My love for wrestling goes back as far as I can remember, providing some memories that still stick with me so vividly to this day. I was my father’s “excuse” to start watching wrestling again and I was instantly hooked making sure he didn’t let us miss an episode. Everything revolved around getting to watch that weekly show and my mother knew she could threaten me that I couldn’t watch if I didn’t behave, which always seemed to do the trick in keeping me in line. As I was attracted to many of the new guard like Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels my dad still had the soft spot for established stars like Hulk Hogan and the Macho Man. I would spend ample amount of time trying to convince him that Bret Hart was the best while he still stood by the all American Hogan.
Fast forward to present time, I had recently graduated and started my career. I had really gotten into working out and getting in shape. Through college I had drifted away from watching wrestling as passionately as my younger self had, I picked right back up where I had left watching weekly and even now consuming even more of the product as it was so readily available on the internet. As I got in better and better shape thoughts started to creep in my mind that maybe I should give this whole pro wrestling thing a shot. I had started amateur wrestling at a very young age and thought I’d have a good base to start off of and every month I was starting to look more and more the part of a pro wrestler.
So I started my search for pro wrestling training not sure how hard it’d be to get my foot in the door. I knew there were schools out there but I didn’t know if we had any in Kansas City. I found a little information on a couple of places, one was a school another seemed more of a promotion, but when I tried to contact them multiple times I never got any response. I just thought well I can at least tell myself I tried maybe it just wasn’t meant to happen. But then I stumbled across an ad on Facebook for pro wrestling training in Kansas City, a place called Xtreme Wrestling Center. So I headed over to the website, filled out my application, got a call and set up my try-out.
I was very nervous leading up to the try-out but I knew I wanted this and wasn’t going to let anything hold me back. When I came in I was greeted by the GM, Jordan Rogers, and we had a short chat before the head trainer, David Cattin, who asked me about why I was doing this before we started the try-out. After the try-out was done I waited by while they discussed if I would be able to begin my training. When they came out and let me know I passed I was so excited and couldn’t wait to get in the ring to start training the following week.
I started the following Monday along with four others that were starting on their first day. I made sure to introduce myself to everybody and show respect to everybody. As I would soon find out this is one of the most important lessons that a pro wrestler needs to learn. On that first day I was taught about how important it is to make sure you introduce yourself to everybody and show the upmost respect to everybody you come across because you never know who you might offend. So right away I learned the importance of respect in the business that should never be taken for granted. Nothing in the world of pro wrestling can work without respect no matter what you might initial think of a person. The lesson of respect was that first lesson I could mark down on my journey.
As we begin training daily, I started to learn what is also one of the other most important lessons that young pro wrestlers need to learn, safety. When you are getting in that ring and putting your body on the line, in the hands of your opponent you need to make safety one of the biggest priorities. You must prove yourself as a safe wrestler so that your peers will trust you with their bodies so that you can put on the best match possible for the fans. If you are not safe then nobody will trust you to work and your pro wrestler career will be over before it ever began. So every day it was stressed with great importance how to be safe and respectful to your opponents. These two lessons, respect and safety, were practiced every second of every training session, drilling this into our heads so that it just became second nature. I am thankful to have these lessons engrained into me from the beginning because I believe these lessons are the key to success for any beginning professional wrestlers.
The last lesson that I learned that I believe is right up there with respect and safety is that of the comradery that is built among your brothers in professional wrestling. The men that I trained with on a daily basis really became my brothers that I could trust with my body and we could all push each other to get better. You really gain a new family when you begin pro wrestling and it is one that I am honored to be a part of. These will be relationships that you will have for the rest of your life, they will be people that you can count on through thick and thin. This was one aspect going into training that I never realized I would treasure so much and I will always have time and be there for all of my pro wrestling brothers.
So as I have been lucky enough to learn all of these lessons and countless more from my training I know they will do nothing but help me advance in my pro wrestling career. I can now go out there with these core lessons and begin that exciting road that there is no seeing where it can take me. I still have infinite lessons to learn to advance my career but that great foundation has been set with the amazing training I received at the Xtreme Wrestling Center. They have equipped me with the tools and lessons to go out there and be a success. I look forward to continuing my journey with my brothers and hopefully use these lessons to also teach new brothers as they pursue their dream just as I did.