Hopefully, you’ve been reading those other articles on Pro Wrestling Post and you’re all shined up because, like a good heel, I’m about to cut you marks off! It’s time for the latest entry of Gettin’ Heat with Mike the Wrestler.
You must all be racking your brains trying to figure out what I’m going to write about this time. I don’t want to see you all hurt yourselves thinking too hard, so I’ll just get into it…
I’m not going to sit here and preach to you like I’m some battle-tested, twenty year veteran of the wrestling business because that would be disingenuous. What I will do though is share some of the knowledge I’ve picked up over my six years (and counting) career.
Professional wrestling is not a career choice for the faint of heart. It is the kind of endeavor you pursue because you LOVE it. In your early days, that love is going to be tested, again and again, and again. If you’re one of the lucky ones (or smart ones depending on how you view it) who gets to train at a school before you work your first match, be prepared to put in some hard work. You will be pushed to the limit, both mentally and physically, most times before you even step foot in the ring. The blow-up drills alone will have you cursing yourself forever wanting to try this out. Once you finally do get into the ring, you learn to bump. Often times those first few bumps are eye openers…
“Oh damn, this actually hurts” is a phrase I have heard many times. “I thought the ring was padded and had springs” is another favourite that makes me laugh. Nope, that’s a thin layer of canvas stretched over the top of less than an inch of foam which rests on top of steel and plywood. To say a wrestling ring is unforgiving is an understatement. The first few days you will leave practice, you will have bumps, bruises, and will likely question your life choices up until this point. “Why would someone do this to themselves willingly?!” you might even think. Remember when I said your love would be tested?
Unfortunately for me, I was not one of the “lucky ones” who went to a school before starting my career. I’ve been one of the wrestlers who has gotten a majority of their training “on the job”. There are pros and cons to this method of becoming a wrestler. A big pro is that you get actual match experience right away. A big con is that you get actual match experience right away. I’ve tried to block out the horrors of my first professional wrestling match because WOW was it bad. I didn’t have custom gear and I didn’t have a character. I barely had two hours of “training” under my belt. It was as close to naked out there as I could have been, short of actually dropping my pants and exposing myself.
My love was tested in a way blow up drills, and bumps alone couldn’t test it. My love had gone through an unparalleled level of embarrassment that I wouldn’t wish on the biggest goody two shoes face. It was in that moment of complete vulnerability that I knew I never wanted to feel embarrassment like that again. I wanted to get better. I NEEDED to get better. Even after that “bad taste” of wrestler life, I knew I wanted more. I knew I was meant to be a professional wrestler.
That’s the thing about being a professional wrestler; no matter how you end up in the ring, when you’re in front of the crowd you’re on the spot. There are no redo’s, no cuts, and certainly no second takes. You’re in the spotlight and it is go time. Whether you worked your way through a school, or you went the route of “on the job” training, you are at the mercy of your ability to connect with the crowd. So you had best be damn sure that you’re ready, willing, and able to handle falling flat on your face and have that feeling of nakedness wash over you. I promise you that it will happen one day. Like I said from the start, professional wrestling is not a career choice for the faint of heart.
We’ve reached that point again, I’ve shared enough, and it’s time for me to go back to heeling on all those straight-laced good guys. They’re just the worst… To quote one of the greats, “Later marks”!