For the past decade, he’s made his way in and out of the ring. The wrestling ring, where opponents battle it out, is notorious for being unpredictable. Machado will have faced the whole possible spectrum of pro-wrestlers in his time, not only in size.
Finding yourself face-to-face with the stoic one day and the hooligan the next day isn’t unheard of in the wrestling world. All that you have to do is come-to-blows with them in a tasteful and artful manner.
The performative side of pro-wrestling influenced a whole generation
There’s a certain element of entertainment to be found in this spectacle. Of course, the same aurora of titillation, daring, and edge-of-your-seat nerves applies to most sports that involve a good brawl.
Unlike in other combat sports, however, you couldn’t claim that pro-wrestling is all about winning. Drama, performance, and storytelling underline each hit or body-slam.
Machado would have watched the wrestling greats showcase this in his infancy. The Rock, Steve Austin, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, and Chris Jericho formed an unrivaled era of showmanship. The line between performer and athlete blurred.
Their images flashed across screens at all times of the day, including advertisements, posters, merch, and more. For the first time ever, pro-wrestling was mainstream.
A noteworthy fixture of this time was how fast kids pro-wrestling toys were designed and distributed before being taken from the shelves by young, eager wrestling fans. In fact, most new-wave, contemporary pro-wrestlers can point back to this time as being their inspiration.
Machado was part of this group, watching on in awe as his idols performed on the screen. He would’ve witnessed the heart-gripping intensity of the carefully-crafted drama unfold before him.
A wave of skepticism and worry gripped the nation, parents attempted to censor their kid’s exposure to various media forms.
However, unlike his contemporaries, Machado may have found himself in a setting rather different from the expected. The late 00s was a time of parental angst. Whole advocacy groups of scared moms and concerned dads rose up around whatever kids were interested in at the time.
And media outlets entertained the idea. The collective fear, ever-snowballing, was sought to put an end to by some diligent researchers. Decidedly fed up with the mass hysteria and looking for a new research topic, they delved into how watching violence affects kids’ minds.
As it turns out, violent videogames and wrestling weren’t causing anger in children – it was watching too much tv. The unwelcomed revelation didn’t put an end to the anti-wrestling campaign.
Machado’s grandfather paid no heed to the hysteria
However, a young Machado didn’t have to bother himself with such things. He may even have been blissfully unaware. Unbeknownst to him, a revolution was happening in his own sitting-room – his grandfather was watching wrestling with him.
Machado’s grandfather, born and bred in Portugal, was not yet even able to speak English. Perhaps then, it was the more visual aspect of pro-wrestling that drew him to it. Or, as is easier to expect – it was his grandson’s passion.
Over time, the loving grandfather picked up on English through watching tv. Having the option of watching other things did nothing to change his pro-wrestling viewing. Wrestling had become something more than entertainment for Cory and his Grandfather; it was something to bond over.
As anyone could expect, wrestling was gaining a grip on Machado’s heart. Never was there a more fertile ground to create aspiring wrestlers. The images beamed into homes across the country inspired dreams. For Machado, he had his grandfather to validate these dreams.
While research has shown time and time again that too little elder validation leads to doubts and underperformance in kids. Over-validation, on the other hand, can cause eager kids to shoot for the stars and become disheartened (give up) when they do not reach them.
Cory’s grandfather had found the goldilocks zone. The perfect middle was just right to fan the flame that had been lit within the still young child.
Machado had an early start in pro-wrestling
In his late teenage years, Machados dreams and potential had finally merged. His hopes of becoming a pro-wrestler had come to fruition. His grandfather’s subtle support had paid off.
While many pro-wrestling hopefuls drop off over the years, whether from lack of motivation, or unfeasibility, Machado vaulted into the ring.
However, for a wrestler to stand out among many, it’s not enough to just fight. There needs to be some chutzpah, something the crowd can get their teeth into and rally behind. Usually, the chosen method of holding crowd attention in pro-wrestling is creating a persona – a character.
