----Coach's Corner last week seem to spark some interest in the site.
----The first text I got was "you are an amateur also.." I agreed. I got e-mails, texts and few buzzes on Facebook about my pick of who was a pro and who was an amateur. [CLICK HERE] Loose Cannon even dedicated a whole column talking about. [CLICK HERE] As Luke Graham says below, my column was simplified. It was just a way of saying, "what if" that was the criteria? If it was, then who would be the pros?? I like Luke's thoughts also and that is why I am sharing them from the Kayfabe board, because some of you do not even read the board. There are holes in his theory also - as was mine. Have fun with it and post your thoughts on the board. The intelligent discussion on this topic is what I have always wanted to see for the board. [CLICK HERE]
I can almost agree with you one some of this... but I feel like you may have oversimplified it just a bit. In todays pro wrestling environment... You cannot solely base professionalism on getting a payday from WWE/ TNA - there are too few roster positions available to have that be the only standard...
IMO - to be considered a professional wrestler - with the key word in the phrase being professional - someone should meet the following standards.
1. Be professionally trained by a RECOGNIZED professional wrestler. Part of this will include the trainer's ability to pick up the phone, personally contact promoters or people of influence within the business and have the person ANSWERING the phone actually KNOW personally, who is calling them. Any trainer with enough credentials to TRAIN someone, should have an established reputation within the industry and contacts go with it. You will actually KNOW how to WRESTLE and not just bump, punch, kick... You understand - at least the basics - of in-ring psychology - and the DIFFERENCE between PRO WRESTLING and SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT.
2. Have PROFESSIONAL wrestling GEAR and apparel. You are going to - at a MINIMUM - own at least on pair of trunks/ tights, and a pair of boots that are not held together with Duct tape or electrical tape. Even if your "gimmick" is a cowboy or street punk.. you are going to own a pair of trunks and boots - and have them with you when you show up for the event. Jeans, a tee shirt, and tennis shoes ( held together with duct tape or not) are NOT PROFESSIONAL wrestling gear.
3. You will have - at least initially - been "vouched for" or introduced to promoters by your trainer or mentor. Which means you didn't just "show up and get booked because someone needed a warm body" - but a credible trainer / mentor ( as listed above) has taken the time and effort - AND has seen you work - AND has some belief and faith that you CAN work - to put HIS reputation on the line by recommending YOU.
4. You will have "worked" FOR PAY, at more than 5 promotions (at a minimum).
5. You will have WORKED at promotions outside of a 3 county area closest to your home - and will have worked in other states than your home state.
6. You will have worked for more money than it costs you to make the "round trip" from your home to the event - on more than one occasion.
7. You can GET a GUARANTEE that is more than your overhead.
8. You have at one time or another - at least attempted - to make a full time living AS a professional wrestler or in some part of the professional wrestling business.
9. You have WORKED for more than one promotion that has DRAWN more than 300 PAYING fans.
10. You have more than 100 legit matches AFTER the completion of training. 50 or more of these matches should have occurred within a one year time frame.
IF someone meets THESE criterion.. I would have no problem at all classifying them as a professional. Anything less than this... with very few exceptions... would probably need to be classified as a hobbyist..
Actual YEARS of NOT meeting these criterion - are - IMO - irrelevant. If you wrestle once a year for 40 years - you might have 40 years associated with the business, and might be able to say you have 40 years experience - but what you really have is 40 crappy matches.. BIG difference.. Still a hobbyist...
Just my opinion - others may vary... and some folks toes or feelings may be damaged.. but I think it is a decent guideline.