Guide to Becoming a Professional Wrestler
If you’ve ever dreamed of flying off the top rope or pinning your opponent for a three count, then you might want to learn how to become a pro wrestler. Both a unique and globally popular sport, professional wrestling combines athleticism and toughness with elements of acting.
The top wrestling superstars can make lots of money and go on to careers in movies and television, but there’s also a risk of death or permanent injury. When learning how to become a pro wrestler, it’s important to be realistic about the nature of the business.
It’s also important to approach the sport in the correct way. Proper training and fitness will help minimize the risks, and the following tips should also assist any potential pro wrestling legends.
Know The Risks
Pro wrestling is a dangerous sport. Before you embark on a wrestling career, it’s important to know that fact. Even though wrestling moves are designed not to seriously hurt their recipients, the slightest miscommunication can lead to death or paralysis.
Many wrestlers also build up a long list of nagging injuries because they cannot afford to take time off to properly heal. In many cases, this has led to dependence on painkillers, alcohol and illegal drugs.
While this may paint a bleak picture of the wrestling industry, any potential wrestler should be aware of these facts. When learning how to become a pro wrestler, you need to go into the situation with your eyes wide open.
Get In Shape
Pro wrestling is a demanding sport which requires toughness, strength, endurance and dexterity. In order to increase your strength and endurance, you’ll need to put in many hours in the gym. Otherwise, you won’t be able to maintain the cardio necessary to work a lengthy match. Jogging or running on a treadmill is also an excellent option.
Go To Wrestling School
At a pro wrestling school, you’ll be able to learn the basic moves and the psychology of creating a match. Some schools will also offer training on creating a character or performing on-camera interviews. This training can be received under the watchful eye of pro wrestling veterans, thus minimizing your chances of getting injured in the early phases of your career.
The training at a pro wrestling school will be difficult, and it can also be very expensive (several thousand dollars in some cases). Be sure and ask the following questions about any wrestling school you might be considering:
- Does your coach have experience as a main event wrestler?
- What do you get in return for your money?
- Will you receive any training on how to conduct television interviews and promos?
- Are former students of the school making a living in the pro wrestling business?
- How often will you receive in-ring training?
- How modern is the training facility?
- How important is safety to the coaches and trainers?
- Is the school affiliated with a wrestling promotion?
Develop A Character
While a promotion like the WWE will simply assign you a character, others may allow you to create one yourself. The best option is to take your real-life personality and then “turn the volume up.” This example has been used when describing the characters made popular by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
But no matter how much you love your character, you need to be flexible enough to change. The promoter may want you to become another character, or you might be required to turn face or heel.
Study Tapes And History
When learning how to become a pro wrestler, it’s important to know the history of the sport. Many people in the business may make references to events which occurred 20 years ago, so it’s important that you’re familiar enough to understand what they’re talking about. This may also endear you to the “old-timers,” and they might be more likely to share their wisdom with you.
Watching tapes of wrestling is an excellent way to increase your understanding of how a match works. You can learn new moves, see how to build suspense in a match, and even notice the tendencies of a future in-ring partner.
Be Prepared To Travel
The wrestling business requires a lot of traveling. Until you hit the big time, you may find yourself carpooling with other wrestlers and sleeping in lots of cheap hotels.
You also need to be sure that your family supports your decision, as you may be on the road a great deal. More than one marriage has ended because the spouse couldn’t cope with the wrestler’s constant absence.
Get Ready To Work
You’re going to need to work very hard to succeed in the wrestling business. In the beginning, be prepared to drive for hours to a show which doesn’t even pay enough to cover your gas.
And while you’re trying to pay your bills, you’ll also need to find the time to stay in shape, learn new moves and develop an in-ring persona. To be successful as a wrestler, you’ll need to have a passion for the sport which cannot be diminished.