The Passion of Hobo Hank
How the manager of a Chili’s restaurant outside Albuquerque found his true calling as a bone-crushing, head-stomping hero on America’s independent wrestling circuit.
Photos by Eric Williams
It’s Saturday night in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Hobo Hank is winning. His opponent, Ozzie Gallegos, a flannel-wearing, longhaired grunge-type from Seattle, can’t seem to get the upper hand. The crowd is loving it, riled up by Gallegos’ earlier proclamation that “I’m the guy who’s going to beat your hero!”
Hobo Hank is the city’s favorite “babyface” – a wrestling term for “good guy.” He’s a down-on-his-luck everyman who doesn’t always fight clean, but always fights for what’s right. He’ll do what it takes to get ahead, but somehow never quite can.
Gallegos, on the other hand, is a “heel,” mainly by virtue of hailing from out-of-state. Gallegos has slipped out of the ring to dodge Hank’s barrage of blows. But Hank is right behind him, sweaty, grunting and unstoppable. Gallegos comes up against the metal barrier separating the competition area from the seats and Hank is on him, grabbing his head and forcing his face into his greasy armpit. Gallegos struggles for …