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He dropped everything to move from Wasilla, Alaska to Davenport, Iowa. But for high-flying, pro wrestler “Iceberg” Deonn Rusman, that was nothing compared to overcoming two ACL injuries that threatened to take away his WWE dreams.

How far would you go to chase a dream?

Meet professional and aspiring WWE wrestler Deonn Richardson, better known by his fans as the “Iceberg Deonn Rusman.”

The 30-year-old says he “dropped everything and left my family in Alaska to chase this dream” and train at Davenport’s renowned wrestling academy, Black and Brave, located along the riverfront.

“The Iceberg” takes a little time to get focused before going in the ring.

The school trains aspiring professional wrestlers in an intense 12-week program, where they learn the complicated, dramatic, and acrobatic stunts, hallmarks of the WWE’s theatrical events. After graduating from the program, Deonn stayed on to train future pro wrestlers.

“We teach students how to pull punches and practice the moves correctly and safely so they look real. My favorite stunt is called the ‘taker dive.’ In the ring, I’ll hit and jump the ropes and then fly out into the audience, sort of like crowd surfing.

Fans make pro wrestling come alive

“Our fans are great and live vicariously through wrestlers. The fans suspend their disbelief for an enjoyable action-packed show. I was the quietest kid ever before wrestling school, but it really got me out of my shell and let me show the world who I really am.

“I seem more mean when I wrestle, but I’m a good guy. I’m a dominant good guy. That’s just my character.” – The Iceberg, Deonn Rusman

“The demands on my body are epic. Pro wrestling is basically a Broadway fight. I perform a lot of theatrical and athletic stunts along with acting. We lift and jump and there is always a big risk. You may get hurt but look good doing it. I am a bigger guy so I get to do more of the throwing people around.”

“The Iceberg” is flying high again – this time with two, surgically repaired ACLs.

While Deonn’s “Iceman” persona is cold as ice in the ring, two back-to-back injuries in both knees put his dreams of WWE glory on hold. Between the summer of 2021 and the spring of 2022, Deonn tore his ACL in both knees.

“My first injury happened in the ring, but I hobbled my way through the show. Eight months later, the second knee injury happened in Moline at a local show and was more involved.

“A wrestler jumped off the top rope, and as I caught him in mid-air, my knee just popped. It gave out, and I fell to the ground. I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ I thought my wrestling career would be over.”

It’s good to have a doctor in your corner

Dr. Suleman Hussain, ORA Orthopedics

ORA Sports Medicine Surgeon, Dr. Suleman Hussain, performed both surgeries that reconstructed and rehabilitated Deonn’s knees.

“He tore one side first, rehabbed, and returned to wrestling, then tore his other knee. Wrestlers have a lot of forces and directions that go through their limbs. It’s a high-contact and strenuous sport with great risk for injury.”

In the outpatient procedure, Dr. Hussain took a portion of Deonn’s patellar (kneecap) tendon and some bone where it is attached to reconstruct his damaged ACL. The procedure is called an “ACL reconstruction with BPTP (Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone) autograft” that uses Deonn’s own tissue to rebuild his torn ligament.

Dr. Hussain says it’s an outpatient procedure that requires four to six months of rehab with a return to sports after eight months.

“He’s a highly motivated individual,” says Dr. Hussain, “And he’s become like family here at ORA. We understood his profession is a long-term dream, and he’s done really well. He knows how important patience, preparation, and rehabilitation is for success.”

“When I first met Dr. Hussain, I wanted surgery right away,” recalls Deonn. “He leveled with me and said I needed to be patient, let the swelling go down, and he was right. Both surgeries went well, my physical therapy has been successful.

Life – and the show – must go on

“These injuries put my WWE goals on hold, and that was very nerve-wracking. I couldn’t go to shows. It was so hard, and it has been humbling.” In 2023, Deonn came back and performed his first official match in March. “My knees are stronger, and I am jumping further and higher than I ever felt before. I don’t even need to wear braces.”

“The Iceberg” shows off a familiar-looking action figure made by a fan.

With clearance to get back into the ring, Deonn says he’s hoping his future begins with landing a WWE or AEW contract based out of Florida. “My wrestling career has been a rollercoaster, but I’m back on the road again.”

Deonn says professional wrestlers perform all over the country, driving or flying to the East and West Coasts, the Midwest, and Canada for shows. “The shows are like concerts for wrestling fans. The promoter brings in talent. They book a show, and it’s bodybuilding and acting, like being a stunt double.

“Pro wrestling is an art, a performance combat art, and it can relate to all genres and facets of entertainment. It really can be fun for everyone to watch and enjoy.

“Once I am a year past my last surgery date, I hope to try out with the WWE again. I’m easing back into the schedule, and I’m not going to rush. I still see Dr. Hussain for checkups, and his advice has always paid off.

