So You Really Want to be a Pro Wrestler" (Part 1)
August 6, 2004 by Pino Fonseca
Dreams of fame, fortune, and the world championship belt around your waist. Well, Wake up...Get focused. This ain't wonderland anymore Alice!
That's right...No more wishing, hoping, fantasizing but the time has come to face yourself and ask if you really have what it takes to do this. I mean are you willing to make the physical, emotional, and mental sacrifices that go into this profession.
So you've been working out and maybe even won a street fight or two. You know the moves from watching the matches on TV. You even have a gimmick and the talk down, but can you walk the talk, not just talk the talk" Remember, it takes a hell of allot more than being born a genetic freak to succeed in this business.
Like most fans of wrestling I've always wanted to "don" the tights and hit the squared circle, but for whatever reason I procrastinated, and got caught up in trying to make ends meet. So here I am older than most people who start out wrestling, but am I too old" Will a couple of injuries keep me from living my dreams" Am I too short" These questions and many more came up, so be optimistic but also realistic.
Make a personal inventory, ask yourself questions why you want to do this" Will you make it through the many obstacles that you will be confronted with" What are your strengths and weakness' as a person and as a potential pro wrestler in training"
Research the schools, Training methods, Workout and Nutrition tips, etc.
Start visualizing (not fantasizing) yourself training hard, going to the gym, gaining the muscle and the skills it takes. Do you want to be a baby face or a heel" What's your style" How may moves and holds do you have in your arsenal" What's going to be your finishing move"
Find a success coach, mentor, wrestling instructor. Someone who can teach you the basics without getting hurt.
The first wrestling school I went to was Killer Kowalski's School in Malden, MA. (Since than it has moved to another city). This is where Triple H and Chyna trained. The place was upstairs from a local pub where bar brawls were a way of life. I saw a guy get knocked out on the sidewalk with one punch. I brought a friend with me to check out the school as we could hear the sound of kaos and pandemonium as we climbed the stairs in anticipation. It was inside an old warehouse. There it was, the ring with about 10 wrestlers training hard, doing drills, etc. And there he was Living Legend Killer Kowalski still as mean and huge as I had remembered from all the old photo's. He jokingly gave my friend the infamous Claw he was known for, but was really a nice guy. Unfortunately the timing wasn't right... EXCUSE 977 - there were money issues, etc...The truth was my passion had subsided, and I didn't think I could be as successful as I wanted to at 5'10 185 lbs. at the time. Killer encouraged me at that first meeting and said allot of wrestlers are smaller than I think, etc. but I lost the drive back while I was in Boston.
Now it's 2 years later and I find myself checking out wrestling schools again. This time it's in Santa Monica, CA. at the INOKI DOJO. They train wrestlers in various styles of martial arts as well as pro wrestling. Trained or untrained athletes are all expected to complete the same criteria before being pushed for a booking. Inoki Dojo is N J P W's headquarters in the US. And founded by another Living Legend Japanese phenomenon Antonio Inoki. I did meet him a few years back at the Sports Club LA. And he was also a really nice guy.
Let me start by saying I haven't actually been there yet and I'll tell you why. On their web site they said to submit a resume, Including the following information: Age, height, weight, career background (organization, championships, and etc.), finish moves, favorite wrestlers, contact information, teachers, martial arts background, and anything else that you would like to add in. They were looking for 18 to 30 years old who are at least 5'7" and 185 pounds to apply. Some exceptions may apply.
Send a sample video" Any matches if you are a pro. Include your presentation, finish moves, and anything else that you would like to show to promote yourself.
Okay so as I write this I'm working on gaining some more muscle and putting together these prerequisites. I officially joined the local Gym today even though I've been doing construction work, and working as a cook. I need to gain my strength back. At my peak I could bench press 365 for 1 rep and 315 lbs for 5 reps without a spot. I also trained in Boxing, Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, etc...but never to the point of expertise. You know the old saying, "Use it or lose it!"
Last night I decided to try out amateur freestyle wrestling (ala' Kurt Angle) to prepare for Inoki Dojo. First of all, the Instructor was the Ukrainian National Champion and you could tell just by looking at him he'd throw you around like a rag doll if you didn't know what you're doing. It looks a lot easier than it actually is. I had a14 year old Russian Kid giving me the "Fireman's Carry" and taking me down to the mat like I was Ric Flair on a bad night!
So now I'm officially In Training as far as I'm concerned. Amateur wrestling until I get into Inoki's Dojo. Weightlifting, stretching, eating healthy, and the most important thing, passion for my craft.
Let me wrap this up by saying as a kid my favorite wrestlers were Tiger Mask, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Jimmy "Superfly " Snuka...
My name is Scorpino...and my eyes are on the top and so will I...when I strap the championship gold around my waist.
by Pino Fonseca..
Justin Dean wrote:
Firstly, the best of wishes on your endeavours to be a wrestling superstar. Your article was enlightning and interesting.
Im 34, and ive been a wrestling fan for 20 years now. Like you said, ive also dabbled with wrestling training. Im what you may call "genetically gifted", being 6' and 270 lbs of hard earned muscle through 12 or 13 years of body building. About five years ago, just before my daughter was born, i had wrestling training, worked out my own routines and had 2 signature finishing moves. But its not just the moves and the looks. Practically, your life would have to revolve around the wrestling lifestyle, and this is where mine broke down, as i put my daughter before myself and continued to work to keep a roof over our family's heads.
But no tears for me please! As i am now progressing and hope to be a successful body builder, getting a different kind of exposure, within the next 18 - 24 months. Ok, its not the glitz of the WWE, but its getting up there and doing your thing, getting noticed for all the years of hard work, standing out from the norm, and the feeling of personal satisfaction.
Speaking to the other guys in the wrestling gym, it really is a life of hard graft, hard knocks and tough sacrifices, so i take my hat off to anyone who makes it. And i look forward to hearing the name Scorpino in the next few years. So good luck Pino, i hope you achieve your dream. And get that 1 rep bench press up to 400lbs! Do it buddy!
Best of luck! I started training in wrestling a year and a half ago and I wish that I had taken more time to think through everything before I signed up, like you have done. I hope we bump into each other down the road somewhere when Scorpino can defeat The Shnog and capture a title of some kind. Mid-card, heavyweight title, tag title, I don't care. It's just good to see someone put into words the struggles that go with the dream, even before you have match one.
And for the record, my favorite wrestlers are Shane McMahon, Jerry Lynn, and Dusty Rhodes. My finisher is the DDT, and I will hold gold before the end of 2005, so Scorpino and I can have a showdown for gold!
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