Learn Your Craft
How many times have I heard that from veterans over the years? I wonder how many guys actually listened. As with any job, hobby, side interest, etc, you have to have some kind of knowledge to be successful or at least have a fighting chance at it. I feel that most guys act or I should say, play their craft. The learning system in this business isn't what it used to be. Now I'm not saying that as if I'm a grizzled veteran, who has been there and done that. I'm saying that through personal observation and the quality of the product on every level.
Case in point, how many mega stars are there in pro wrestling these days? I mean guys who are main stream. Guys that you see on all the talk shows. I'm talking guys that you see like every fifth person on the street wearing their merchandise. The answer, almost none. The reason I feel is because no one is learning their craft like they used to. Some of the top guys in our business past and present were so over the top, because they had a chance to get on the road and night after night and learn this business. Guys like , , , Curt Hennig, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Scott Hall, Sid Vicious, The Rock, The Undertaker, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, just to name a few. You watch old tapes of wrestling from around the U.S., even Japan, and I guarantee you that the majority of any of those guys will pop up. They had the opportunity to actually eat from this business. By that I mean, that was their only means of income. So they had to produce to keep their job. They also had the opportunity to work with guys who knew how to get over. The veterans of their time shared their knowledge so in return the guys like HBK,The Rock, Ric Flair could get over too, thus bigger box office receipts, thus a bigger payday for everybody, well hopefully.
Today its different. In my opinion, there are very few people whose heart is really in this business, and fewer veterans who are willing to give back. You have to hunger to get better. I take that back. You have to lust to get better and learn your craft. I strive to learn everything I can from everybody. You can learn from a main event guy all the way down to a jobber. Even if i guy who has sub par skills can teach you something. You may not learn what to do, but you can learn what not to do. I've seen guys get in major trouble with management, and I learn not to do what they did. I observe top guys. They tend to carry themselves a slightly different. It might be how they walk, talk, dress, wrestle, politic, conduct business and so on. I make it a point to be very observant of veterans, even if its not involving me. I try to be in earshot of them so I can pick up even the slightest tidbit of info. Last, for damn sure, certainly not least, I ask questions. You would be amazed at how many vets are willing to give pointers and advice, but very few are just going to offer it. YOU GOTTA ASK, you DUMB ASSES ! Even the guys on a higher level are trained one way and don't have the chance to really travel to different regions or countries. They only know one system of working. So nobody really stands out.
Like I said earlier the learning system is not what it used to be. So it's up to us as wrestlers to adjust and adapt. I try, maybe not as much as I used to, to get in the ring as much as possible. I'll get on Youtube for hours on end watching old matches of guys that could work and get over. When I'm doing a show a big name is on , I sit and watch their matches. I have followed Tommy Rogers of the Fantastics around my gym for bout an hour asking questions and soaking up whatever. I've been in the same gym with Sid Vicious and absorbed his knowledge. You will definitely get more out of this business if you put more into it. But always remember GENI, Good Enough Never Is. Be the guy that not only watches other tapes, but watch your own. You would be amazed at how much you don't know. But on the same token, a lot of guys have a warped sense of perception, so they wouldn't know if they had a good match or bad match. Plus there is no one in the locker room to tell them one way or the other, Because hell, they don't know.
Lastly guys, once again, look the part. The back yard look is passe. Hell it was never in fashion. Get gear! I can't stress this enough. You know how they give school supplies to under privileged kids, maybe we need to have a drive for under privileged wrestlers. That's all for now. Until next time, keep your pimp hand strong!