(WCMH) — A Dayton bouncer who is credited with saving lives during the Dayton mass shooting earlier this year has been named an honorary WWE NXT champion.
Jeremy “Pitbull” Ganger, a professional wrestler for years, was presented with a NXT title belt and named an honorary champion by WWE executive vice president Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque.
Triple H introduced Ganger as a real hero.
“There is a saying that heroism is not only in the man but in the occasion. Tonight we are honored to have a real hero at NXT Live. Please welcome to the NXT arena a man whose bravery saved countless lives during this terrible tragedy in Dayton, Ohio,” Triple H said.
The crowd repeatedly chanted “Jeremy” after Ganger was introduced and then clapped and chanted: “Thank you, Jeremy!” over and over again as he stood in the ring next to Triple H.
Ganger has said he was determined to block gunman Connor Betts from entering the Ned Peppers bar on Aug. 4 when Betts, armed with an assault-style rifle, shot killed nine people and wounded dozens more in Dayton’s historic Oregon District.
He is seen in surveillance video grabbing people and pulling them into the bar.
Ganger has told media outlets he “would’ve died” before allowing the gunman in the bar.
Police fatally shot Betts within 30 seconds of when he started shooting.
Triple H told the crowd that Ganger is “one of us” and described the bouncer as someone who has been a “sports entertainer” for the last 12 years.
“We brought him here today to be amongst his brothers and sisters here in NXT and in front of all you,” Triple H said. “Normally, we reserve things like this for Super Bowl champions or World Series champions. But you’re a man whose heroism far surpasses anything that can happen on a field or in this ring.”
After Triple H presented Ganger with the title belt and named him an honorary champion, the crowd applauded repeatedly chanted:
“You deserve it!”