While you might think the life of a pro wrestler is glamor, fortune, and excitement, you need to get to know the wrestlers toiling away in the indie circuit. Even if you're in great shape and a great wrestler, it could take years before you're able to go 100% pro. If you're committed to becoming a professional wrestler, get to know what the lifestyle is like first.
Here are five things you need to know before you commit to the exciting life of being a professional wrestler.
1. You Need to be Comfortable With Discomfort
If you're in the world of pro wrestling, you need to get comfortable with some discomfort. While you're probably no stranger to the feeling of deadlifting beyond your limits, you might not know how unforgettable it can be.
While climbing the ranks of becoming a professional wrestler, you're going to have to be in some strange places. You'll be wrestling in hot barns out in the country and in humid gymnasiums all around the world. Wrestling in a perfectly air conditioned stadium won't be on your to-do list for quite some time.
Making it to the top takes time and you need to find ways to wrestle through minor discomforts, small sprains, with cuts and bruises. Lots of wrestlers around you might complain but do what you can to become zen about it. Put discomfort out of your mind and focus on the performance you want to give out in the ring.
You'll find that attitude will inspire others and make it easier for you in the long run.
2. Expect The Unexpected
While you're out touring or outside of the ring, you might run into strangers who have a misconception about professional wrestling. They might think, just as a kid who sees their teacher outside of the school, that you live in one very tiny world. When they see you outside, especially if you ply the heel, they might challenge you.
You can't plan for someone coming up to you and trying to start a match in the parking lot of your grocery store. All you can do is make sure that you react accordingly and defuse any problems.
You could end up with problems in the ring, with matches taking place in strange or poorly equipped locations. IF you step into a ring and a rope breaks or part of the ring collapses, you need to improvise. Your audience came for a show, so make sure you find a way to safely remind them that the show must go on.
If you're curious about the stories of what can happen when your favorite pros run into unexpected trouble, find out more here.
3. You Could Become Immortalized
While you might think that your performances live and die in the ring, you could be made into a video game character or an action figure that kids enjoy for years. While this might seem exciting right now, you need to get comfortable with seeing yourself like that.
If you don't like your name, your costume, or your haircut now, you'd better change it before someone makes a permanent image of you.
This is definitely one of the perks for a lot of professional wrestlers but if you're not into seeing photos of yourself, you might want to pick another career. There could be some unflattering, strange, or funny photos that could circulate the internet quickly. Remember this as you become a bigger name and walk around town.
4. Watch Out For Stalkers
Celebrities of any size or type are subject to having people try to follow them around. When someone connects with your character or your persona, they might think that they know you. They might even follow your life offline via interviews or podcasts and think that they're closer to you than they are.
If people start showing up to your house, you need to make sure that you feel like there's a safe enough distance. Most fans might not realize that they're being creepy and are just caught up in the moment. If a fan crosses the line between being a groupie and a stalker, let them know in the safest way that you can.
5. You Need To Like Road Trips
When you first start out, even as a paid professional wrestler, don't expect the red carpet or to be wrestling at Madison Square Garden. Most of your first matches will entail riding in a car with three other wrestlers for 5 hours from one match to the next.
If you work with the right group of people, you could end up having a great time building a community of friends. Just make sure you've got something to occupy your mind during that downtime. While you probably want to be doing reps in the back of a minivan, you need to take turns driving.
And don't expect to be able to maintain a healthy diet out on the road without preparing. You're going to have to prep some meals, make some protein shakes in advance, and carry what you need with you. It's hard to find creatine powder when you're in the middle of the Arizona desert to wrestle for 100 people in a school gym.
Being a Pro Wrestler is Rewarding
If you love to bring joy to people and to have fun, you're going to love being a pro wrestler. While not every moment of your day will be pure joy, because the end result is so rewarding, you're sure to always be having a great time. If you know what to expect and you're committed to hard work, it's sure to pay off for you in the end.
While you're thinking about packing for your next tour, check out our guide to finding the perfect bag for your gear.