Ed McGuckin remembers his childhood in the Bronx when he and his friends would wrestle on old mattresses in his backyard.That passion for wrestling never left as the 27-year-old McGuckin turned his pro-wrestling dream into a reality.
As a child, McGuckin was always fascinated by the world of professional wrestling. Whether is was staying up late to watch WWF monday night raw or wrestling with childhood friends in his backyard, wrestling had always been a part of his life.
“I wanted to be a wrestler for literally as long as I could remember, some of my earliest memories as a kid were of watching wrestling,” said McGuckin.
McGuckin hangs around the neighborhood, working out at the gym near his house and
drinking at the local pubs. His friends know him as Ed, a guy from the neighborhood, but his fans know him as “Jigsaw”, a high-flying, trash talking masked wrestler.
“It’s hard for me to take him seriously when I see him wrestling,” said Edward Hogarty a childhood friend to McGuckin. “His mask is supposed to be intimidating but I know it’s just Ed under there and it actually makes me laugh, said Hogarty.
McGuckin attributes his passion for wrestling to some of his childhood idols such as the loud and flamboyant “Ultimate Warrior”. “Seeing guys like warrior wrestle would always get me so pumped up as a kid,” said McGuckin. As he got older, McGuckin expanded his wrestling fandom to other forms outside of the WWF such as Lucha Llibre style of Mexico and companies like New Japan Pro Wrestling which enriched his love for the sport. “This was some of the most athletic wrestling I had ever seen and I was hooked,” said McGuckin.
McGuckin began to explore the possibility of becoming a wrestler when he tore his Achilles tendon in high school and was forced to give up playing basketball and football. “ I had always been a huge fan of pro wrestling so the idea of one day stepping foot inside the ring was always in the back of mind, but I always assumed it was a longshot,” said McGuckin.
After his Achilles had healed, basketball and football seasons had already passed and McGuckin was left looking for a new way to stay in shape until the upcoming basketball season. “In an act to just keep active I found a pro wrestling school, at the time it was just for fun and to kill time until I could play basketball again but I became hooked and never played high school sports again, I was fully engulfed in the pro wrestling world,” said McGuckin. After joining “Chikara Wrestling” based in Philadelphia, McGuckin decided to give pro wrestling a real chance as a career.
McGuckin’s wrestling career would then take off as he became “Jigsaw” a name he claims was given to him by wrestling buddy Mike Quackenbush of Chikara Wrestling. “Jigsaw” started gain fans in the underground wrestling world and McGuckin began wrestling for any company that was interested.
Certain rigors come with the life of a professional wrestler. Traveling is obviously one major aspect of professional wrestling that would keep some people from pursuing there dreams. McGuckin has a different approach to the traveling he has done as a wrestler.
“I feel extremely lucky and grateful for this path I’ve chosen because I don’t know if I would have ever left the tri-state area if not for the opportunities wrestling has given me,” said McGuckin. McGuckin has wrestled in 31 states as well as Europe, Mexico and Canada. At the end of November, McGuckin will be embarking on his first voyage to Japan. He is scheduled to spend three weeks in Japan touring with Osaka Pro Wrestling.
As a career, McGuckin has been able to support himself fairly well as a professional wrestler, especially when he wrestled for “Ring of Honor” a more high profile wrestling company. “ I’ve been able to get by financially but there really isn’t a 401K or retirement plan in this business and if you want to survive you need to very smart with the money you make,” said McGuckin. McGuckin also works part time as a personal fitness trainer and was an elevator operator for a private building in Manhattan as he took time off from wrestling this past summer.
Unfortunately, McGuckin understands that he will someday have to give up wrestling. “ I do plan to stop, I love pro wrestling and everything its given me but at the same time no ones body is meant to do this forever, the body breaks down, this business cripples people, I’ve set a plan to make sure I get out before my body tells me I have to get out.” said Mcguckin.
McGuckin now has fans from all over the country and even had his own action figure made. According to McGuckin however, it is the love of the sport that brings all the joy. “Pro wrestling has taken me places around the world I would never thought possible, I met great friends and childhood idols, I love this business because there is simply nothing else like it, every bump and bruise has been rewarded with accomplishments and friendships that I would never give up for anything in the world,” said McGuckin.