My Monday column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review looks at aspiring pro wrestlers and the need for characters. The following is an excerpt:
If you want to have a chance to be a successful professional wrestler, don’t just be “a dude.”
Don’t be another guy who bought a cheap pair of boots and elbow pads after he hit the trampoline for a few hours.
I was recently talking with an aspiring independent professional wrestler in the midwest. He didn’t have the name John Smith, but it was still a pretty generic name. Let’s just call him John Smith for sake of anonymity.
I asked him, “Who is John Smith?” He responded by telling me John Smith was a dude that does some cool things in the ring that you just have to see. My immediate response in my head is John Smith is some dude who used to be doing cool things in the ring and will soon be cashing you out at a Walmart near you.
A character is so important in wrestling. You should have a character who I never need to see wrestle. I’ll see him wrestle because I’m at a wrestling show and the primary conflicts are settled at a wrestling show. But I want to be captivated before the bell rings. A great example of this is RJ City. Go look him up on YouTube. I bet you can’t watch just one of his promos.
Have a character that has a look that catches the eye. A character who can speak in an engaging manner. A character who has a look more intriguing than local cashiers. Give me an entrance that’s memorable.
Side note on the entrance: I know on the independent level you can get away with using any music you want. Stop picking the songs that take 45 seconds for it to get to the heavy part for you to burst through the curtain. Longer I wait, the more anticipation I have. The more anticipation I have, the higher expectations I have for you. The higher expectations I have for you, the increased probability you won’t meet them.
WWE trainer Steve Keirn once gave a great piece of advice to a young man down south who had the aspirations to make it to WWE developmental.