On this topic of discussion I would like to talk about an issue that, well splits wrestler’s opinion, it is so deep rooted that I doubt that there is no real solution beneficial to all. One looks from the traditional aspect where as the other is a little Postmodern. What am I talking about? The old chestnut of spandex Vs T-shirts and jeans.
Now personally, I began my wrestling career thinking that anyone can wrestle in what they want, as l felt that if they were good enough, what they wear doesn’t matter. However that opinion has changed, and I am going to try document my experience with both.
So why would anyone wear tights? Doesn’t it look a bit, well gay? That was a question someone asked me when they found out I was a wrestler and my answer is always “So what do you expect a wrestler to wear?”
Spandex or Lycra has been the clothing of choice for wrestlers for years, before that they wore wool, it is hard-wearing, stretches and can come in vibrant colours. From the base pattern you could have any design that you choose, from lighting bolts to a complex tiger print.
T-Shirts and jeans however are a practical use clothing, they are tough, hard wearing and more often than not look stylish, when I say “jeans” however, that can refer to cargos and jogger bottoms, you get my point.
The major problem with using fashion clothing in the ring is the fact that it just doesn’t breath. After a while you will find that the T-shirt will become soaked, leaving you with that lovely skin peeling sensation after your match.
When I first started wrestling I thought to myself “There is no damn way they will get me to wear tights!” I had decided I was gonna be a bit different and wear the tracksuit bottoms and the black T-shirt, that’s cool, that’s stylish…. That’s what everyone else is wearing!
It didn’t really matter as a trainee that I was doing an Academy show in sweats and a T-shirt, but I began to realise how impractical it really is. When you are running around, lifting opponents, falling to the floor and getting up again, I found that the clothes I had picked began to fall down, fall out and become misshapen. I had to wear what I lovingly refer to as my modesty pants, a tight undergarment that wouldn’t show off a builder’s crack!
At the end of the show, I might have won but I looked like a mess, not a fight mess mind, just like a person who had got out of bed wearing their clothes from the night before. On the opposite side though, they were cheap and easy to wash, but I also noticed that because of wearing sweaty polyester for a long time a childhood bout of ecsthema began to return.
Then there was the colour co-ordination, I wore black, my opponent wore black and to be honest there was no real distinction at all between us, in an attempt to be different and stand out of the crowd, I had become just another wrestler in the crowd. I began to do some research with a few borrowed tapes and noticed that even the undertaker in the hey-day of WWE never wore just black. If you remember, he had purple gloves, boots and leg defenders, inspiring me to realise that even the black wearing wrestlers had something distinguishing themselves as different. Of course there are those wrestlers who can’t escape black, The Judge for instance wouldn’t look like a judge if he wore puce now would he?
So I did a little research into my character, the Saracen of old used to wear red and black to distinguish themselves as warriors, long story… all about blood guts and death on the battlefield. So I decided to put some red into my costume, to align with the mythos and went and bought my Lycra, however, I still had my hang ups about lycra and decided to make the red bottoms Arabian pants.
Of course having wrestling garments is expensive and a lot of good talent is below the age to fork out £50 for a pair of tights. So to be fair, a lot of wrestlers wear jeans and T-shirts because they have to wear something to wrestle in. That being said, a decent set of lycra is like a decent set of boots, they will last you for a very long time with proper care.
The thing I have noticed about lycra is how cool you are when wrestling, the fabric breathes really well, it is light, giving you freer movement, it stretches and stays in shape and the greatest thing of all, they stay where you put them on your body. No more modesty pants for Mr Saracen I tell you!
However the thing I do love about my choice in style of tights is the way they seem to flow, they make me look more graceful than I really am and that is saying something, I look clumsy normally when I walk, generally due to one leg being shorter than the other after my sister broke it.
The odd thing is that with tights, people begin to take you seriously, especially in the wrestling world. Since I became a wrestler with red baggy tights, I have had a few independent bookings. It does seem true that if you are serious about wrestling then you should also be serious about what you wear.
Of course it doesn’t make you the greatest wrestler in the world, but the quality is in the detail.
Now I am going to address a few of the points made in my last tenet.
A few people seemed to be under the impression that I don’t take wrestling seriously, in fact they cannot be more wrong. You have no right to know what I do behind the scenes when I wrestle and I’m not going to give too many secrets away, but if you ask anyone I have worked with I always put 110% into everything I do. The point I was making is that wrestling isn’t the be all and end all of my life, it’s pretty close, but I am old enough to realise that there are a few other things in life that takes priority over it.
Another few seem to think that my tenets are designed to tell established wrestlers what to do, plus the fact that my relative short time in wrestling gives me no right to express my opinions, any current wrestler can see that this is not the case. I am really tracking my learning journey, what I am learning in training, in the ring and from other professional wrestlers who have been in the game longer than I have. I mix it all up and come with my angle on the whole thing. This tenet is designed for interested fans and other trainees and perhaps current wrestlers who want to relive their own journey. In fact I have had wrestlers disagree with me on some points and agree on others, but none have indicated that I am unqualified to do so, if they do then I’m pretty sure they will tell me.
When I said that making a mistake didn’t matter, I don’t think I explained myself properly (carelessness on my part, which I do apologise for). I meant that it didn’t matter in the ring at the time, as if you dwell on a mistake you lose focus and begin to make more mistakes. I was trying to put across that it would be unlikely you would be sacked for it. However, without making mistakes you wouldn’t learn anything and a certain tolerance is needed, we can all dwell on them afterwards, but the main thing is to learn from them and make sure they don’t happen again.
As for the guy who called me a Smark, of course I am, I’m a wrestler.
That’s about it for this tenet, hope you enjoyed reading it.