The one thing I really like about travelling to distant areas of this country to work on shows is the other wrestlers you meet. Of course there are some people you will meet who will get on your nerves, but on the whole British wrestlers are thoroughly nice guys, at least to each other.
I try my best not to be a curtain peeker, as I feel it unprofessional for a stage curtain to be flicking back and forth with wrestlers trying to get a peek at what the other wrestlers are doing. However I know that it is almost impossible to keep a nervous wrestler from checking how the show is going on and how the crowd are reacting to the performances of the wrestlers.
I think it is fair to say that a lot of wrestlers measure their performances against other wrestler’s performances, there is no shame in admitting that someone is simply better than you. However as one wrestler summed up to me quite succinctly “I want to see what these guys are like because I might have to face them one day.”
Once I have shook hands with the promoter I go out of my way to introduce myself to other wrestlers, simple wrestlers etiquette that I happen to strongly believe in. I usually introduce myself with my real name because they are part of the “tribe” and in a wrestling context if I am going to work so closely with them then they have a right to know me personally. I leave it up to them after that to decide what they want to call me.
The critical thing is that you should always go out of your way to make a good impression, even if you are there just to help out, you’re still a wrestler so act like one. This includes politeness, sincerity, personality and an easygoing attitude. The other thing is to apologise immediately if you upset someone and most importantly, if they let you know about it, that is unless you know 100% you are in the right.
Confused yet? I know I was when I first started to learn the etiquette rules of wrestling, however, usually this only occurs once, you always shake hands with the promoter, that is a mark of respect you should always adhere to. Wrestlers are a different kettle of fish and once they know you and like you they will shake your hand in friendship than in introduction.
The reason for all this etiquette? I believe it is simply telling the other person that they can trust you, you are a safe worker. I find that most live by the credo that if they get on with the person then they usually can get on with the wrestler in the ring.
I would also like to think that I am a likeable person backstage, I enjoy the camaraderie that exists there and the stories and gossip that I get to hear every time I meet someone new.
However, every now and again you will meet people that either you will not like or they have some sort of agenda, or worse they are too stupid to know what they are doing is wrong, which is usually getting into the ring.
My best and worst example (if you take my meaning from that) is when I saw someone take a JBL clothesline. They panicked and put their arm out to stop themselves thus, arm went one way body went the other at speed and the resultant dislocated shoulder had them sent off to hospital. Of course, that guy will be blaming the other worker for his own mishap, but the fact is despite the claims that wrestling is fake, fixed or whatever, it is an endeavour you can get seriously hurt in, you walk in the ring thinking everyone is going to love tap you think again.
And for the deaf ones at the back I’ll emphasise it, do not ever walk into wrestling thinking you are not going to get hurt. There are very solid workers out there, who quite rightly will prefer to hit you than ever bring the name of British wrestling down than the WWE has forced it.
Every person who shakes my hand understands that simple principle and I understand it from them.
On an aside, I would like to suggest to all wrestlers that they add a new important item to their kit bags, a decent quality long length of rope. That plastic blue stuff really cuts into your mitts!
It was also nice to put some faces to names this weekend, ironically the day before I had been typing most of your names into the Top Tens.
Keep hanging in there GGG.