There are generally no limits on what this character can be. On the one hand, the notorious Undertaker affects a rather macabre, fatal, all-black look while Rey Mysterio is a swift, quick-moving, Mexican powerhouse.
There’s room to essentially “play-around” with who you choose to be in the wrestling world. While it’s best these personas remain static throughout a wrestler’s career, they can claim the liberty to change it at will.
For Machado, he opted for one of the most “glam,” looked-up-to figures, particularly popular in Portugal and not standing great chances in a ring – a footballer. It seems he’d picked the humorous route.
Machado made a name for himself on the pro-wrestling scene
A natural performer, Machado captured the interest of the pro-wrestling world. It wasn’t long before a fan-base started to grow. Nowadays, on Twitter, Instagram, and even his own website, a loyal support-base is evident.
Just through a quick look at Machado’s social media accounts, you get the idea that he has bigger fish to fry than pro-wrestling. His aspirations extend past the ring and into a world of motivation, positivity, community, and above all – charity.
In fact, no matter where you look, there’s a sense of budding-philanthropist to Machado.
A growing interest in matters outside of pro-wrestling: On a mission to take fight world hunger
Typical of pro-wrestling bravado, he outlines his life-goal to be feeding 7 billion people. His social media profile bios are even adorned with the hashtag #ENDHUNGER. But, with his drive, unbridled confidence, and self-assurance, could there be a hint of possibility in it?
While the verdict is out, it’s tilting towards a yes. As it stands, Machado has already been capable of feeding 21,000 people in need, citing his motivation as ending world hunger. He’s been on the scene, and on the ground in soup kitchens and other charity events where gaining the first-hand experience of world hunger is possible. Moreover, his influence has spread through Portugal, Mexico & the U.S., and even reaching further afield, all areas in which he’s currently sewing his charitable roots.
However, it’s clear that there’s a general base of “good” with Machado that could possibly be the driving force behind his philanthropic inclinations.
While having achieved almost every lofty goal he’s set his mind to, he’s shared the spoils on his successes every step of the way. It appears that the majority of his good deeds remain under wraps while he chooses to shed light on those that require attention.
Paying respects through his passion
Notably that of the case of Ashley Carlson. Carlson, a young woman with dreams of being a nurse and remembered by her loved ones as being incredibly caring and giving, tragically passed away in a 2014 car crash.
Gripped by the loss, Machado decided to honor the life Carlson had lived and brought attention to road safety failings across the country. Focusing mainly on the charitable and loving nature Carlson had shown throughout her life, Machado urged his followers to not let the good die.
This was not a once-off for Machado who has made a point of honoring the dead through his wrestling, life, and fanbase. Alyssa Byrne, Ashley Donohoe, Jack, Andres, Alan, and Jose who’s tragic deaths Machado has expressed his sympathies for.
Who is Machado now and what are his plans for the future?
What’s clear is that Machado’s persona has evolved over time. As he has unabatedly continued his pro-wrestling career, he’s left his care-free, flippant footballer guise behind and taken on a more serious role.
While he can still be found playing the many different roles in wrestling as many different characters Machado has risen above being just the class clown (though he can yet be seen wearing a clown nose before his fights.) Naturally, true to form, he continues to take part in the very heart and soul of his sport – performance.
But now, there’s more substance behind every show. A substance that perhaps harkens back to his early days watching wrestling with his grandfather. It appears that the tenderness that existed between them then is now turned outwards into the world through lofty goals.
As a man who claims to have “failed at everything” once upon a time, it’s clear that this is no longer the case for Machado. It seems that his primary focus has become a charity, notably ending-world hunger.
This isn’t an easy goal to achieve, with many having tried and are still trying to find the solution.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 815 million people of the earth’s 7.6 billion population are either malnourished or starving day-to-day.
Machado has already made a dent on that number and plans to keep chipping away until it’s a non-issue. With a growing fan-base and unbreakable fighting spirit, who knows how far his dreams may carry him. For more information visit Machado’s website http://www.corymachado.net