ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando man, who is now the first professional wrestler in the world with Down syndrome, is raising money for the Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida.
Vincent Mejia, who goes by Triple V in the ring, helped raise $250,000 for the foundation at Dream Mania last week at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Dream Mania was Mejia’s first wrestling event.
“I won the championship titles,” he said.
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But becoming the professional wrestling world’s newest star didn’t stop Mejia from heading to work the day after the event.
Mejia reported for his shift and even got in a quick lunchtime workout with his tag-team partner and manager Dean “Mojo” Muhtadi. Muhtadi is a former WWE Superstar who wrestled under the name Mojo Rawley. Muhtadi signed Mejia to a contract with his management company Paragon Talent Group.
“He’s our number one client right now, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. He’s getting tons of offers. But it’s such a unique circumstance because now it’s just a feel-good moment for everybody. Anybody that wants to book him that wants to work with him, sponsor him to endorse and partner up with them,” Muhtadi said. “You’re not just getting another wrestler, you’re getting somebody that can really motivate and inspire like someone you can put on the stage that can really cut through and make a difference ... He brings so much more to the table than everybody else. So it’s a lot of pressure.”
Muhtadi partnered with Charlie Rocket and the Dream Machine Foundation to produce Dream Mania. Rocket first learned about Mejia’s dream to become a professional wrestler after his sister was left blind and paralyzed after being drugged on a date.
“Like with Vincent, for example. He was in his bedroom. He had a dream. And most people would say, ‘This is cute.’ But sometimes all people need is a platform. Give them a chance ... Give them a chance. When I saw that footage of Vincent, and how he was able to rise to the occasion and surpass all expectations, it’s just like, wow, you just gotta just give people a chance,” Rocket said.
Muhtadi said Dream Mania was organized in a little more than a week. He said he was “stressed all week about it” as it was Mejia’s first wrestling match, which brings lights, thousands of people and “a lot of distractions.”
“It’s hard to see out there. A lot going through your head. I mean, a lot of people freeze up I legitimately know, former WWE wrestlers that had pay-per-view matches that panicked and just left they just left the arena they couldn’t handle the stress. I was terrified that that was gonna happen with them. And tell you what though, once that bell rang and once he got in the ring, it was business as usual. Like he’s been doing this for years, it was unbelievable,” Muhtadi said.
For Muhtadi, Dream Mania marked a big milestone: His first time back in the ring since a serious battle with COVID in June 2020.
“It was pretty scary because I was going to bed certain nights, barely being able to breathe and it’s like man, if I go to sleep and I can’t breathe, I might not wake up. You know, I was worried about the position that was gonna put my family in. It was pretty horrifying,” Muhtadi said. “I’m still having issues like before our match on Monday, especially when nerves come into a little bit, I could feel with all the smoke and everything going on, I could feel my lungs really struggling, you know, of course, I was nervous for the match, too. You know, but I didn’t know how it was gonna go.”
He said support from Mejia helped ease his nerves and provided the perfect situation to come back to wrestling despite still struggling with breathing after COVID.
“It’s never doing the drills and the movements that tires you surprisingly, it’s the hype and the yelling, which is, of course, 90% of my game. So it was a recipe for disaster. But it actually wasn’t. It all went well. I felt great afterward, it was a great first match back. So much. So I’m ready to get back in the ring on a full-time basis. And luckily, now I have a new tag partner,” he said.
Muhtadi and Rocket now plan to take Dream Mania on a 12-city tour, with the next stop in Los Angeles. They’re still hoping to reach their goal of raising $1 million for the Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida. If you’d like to donate, click here.