I start Mondays with Hoarders and then Intervention on A&E. By the end of those shows, I feel so good about myself. But I want to suggest a show for the WWE Network called “WWE Therapy”, where people who used to work there live in a group home setting and talk about how messed up they are since they worked for Vince and Co. I’ve been gone from there for almost 9 years and it took at least 5 years before I started to feel normal.
The WWE show would be fascinating.
(TNA could have a similar show but no one would watch that either…)
But I digress.
When young wrestlers tell me their goal is to go to the WWE, I wonder why they are in wrestling. Don’t get me wrong… wrestlers can go to the WWE but to me, I think they are looking for more. Here’s my advice to those who want to go to the WWE.
Go to acting school. You will learn how to perform, display facial expressions and convert printed words into emotions the audience can digest. In addition to being in great physical shape, you have to be more than a bad actor. Most wrestlers are bad actors but a good one stands out.
Sidebar – Talking to an old friend of mine this weekend about the importance of promos in wrestling and the comparison between CM Punk and Matt Hardy came up. When Punk served up brilliance on the microphone this summer, he took off… main event push and he’s a top guy now.
Remember back in 2005, when Matt Hardy got fired, became an internet darling and was brought back? His promo? Ugh… but this wasn’t Matt’s fault. He trained to be a wrestler, not an actor.
But if he could have killed like Punk did, it might have been different for Matt. Stephanie McMahon once asked me if I thought Matt and Jeff Hardy had speech impediments. No, I said, they have accents from North Carolina, if that’s what you mean. She nodded her head and understood but that was her perception. And as I’ve written before, perception is reality.
Don’t be afraid. If you walked into a mental asylum, would you worry if the crazy people thought you were weird or would you not give a damn? That’s the way you have to think when you tryout or send in an audition tape to the WWE. They are all crazy, have no idea what they want and can be entertained by the strangest things. (RE: Brodus Clay)
Come up with an idea and believe it. Macho Man Randy Savage was this off-the-wall guy who said crazy things but he was the Macho Man 24/7. Macho Man wasn’t a “character”, Muhammad Ali wasn’t a “character” but both are examples of otherwise normal guys who believed their gimmick so much that it became a part of their DNA.
Be comfortable with change. If you want to work in the WWE, you have to be willing to take the work you have done and apply it to a new character that they give you. (RE: Brodus Clay). I have wondered out loud since his passing if the WWE would try to change Randy Savage if he walked in today off the street.
Don’t be unfair to your future employer. It’s impossible to compare the WWE to any other “wrestling” companies you may have worked for or try to apply commonly held “wrestling knowledge” when thinking about how the WWE operates. They are not a wrestling company and shouldn’t be judged as one. Just because they hire wrestlers and have a wrestling ring, they don’t work like that.
If you are mentally and physically prepared for working there, you stand a better than average change of only winding up marginally insane after you leave there. But it breaks my heart when young wrestlers get frustrated by not being able to get in. It’s not you, it’s them. Trust me.
Say it, don’t spray it @RealKevinKelly on Twitter. Gracias amigos!