Wrestlers vs. The World
It’s true that wrestlers find it hard to trust each other, and locker rooms are often filled with paranoia – but when an “outsider” threatens a wrestler, the boys stick together. Allow me to write a little about this for this weeks’ Future-Shock.
Wrestlers share a common bond, and understanding of what they do, and unless you have “laced up the boots” and given it a go, don’t think that you can threaten a wrestler.
If you have stepped in the ring and wrestled, you know as well as I do that the many preconceptions the general public have regarding “wrasslin” are wrong.
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine saw me wrestling and remarked later that he respected me as being tough because he recognised that wrestlers hit hard and to take some of the shots, and get straight back up required guts. I’d go along with that, but to many I’m not tough, I’m an actor – pretending to be tough.
We wrestlers are used to the ignorance of others when it comes to addressing us. “Are you Famous?”, “Is it real?”, “How much do you get paid” – All common questions. We understand the nature of the business, the misconceptions, and we allow people to make their own judgements as to what we do.
What we don’t like is the inevitable fool who goes that one step too far. When this happens, wrestlers are a unit, they stick together, and I pity anyone who crosses “the boys”.
I’ve lost count of the number of fools who have gotten in the face of a wrestler. What may surprise some is the restraint most of us show when up against such ignorance. You see whilst many are quick to criticise what we do, they cannot help but try and hide a jealousy for the crowd reaction we receive, and the way that in some quarters, wrestlers are held in high regard.
I can think of times when 10 – 15 of us have walked out of an establishment because just 1 was disrespected. I can think of times where an out numbered wrestler has suddenly found back up from “the boys” simply because of the understanding we have. You see, whatever might go on in the ring, or in the locker room, there is not one wrestler that I wouldn’t stand back to back with if our business were to be disrespected. That’s the understanding we have.
Wrestlers, as a culture all of their own, respect seniority, they respect a good work ethic, and most importantly they realise that each time they step through the ropes, they put their very lives in their opponents hands. Not tough? To be thrown 6 feet to the ground by a 300lb man requires guts to get up from.
Whilst I’ll accept that ring warriors display a certain amount of entertainment, the basic technical moves all work. Try your luck with a veteran and you might be picking up your teeth with a dislocated arm. Wrestlers are skilled, and if trained correctly, have stamina. The lads in the bar, trying to impress their friends by taking a wrestler down are in for a long night. Trust me.
So, for all you aspiring wrestlers bonding with your fellow trainees, make sure you respect each other because you never know when you might need each other. Wrestlers by their nature spend a lot of time on the road, in strange places where they themselves are strangers. Wrestlers tend to stand out in a crowd too, and whilst the attention can be great from some quarters, there can be those who take issue with the spotlight being elsewhere.
In general, the wrestlers that I have socialised with over the years have all been very respectful, polite human beings. We’re not the “thugs” that stereotyping dictates. Don’t read this and be over confident, and don’t think that you can pick a fight with anyone because you’re a wrestler or a trainee. But wear your affiliation with wrestling, with pride, and be sure that if some ignorant human being threatens your safety as a wrestler – its wrestlers vs. the world.