Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Getting’ Heat with Mike the Wrestler”. I had planned to open my first blog by telling you that I’ve been honing my craft as a professional wrestler on the Alberta, Canada wrestling scene for six years. I probably would have told you that I’m one of the most hated heels Alberta has to
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, what I’d really like to talk about is the term “brother”. Most casual wrestling fans have probably heard that word once or twice when they’ve caught a rousing Hulk Hogan promo about saying your prayers, and eating your vitamins, brother! Some more diehard fans, or friends of the wrestlers might have heard a conversation between a couple of wrestlers where they called each other brother. And if you’re a wrestler yourself, you likely refer to your fellow wrestlers as brother. My point is, the word brother is very much entrenched in the world of professional wrestling.
But what does the term “brother” mean? Professional wrestlers spend a lot of time together riding up and down the highways, from town to town, show to show. It’s hard for wrestlers not to develop close bonds with each other, so for some it’s a term of endearment, like saying, “you’re my brother”. Others see the term brother as a sign of respect. Whether you’re a heel or a face, wrestlers all go through the same things; going to the ring night after night, putting their bodies on the line to entertain the fans. They leave their blood, sweat, and tears in that ring, and how can’t you respect someone for sharing the same passion as you? Heck, I’ve even heard two women wrestlers call each other “brother”. It seems to transcend gender too! Of course, there are some in the wrestling community that think the whole thing is silly, and too “old school”. From a superficial lens, it might seem a little absurd or antiquated, so they aren’t entirely wrong. That’s not to say they disrespect those that do use “brother”. You’ll hear it used more tongue in cheek, when one wrestler thinks another is being too “wrestlery”, and they and a sentence with “brother, brother”, as a shout out to E & C’s Pod of Awesomeness.
Where does Mike the Wrestler fit into all of this? Well, I take a balanced approach to my use of the term brother. I try to respect tradition, so I use it because “that’s what wrestlers have always done”, but I’m also picky with who I call brother. Brother is usually reserved for the guys and gals in the back that I view like “family”, or the ones who I share “you had to be there” story with. A great example of that would be why I call Cameron Stevens, a local Alberta worker, brother. Cam and I have only shared time in the squared circle together once. It was in a six-man ladder match for a contract guaranteeing a title shot for the winner, similar to Money in The Bank. Everyone in the match were fighting on the outside of the ring, and there I was, in the ring, with a ladder in my hands left with a choice, do I go for the contract, or do I climb that ladder and dive onto everyone on the outside?! I’m sure you can guess which option I went with; I had to attempt to fly – usually something I quite good at. However, this time when I climbed that ladder things were not meant to go my way. I stood tall atop that ladder ready to jump, but when I pushed off to dive the ladder moved and I did not. It felt like I hung in the air for an eternity, with the thought, “this is going to hurt”. As I plummeted straight down to the floor, one man stepped forward and got his body under me… Cameron Stevens! Cam saved me from what would have no doubt been a hospital trip, and likely a long-term injury that would have kept me away from the ring. That’s the closest I’ve ever been to needing my life saved, and Cam was the one to do it. That night Cam earned lifetime “brother status” with me, and I will forever be grateful.
After reading that story, you might be thinking, “that’s not very heelish at all. Is this Mike the Wrestler guy lying to us?”. The fact is, I’m a heel to the core, so you’ll never really know. Quite frankly, you’re lucky that I even took the time to write this for you at all. To steal a line from one of the best in the business, “later marks”!