So, you’ve had a dream since you were a kid, you’ve seen your heroes main event WrestleMania, put their bodies on the line for that Championship gold. Now you’ve decided that’s the path you want to go down too. You want to become a professional wrestler. So first things first, how the hell do you go about doing it?
First of all, get in shape. If you’re not already in good shape and have good cardio I would suggest spending a few months keeping fit, running, jogging and your basic cardio to improve your fitness, because training to become a wrestler is a very physical and demanding process. If you’re unfit you will very soon find the struggles of training to become too difficult. So get fit, get ready and prepare yourself.
Secondly, prepare. Prepare yourself mentally. You have no idea what to expect so prepare yourself for what you are about to embark on. Visit forums, find out what happens at a wrestling school. Find out how it feels taking bumps and performing moves so that when you’re actually at your first day of wrestling school, you’re ready and fully prepared for what’s about to come.
Be serious. Anyone who attends training should be totally serious about their goals. Not everyone can end up in the main event of WrestleMania in the WWE. Not everyone has the ability to make it as a professional wrestler. You need to take it seriously and know 100% that this is what you want to do. You may be great and get booked into shows in your first few months, however everyone has a different learning curve, it may take you years, don’t put yourself down or question your ability. You have trainers there to help you through everything, believe in yourself and put 100% effort into everything.
Finding a school. Now this one is really important. Do your research. Don’t just google wrestling schools, click the first result and go down and sign up for that one. Do a bit of research, find out what the training is like, how much it costs, who the trainers are and what the schedule is. Why they are suited for the task. If possible get reviews of the school and get in touch with them and see if you can come down and watch what happens in a routine day. Some schools are better than others. Different schools teach in various ways. One trainer might be better at teaching you personally than another, so make sure you find a school that fits you personally.
Be ready for pain. Your first few days of wrestling school is going to be painful the next day(s). You will be taking bumps, conditioning your body for something it hasn’t experienced before, and believe me, the next day is going to feel like you’ve been in a car crash. Limbs aching everywhere, unable to move properly. This is only temporary as your body gets used to what you’re now doing and your muscles adjust to the new settings. Also, be prepared that this is a physical business and accidents can happen. In a perfect world no wrestler would ever be injured, but unfortunately accidents happen. Listen to your trainer and do what they say, and hopefully you can avoid injury.
Warm up and cool down. One of the most important lessons to learn. Before any training, professional wrestling or even the gym, you need to warm your muscles up and cool them down every session. You can risk injury to yourself if not done properly so be sure your trainer performs this before any in ring training begins. The safety of everyone comes first.
Don’t be scared. In your first week or so of wrestling, you will be learning how to bump, perform holds, and be shown how to work spots. All of this can be pretty daunting for someone at the start. Even a basic back bump can be a scary thought at first, but trust that it is safe and you will be fine. These are the essential learning blocks of any professional wrestler.
Do not hesitate either. If you are about to go for a move with a partner, but halfway through you’re unsure and have doubts in yourself. That’s when accidents happen. Remember in a wrestling match you’re making out to be enemies with your opponent, but in reality you’re helping each other in the ring at all times. Basically you’re holding your opponent’s life in your hands, and if you’re hesitant you could drop them on their head and cause serious damage. Be confident in yourself and your abilities and only attempt moves you’ve been trained for. Don’t go for too advanced moves until you’ve been trained how to execute them perfectly.
Respect. One thing this business is built upon is respect. Respect for yourself, your peers, your trainers. Treat them with respect. Don’t make comments on people messing up moves as everyone is learning. Do not insult a professional wrestler as they can take you down, remember that. Professional wrestling is a serious business and if you don’t have respect for everyone on your way up to the top, you will not go far that’s for sure.
Team player. This is essential. You cannot and I repeat CANNOT make it as a professional wrestler if you are not a team player, as this is pretty damn essential. You can’t go into a match wanting to do this, that and the other and ignoring what your opponent wants to do. You need to work together to put on great matches and entertain the audience, after all that’s why you want this isn’t it?
