Rossville native Joey Lynch appeared on a WWE program Tuesday night. In a time-honored wrestling tradition, he lost.
Lynch fought under the name Steve Irby and took on Akira Tozawa, the former champion of the company's cruiserweight division — a group that generally includes smaller, more acrobatic wrestlers. The match unfolded on WWE 205 Live, a show on the WWE Network that spotlights cruiserweights.
Lynch has traveled the country to compete in independent matches for years. He is affiliated with Face 2 Face wrestling, a training gym in Morrow, Ga., staffed by former WWE wrestlers. According to the gym's Facebook page, Lynch was "performing tryouts" with the WWE earlier this week.
Usually, newcomers to the company fight in "squash" matches, in which they, well, get squashed by an established performer. They are supposed to help a veteran wrestler build rapport with the audience.
On Bleacher Report, Chris Mueller wrote, "Irby was able to get in a surprising amount of offense for someone who was meant to make his opponent look good." Ultimately, according to the WWE, Tozawa won the match with "his patented senton from the top rope."
According to his Facebook page, Lynch graduated from Ridgeland High School in 2005 and used to work at Hutcheson Medical Center.