Every now and again I get to hear some wrestlers talking, posting remarks on various forums and chatting to me personally. Sometimes, I get the impression that they take wrestling a tad too seriously. Wrestling is a serious business granted, but unless we can lighten up a bit, the UK scene is going to be held back for a long time.
Of course, a certain amount of seriousness is needed, especially in training, but why do people seem to analyse every move they make, pushing them to the limit of safety, ever striving for a bigger reaction from the crowd? I even heard about two wrestlers who ended up brawling over how a move should be done. I mean come on; doesn’t that sound a little anally retentive to you?
The simple fact is that it need not be that way, a wrestler should have a good time in the ring and come out smiling, first of all, most wrestlers aren’t paid a great deal for what they do so, for most, making a mistake isn’t exactly a big thing. Secondly, when a wrestler who takes it too seriously faces another wrestler who takes it too seriously, it usually ends up in a free for all between the two.
In fact I will go so far as to say that the difference between a good wrestler and a great wrestler is the ability to have fun while they are in the ring.
You see, a crowd isn’t that easy to fool, they can tell when you are nervous and they can tell when you aren’t enjoying what you are doing; I have even spotted wrestlers, whose hearts are just not in it, throwing lazy punches around. When you are having fun, you look more energetic in the ring, you get into the match and the crowd follows you easily. It is much easier to get a crowd to follow the story when it looks like you are into the story yourself!
I think that sometimes wrestlers can be unfairly treated by other more ‘focused’ wrestlers, when they want to have some fun in the ring, it seems sometimes that a lot of people go for the overly-serious attitude because it seems the right way to behave in front of a promoter. The right way to behave is the way you see fit to make wrestling enjoyable.
Take FCW’s party boys for instance, they like to have fun and their fun reflects on the crowd (Dragon Phoenix had me in stitches) and brings them up and more excited about the match, even their opponents get to join in. I bet that when they get into the locker room they are all smiles. This isn’t strictly a good guy thing either, another wrestler who looked like he was having fun when I went to watch FCW was the Judge, he pulled the crowds in, just by being enthusiastically bad (and also humorously clumsy).
I think the ideology of wrestlers ‘clicking’ is generally two people who want to enjoy themselves in the ring, they begin to feed ideas off each other and brings up the level of the match. Wrestlers don’t tend to click if one is nervous, or planning every move of the match from start to finish.
Of course a certain amount of skill is needed before a wrestler can relax and have fun, being able to trust your partner to be on the same wavelength as you is something that only comes with experience. So if you are new to wrestling, don’t be disappointed when it doesn’t happen, it comes with time. Hell, I have had many occasions when I was unable to have fun all the time; my first match was a mess because I was nervous and concentrating too hard on not making a mistake, something I regret doing now.
I guess the only way to practice at having fun is by getting on with every wrestler you know, it’s pretty hard to relax when you don’t know the guy, so it would be best to wrestle everyone as and when you can and not stick with a clique of wrestlers you know. In fact, actively seek to wrestle people you don’t click with, eventually it will come.
However, don’t confuse having fun as mucking about in the ring, remember that you still need that base discipline and maturity in wrestling and making a fool of yourself and your opponent will not deliver a good match, or make you any friends. Be chilled about a match, not overly disruptive.
It is best to talk with your opponent about what the goals are in the match and stick to it and mutually find a way for you both to enjoy yourselves, as the saying goes, it takes two to tango.
Thank you everyone who emailed me with your comments on my UK Scene edition, I appreciated every comment that was made and I hope I did Adam proud, but be sure to give my UK Scene partner in crime, Goldy a read in the next edition.
Please keep emailing me, I love to read your comments, even if it’s to complain about how many articles have my name next to them at the moment.