Welcome to the first in a series of “Pro Wrestling Stories”. Basically, To let you know what this series will encompass, I attended wrestling training for a few years and got to live my dream having a few matches in front of live audiences. Totally an inexplicable experience. During this journey, I’ve been on many a road trip with the pros, and basically seen and heard so much that I want to share it with the world. The stories in these series of articles are stories that have personally happened to me, and I have experienced so read on and enjoy.

I can still picture the venue, the stage, where the ring was set up and even the surrounding area, but for the life of me I cannot remember where the hell the show was that night. A lot of times if there was a show on within driving distance (say 1 – 2 hours away) most of the guys from wrestling school would road trip it there and give our support. Help with the ring setup and anything else that was needed. Sometimes we would also get the opportunity to wrestle.

It was on this occasion, former WWE wrestler Gangrel would be wrestling, he was on a tour wrestling in shows round the country and I was lucky enough to meet him and to see him wrestle. We sat in the audience and got to watch the show as always. The crowd was always great. Mostly consisting of family’s with their hyperactive children screaming and shouting. Makes the atmosphere fantastic.

Before I get into what happened, those of you who have never been involved in the inner workings of the wrestling business. When you start out and you meet the pros, respect is a must. You are working your way up and have to show those who came before you respect. Shaking their hands is a biggie, or at least it was back then I’m not sure how things have changed.

So Gangrel, the intimidating figure who portrayed that of a Vampire had finished his match, we had all help break the ring down and load it into the van, everyone was about to leave and Gangrel was coming through the corridor. He he got introduced to us, indicating we were all trainees at the wrestling school. One by one we all walked past him, shook his hand and told him he had a great match, and he did. Then as I was walking past, I told him he had a great match and just walked on past without shaking his hand. I wasn’t being ignorant or trying to be disrespectful in the slightest. I had witnessed all the other guys shake his hands so I honestly have no idea if I just forgot, or was nervous meeting Gangrel or what the reason was.

The the next minute i just heard everyone gasp behind me and I’m thinking uh-oh what? What have I done.Gangrel turns to me gets his hand and slaps me in the face full force! I feel like I’ve just had a sledgehammer to the face. That shit fucking hurt! My own fault for forgetting to shake his hand. Let’s not forget Gangrel isn’t a tiny person, he’s huge, and to reiterate, if fucking hurt.

On the way to the car in the car park we seen Gangrel again, and he smiled at me and told me to watch out, because he was going to be at the wrestling school that weekend training us. It’s safe to say I was shitting myself, thinking I’m gonna get the shit kicked out of me. It didn’t help that I had all the guys pissing themselves laughing at the events that had just happened. Reassuring me that Gangrel would be coming after me whether I liked it or not.

So that weekend, I attend training. Im shitting myself. Everyone’s made up Gangrel is going to be there but i would be too if he didn’t threaten me. I honestly was thinking he was gonna use me as a crash test dummy and do me in. He arrives at the school and everyone welcomes him shaking his hand, I bloody make sure I go up to him and shake his hand. He just looks at me like a piece of shit! Now I’m even more scared! I’ve got to get in the ring with this 6ft+ WWE legend who looks like he wants to kick my ass for real!

So the weekend goes on and we practice some moves we all get bodyslams and powerbombs I think it was off him, he talks about things he has learnt in the ring, and every now and again he will look at me and say something that makes me feel nervous again. All in all, Gangrel never kicked the shit out of me, although if he wanted to he would have.

Gangrel was giving me a damn hard time, and afterwards he was laughing about it, this is the kind of stuff guys in the business do for laughs to the “rookies” as a kind of welcome to the business initiation and it can last a damn long time. I’m glad Gangrel never actually took it out on me, and the moral of this story: DONT ANGER A BLOODY¬†VAMPIRE!

But in all seriousness. If you’re entering the business and you find yourself in a situation similar, always respect the guys, treat them with dignity and respect, if your attitude is completely wrong towards them and you are arrogant etc it’s a one way ticket out of the business. Thankfully I learned to never do that again.

I even got my photo with Gangrel a few weeks later and we laughed about it, at first glance you think he is a scary fucker, but he is a really nice guy. But hey, at least I’ve got a claim to fame and i can say the WWE legend Gangrel, the bloodsucking vampire slapped the shit out of my face. Ahh memories.

Thanks for reading, and in the next installment I shall be talking about the fun and games that happened in wrestling school on a weekly basis.