“How do eat a big pizza? One slice at a time.” That was the greatest lesson you’ve ever taught me.
Many people knew you as Admin. Others knew you as Jack Windham. Your family knew you as Jack Senboutharath. I knew you as my mentor.
To this day, I still am taking the lessons you’ve taught me to heart and I still feel as if you’re guiding me throughout my journey to adulthood. When I first met you, it was through a Facebook advertisement for Wrestling Revealed. Ironically enough, the day that I joined your forum, I was immediately banned for making a spam topic. The story could’ve ended as soon as it began. However, my ban was lifted and I joined the website under the name ‘Devon Williams.’
Throughout my time as a member, I learned how much of an influence you would be to my life and others. I learned to look at pro wrestling through a different point-of-view, thus the name ‘Wrestling Revealed’. “Others cover wrestling. We uncover it.” I also staked my claim on the website by joining different clubs, such as Debate League and Graphics League. I even managed to stir up trouble among some of the members by showing that I would not be looked at differently because of my own personal beliefs. However, at the time, I still only knew you as Admin.
Our first true interaction was when you were looking for someone to help do a design for the website and I stepped up. I was intimidated, but I also wanted to make a name for myself. The first thing I created as a new logo for the site, of which I still have today. I eventually became the leader of both the Debate and Graphics Leagues, as well as a moderator for the website. I became your go-to for the website, to the point to where me and Jeffrey Kienholz became the ones running the show. However, I got way too ahead of myself and I decided that I wanted to branch of from Wrestling Revealed and create my own version of the website called Wrestling Regime. You warned me that I was going to fail and yet I took that as an insult.
I bought my website domain and had many ideas flowing through that I believed I could apply with the help of some of the Wrestling Revealed members. However, just as you predicted, the website went up in flames and I couldn’t handle paying for it. That life lesson in failure was one of the most invaluable lessons that you have taught me. Even though I am still weary of failure, learning how to get back up is still something I am teaching myself.
Wrestling Revealed went through its shares of ups and downs as you, yourself, struggled to keep the site going. Whether it was financially, being burnt out, other commitments, or even just falling out of love of wrestling, you still had that passion to keep going. You reached out to me, Jeffrey, and Justin Johnson through Facebook and we became known as a little group called ‘4MB’. You gave us life lessons and you kept saying how you wanted to meet us in person. We still knew you as Admin, but at this time, you took the moniker of ‘Jack Windham’ and rolled with it. You grew up a huge fan of Barry Windham and The Four Horsemen, so I always felt as if we all were the Four Horsemen of Wrestling Revealed. I was Arn Anderson. Justin was Tully Blanchard. Jeffrey was Barry Windham. And you were our Ric Flair.
Even as us being pure pro wrestling fans, you still went above and beyond wanting to see us succeed. And thanks to you, we witnessed the birth of PNX Works. You wanted to see me put my skills to use through a website, even though I was always against the idea. I only wanted to focus on graphic design and building computers. However, it was not until the day we created my logo that I saw what you were seeing in me. You wanted me to rise from the ashes like a phoenix and show the world what I was capable of. We called it ‘PNX Works’ as both a moniker for ‘phoenix’ as well as my last name ‘Pinnix’. We used shades of red, orange, and gold for the color scheme and Oswald Regular as the font. These simple choices blossomed into the website’s structure. However, the true challenge was what my website would be about.
Showcase. Satisfy. Succeed. That was the catchphrase that I came up with because you wanted me to show what I could do as a designer. Even when I was terrified with speaking to others to sell myself, you still believed in me and what I could accomplish. Day after day. Week after week. I dedicated my time and effort to building my graphic design portfolio and modifying my website.
I remember the first day that I actually spoke to you and heard your voice. I never once saw an actual photo of you, and the one time that I heard you speak was during a podcast that you invited me to speak on. You called me while I was driving down the road through South Carolina with my mom and my family in tow so that she could move from Athens, Georgia to Charlotte, North Carolina. When I saw the phone call and the area code was from Texas, I immediately hung up, thinking it was a spam caller. Then you texted my number and said “Hey is this Darius? This is Jack. I wanted to hit you up because I remember seeing your number on your resume.” Since then, we would talk frequently about life, your background, things that I never would have expected you to have done in your life, your family, the friends you’ve lost, and everything in between. This was the same Jack I knew. However, there was a voice that I associate with this person that I have never seen before.
You still guided me with what you hoped that I would do beyond college and with me selling myself as both a graphic designer and a website designer. Even during the times to where I was terrified about losing both a client and dear friend of mine due to not being able to reach out to you, you still managed to come through. I remember going to WrestleMania 33 with all of my best friends because you said that you should check it off of my bucket list. Two years before that, you also convinced me to go to Bound For Glory in the same scenario. I have photos from both events that I personally cherish.
And then you suggested for me, Jeffrey, Justin, and you to all meet each other in person for WrestleMania 34. I truly wish that I knew the reason back then because I know it now.
Over the months that we talked, you continually mentioned to me about the friends who you’ve tragically lost along the way. We spoke about religion and you wanting to see me succeed at all costs. You gave me advice on how to handle taking care of my sick mom, even going so far as to speak to her yourself over the phone. You even sent me a photo of yourself and that shattered my mind’s thoughts of what I imagined you to look like. However, what was the most haunting thing is that I always jokingly told you that you ‘were not allowed to die until you saw me succeed’.
I remember you calling me one night and you sounded deathly ill to the point to where I was thoroughly concerned. You could barely put two words together without coughing. I suggested for you to go to the hospital immediately and you agreed. Then it happened.
One day in early March of 2018, I was at my best friend Michelle’s place, working on potted plants for my apartment and then I got a phone call. I saw that it was your number, so I introduced myself as normal to you. However, it wasn’t you on the other line. It was your brother. He asked me, “Hey are you Darius? The one that Jack talks about all the time?” I said yes and then I heard the one thing that I had always feared.
“Jack’s dead. He died from pneumonia last night.”
Those two words hit me to my very core and it was like I was hit head-on by a speeding truck. My entire foundation came crumbling down. I have dealt with death before, as well as lost a mentor in the past that also crushed me. However, this was different. This was unreal.
I sat my phone down and with my remaining mental fortitude, I told Michelle, “My mentor just died.” At that very moment, a rush of memories and pain hit me and I couldn’t hold back the tears. I sat at the table crying for someone that I never met in person, but someone I knew as pretty much a close family member. The pain was real. However, Michelle told me something that I needed to hear. “There’s no point in crying. Move on.” She was right. You wouldn’t have wanted to see me in that state to begin with.
I had to bottle up my emotions and move forward. I always felt as if the day would have ever come, that I would be the one responsible for the rebirth and continuation of Wrestling Revealed. However, in your honor, I notified everyone that knew you through Facebook that you died and that Wrestling Revealed would be laid to rest alongside you. Your legacy touched many lives of those, whom I haven’t talked to in years.
Fast-forward to today and I can tell you that I now work in a position that is exactly like how I work with PNX Works, as well as working with graphic and web designs as a business. I am also a more mature and respectable individual who still takes your guidance to heart. Me, Jeffrey, and Justin still have your Facebook profile up in our group chat as our leader. Without your influence, I truly would not be where I am today.
You being gone is still unbelievable to me, but hopefully this letter of dedication is a way that I can finally close this chapter. I said that you could not die without seeing me succeed. And yet, I succeeded the moment I realized that you became my mentor. Therefore, I dedicate PNX Works to you.
Thank you for everything, Jack.
Your student, your friend, your biggest influence