Speak up if not sure. If your trainer asks you to perform a move, and you’re not exactly sure, or not confident enough, don’t sit back and ignore it. Tell your trainer. Say you’re not exactly sure about the move can you help me understand it better. It’s the only way to improve yourself and get better in the ring. Hiding problems and what you’re not sure on can get people hurt.
Part of the ring crew. Depending on your school, you may have a permanent location where you are 7 days a week, other schools may run twice a week and may need you to help set the ring up and back down every session. Don’t complain that you didn’t sign up for this, take part. Building the ring is an essential part to play, it’s also a great learning experience on how a wrestling ring is set up and displayed.
Create yourself. Once you’ve been training for a while, and possibly ready for a debut in a show, you should consider about finding your persona and ring name. You may have ideas yourself. Incorporating your background/ethnicity/things you like, etc into your character. There are lots to think about and your trainer can certainly help you with this.
Bring out your style. Each wrestler has their own unique style and moves. Talk to your trainer about yours, and what you feel you’re best at. Are you a good highflyer and luchadore style? Technical & submission based, hard-hitting strikes and power moves? Figure out your style and move forward with it, implementing a move set that will compliment your style. If you are 140lb, and not the best looking, body size, a strong style powerbomb may not be your ideal choice. Stick to moves that make sense for your style.
Watch wrestling. This may sound common sense, but watch wrestling, and lots of it. Watch different styles from WWE, to Japan and Mexico. Find flaws in what’s happening in the ring and what they could have benefited from by performing better. Note the pros and cons of the matches. Watch how the wrestlers perform their moves and when they perform them. (Ring psychology which your trainer will teach you about).
Once you’ve started training to become a wrestler, your outlook will be different, you start to focus more on the moves and little details you wouldn’t have known about before starting training. You notice if the moves are bother or performed correctly, and how well someone is selling their moves.
Selling. Selling moves is basically the art of making the move or hold applied to you, look real and as if it’s hurting. For example, if Triple H pedigrees you and you get straight back up, without selling, that’s one of the worst things you can do. Never no sell an opponent’s move unless there’s a specific reason (storyline, character, plot, etc). Do not oversell moves too. If your opponent gives you a European uppercut in the middle of the ring and you go backwards and jump out the ring, that’s going too far, make yourself and your opponent look silly. You trainer will teach you everything you need to know about selling. Just sell moves to the appropriate level needed. Show facial expressions and fatigue.
Learn. Be willing to learn every single day of your life. If you make it as a professional wrestler, the learning doesn’t stop, you learn new things every day, whether it’s a new move, production of a show to stories of wrestlers. Everyday is a learning experience in the business of professional wrestling, be prepared to never stop and take it in.
Your first show. So you’ve progressed really well and are ready for your first match in your first show. You will be waiting behind the curtain feeling really nervous. That’s a good thing. I would say if you’re in this business and you’re not nervous everyone you go out there then something is wrong. Go out there and do your best. Remember that you are only a trainee. You may make mistakes but your trainer will know this. You’re not expected to go out there and have a 5* classic match on your first attempt. Apply everything you have learned and do the best you can do. That is all that is asked of you.
Succeed. If you are one of the lucky few who has got the in ring ability and potential to make it as a star in professional wrestling. Do everything you can to succeed. Squire contacts from fellow wrestlers and promotions who may want to employ you on their future shows. Think back to how you watched your heroes come to life on television as a kid, and how you hope to someday do the same for kids round the world. Strive to be the best you can every single day, wherever it leads you. Remember, professional wrestling is one of the greatest industry’s in the world. It is a difficult one to get into, but with hard work and training maybe you could even make it to the WWE. Believe in yourself and achieve your dreams.if you do make it as a wrestler, have fun too, because it is one of the best industries to be a part of.
Good luck and achieve your dreams.