“He’s still making sure I’m strong enough to beat up people, and I’m not the one getting hurt. He is one of the best, and I wouldn’t be where I am at without him.”

See you in the ring, Iceberg.

How far would you go to chase a dream?

Meet professional and aspiring WWE wrestler Deonn Richardson, better known by his fans as the “Iceberg Deonn Rusman.”

The 30-year-old says he “dropped everything and left my family in Alaska to chase this dream” and train at Davenport’s renowned wrestling academy, Black and Brave, located along the riverfront.

“The Iceberg” takes a little time to get focused before going in the ring.

The school trains aspiring professional wrestlers in an intense 12-week program, where they learn the complicated, dramatic, and acrobatic stunts, hallmarks of the WWE’s theatrical events. After graduating from the program, Deonn stayed on to train future pro wrestlers.

“We teach students how to pull punches and practice the moves correctly and safely so they look real. My favorite stunt is called the ‘taker dive.’ In the ring, I’ll hit and jump the ropes and then fly out into the audience, sort of like crowd surfing.

Fans make pro wrestling come alive

“Our fans are great and live vicariously through wrestlers. The fans suspend their disbelief for an enjoyable action-packed show. I was the quietest kid ever before wrestling school, but it really got me out of my shell and let me show the world who I really am.

“I seem more mean when I wrestle, but I’m a good guy. I’m a dominant good guy. That’s just my character.” – The Iceberg, Deonn Rusman

“The demands on my body are epic. Pro wrestling is basically a Broadway fight. I perform a lot of theatrical and athletic stunts along with acting. We lift and jump and there is always a big risk. You may get hurt but look good doing it. I am a bigger guy so I get to do more of the throwing people around.”

“The Iceberg” is flying high again – this time with two, surgically repaired ACLs.

While Deonn’s “Iceman” persona is cold as ice in the ring, two back-to-back injuries in both knees put his dreams of WWE glory on hold. Between the summer of 2021 and the spring of 2022, Deonn tore his ACL in both knees.

“My first injury happened in the ring, but I hobbled my way through the show. Eight months later, the second knee injury happened in Moline at a local show and was more involved.

“A wrestler jumped off the top rope, and as I caught him in mid-air, my knee just popped. It gave out, and I fell to the ground. I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ I thought my wrestling career would be over.”

It’s good to have a doctor in your corner

Dr. Suleman Hussain, ORA Orthopedics

ORA Sports Medicine Surgeon, Dr. Suleman Hussain, performed both surgeries that reconstructed and rehabilitated Deonn’s knees.

“He tore one side first, rehabbed, and returned to wrestling, then tore his other knee. Wrestlers have a lot of forces and directions that go through their limbs. It’s a high-contact and strenuous sport with great risk for injury.”

In the outpatient procedure, Dr. Hussain took a portion of Deonn’s patellar (kneecap) tendon and some bone where it is attached to reconstruct his damaged ACL. The procedure is called an “ACL reconstruction with BPTP (Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone) autograft” that uses Deonn’s own tissue to rebuild his torn ligament.

Dr. Hussain says it’s an outpatient procedure that requires four to six months of rehab with a return to sports after eight months.

“He’s a highly motivated individual,” says Dr. Hussain, “And he’s become like family here at ORA. We understood his profession is a long-term dream, and he’s done really well. He knows how important patience, preparation, and rehabilitation is for success.”

“When I first met Dr. Hussain, I wanted surgery right away,” recalls Deonn. “He leveled with me and said I needed to be patient, let the swelling go down, and he was right. Both surgeries went well, my physical therapy has been successful.

Life – and the show – must go on

“These injuries put my WWE goals on hold, and that was very nerve-wracking. I couldn’t go to shows. It was so hard, and it has been humbling.” In 2023, Deonn came back and performed his first official match in March. “My knees are stronger, and I am jumping further and higher than I ever felt before. I don’t even need to wear braces.”

“The Iceberg” shows off a familiar-looking action figure made by a fan.

With clearance to get back into the ring, Deonn says he’s hoping his future begins with landing a WWE or AEW contract based out of Florida. “My wrestling career has been a rollercoaster, but I’m back on the road again.”

Deonn says professional wrestlers perform all over the country, driving or flying to the East and West Coasts, the Midwest, and Canada for shows. “The shows are like concerts for wrestling fans. The promoter brings in talent. They book a show, and it’s bodybuilding and acting, like being a stunt double.

“Pro wrestling is an art, a performance combat art, and it can relate to all genres and facets of entertainment. It really can be fun for everyone to watch and enjoy.

“Once I am a year past my last surgery date, I hope to try out with the WWE again. I’m easing back into the schedule, and I’m not going to rush. I still see Dr. Hussain for checkups, and his advice has always paid off.

“He’s still making sure I’m strong enough to beat up people, and I’m not the one getting hurt. He is one of the best, and I wouldn’t be where I am at without him.”

See you in the ring, Iceberg.