to climb the mountain to reach the top. My mountain doesn't have a top. I just keep climbing. I will always continue to climb. That's what it's all about. Never limit yourself, always continue to go forward.” A graduate of Franklin County High School, Higdon lived in Versailles for nearly 4 years. His professional career began during that span in Woodford County. “I worked at Yokohama Industries as a part of the management team for the 4 years that I lived in Versailles,” said Higdon. “I worked the morning shift and after work, I would drive to Louisville everyday, where I would compete and train at Ohio Valley Wrestling.” After years of training and competing, Higdon said goodbye to his job at Yokohama and left Versailles to further chase his dreams. “It wasn't an easy decision. Yokohama has the best team of employees that I've ever had the privilege of working with,” said Higdon. “I even asked production manager Chad Semrau if they could pick up and move the company to Louisville so I could stay employed and follow my dream at the same time. That's how much I enjoyed the work. Woodford County will always be home to me. It has so much to offer its residents. I enjoyed everyday of the four years in Versailles.” Higdon's ring debut came Oct. 22, 2017 at the Davis Arena in Louisville. His family and friends were in attendance. “I can't describe the feeling I had that night,” said Higdon. “It was special and since then, the Davis Arena feels like home.” Higdon's wrestling coach at Ohio Valley Wrestling, Matt Cappotelli was a hero to him. They created a brother like bond and Higdon was inspired to work harder every day. Cappotelli was battling brain cancer but still showed up every day to inspire his roster of wrestlers. Cappotelli passed away in June and left a void at the gym at Ohio Valley Wrestling, he said. “His spirit will always shine,” said Higdon. “I am honored to be coached and pushed by such a warrior.” The big break that Higdon has been working for presented itself recently when he was invited to compete in Gladiator Sports Network's 1,000th live episode Oct. 10. The event will make history at 4th Street Live in Louisville. This will be the first event of its kind at the venue. Superstars such as Mick Foley, Al Snow, Tommy Dream, Billy Gunn, and many more will be present or in action.

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