Saturday, January 5, 2008
The Advice Blog for Pro Wrestlers
Current mood: contemplative
Happy New Year,
You know it seems I get a lot of Indy and fledgling pro wrestlers who write to me asking for some general advice about how to thrive and improve so I thought I would post a blog for easy reference. Enjoy, I hope.
TIPS for STARTING OUT
Tip 1: When you begin your training ASSUME NOTHING. I don’t care how many behind the scenes documentaries you’ve watched, how many subscriptions you have to Newsletters, or how many shoot interviews you have watched, you know nothing about actually wrestling. Show up in shape with some cardio to boot. 40 mins 4 x a week brisk JOG (no walking) should be a goal. Also begin doing simple Hindu Squats in your home at night a few hours before bed. Start with with 150 (straight NO STOPPING) and as you get stronger work towards the eventual Japanese workout warm up standard of 500-600. Inoki would often regale us in the dojo that he would do 2000 a day and I would think to myself “Damn that seems a bit excessive”, then again he owns his own island and I rent a condo on the Beach….. Advantage Inoki
Tip 2: Find a reputable trainer with actual world/money making experience. Many people will take the easy cheapest route to start wrestling but in reality you get what you pay for. If you inevitably DO take that route always be looking to continue your education beyond the realms of where you start. SO MANY TIMES I see wrestlers who have received LACKLUSTER training who have convinced themselves they have paid there “dues” and are done training. Newsflash YOU ARE NEVER DONE TRAINING! If you think that there is nothing left to learn you most likely SUCK and will never amount to anything. As for schools I recommend, Booker T’s PWA in Texas, Team 3D’s School in Florida, Lance Storms School in Canada, and Les Thatcher’s in the Midwest. DO not ask ME for contact information, do your own research. If you can’t do some SIMPLE research to start your career then I don’t want your deadbeat ass in my industry.
Tip 3: LISTEN and ask Questions only when unsure. It’s amazing how much more you can learn when you shut your mouth and listen. Often times you will be in a drill line waiting your turn. SHUT YOUR F%$!& MOUTH! Do not take that opportunity to talk to the guy in line next to you. A smart man learns from his mistakes but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others too. As a former trainer there is NOTHING worse and more time consuming then correcting the same mistake for 15 different people during class. If they would have seen me correct me the 1st guy in line and made the proper adjustments so much more time could have been dedicated to learning MORE in a session rather than committing time to 1 mistake over and over again. When you don’t pay attention you are just hurting yourself. Conversely if attempting something you feel is potentially dangerous, don’t be afraid to pause and ask a question.
Tips for current wrestlers
Tip 1: If you want to advance in your career you have to FIND opportunity, it does NOT find you. I get so many e-mails from wrestlers asking me how they can get exposure, but at the same time they tell me they have all these things that make it impossible for them to travel and find the work and exposure that they need. Guess what, YOU LOSE. With any success comes greater sacrifice. You have to honestly ask yourself what you are willing to trade for success in wrestling. Please know when you ask yourself this question it is important you be honest with yourself. If your family is supportive then that is a HUGE boost but at the same time sacrifice does not guarantee success. Wrestling owes you nothing and it will remind you of that often.
Tip 2: You do not need an agent on the Indy’s. Many times the schools you train at will try and coerce you into having them become your agent and take a booking fee for booking you out. They will also try and dictate where you can and cannot wrestle. Riiiight.
Tip 3: Sending unsolicited tapes in my opinion does not work. This does not work for a few reasons.
1) Everyone who views these tapes knows that a highlight package can make ANYONE no matter how much they suck, look really good.
2) Most unsolicited tapes find there way into a cardboard box in the corner of an office because people really have NO TIME to watch them all.
If a Terry Taylor, Johnny Ace, Gabe Sapolski does ask you for a tape, then I recommend this format. A short out of character intro give your name, true height and weight, work name, your current city and state of residence (your locale is more important than you realize).
After your intro include your two best matches. When picking these matches take into account crowd interaction and reaction. A tape of you wrestling in font of a hot crowd will do you worlds better than a match you felt you hit a move perfect in. Wrestling scouts have SEEN IT ALL and nothing you will do technically is going to impress them. They are looking for someone who they feel the fans will take to and will hopefully sell tix/PPV’s. Once again you will come to the realization that the Wrestling Business becomes less about wrestling and more about business the more you advance in your career.
Please include two of your best promos also. If the promos coincide with the matches you have sent then that is a bonus. In bookers minds the link between matches and the promos is an important one. Showing the ability to have one lend to the other makes you a more attractive acquisition. Now at the end of your tape if you feel the need to add a few clips you feel are impressive then please do so. NO MUSIC VIDEOS!!!!! And keep the clips to a minimum.
Well that just a few tips that I can offer I hope this helps.
Best of Luck