Behind The Curtain a Look Beyond the Bright Lights
Wrestling fans always have that ‘what if’ feeling. What if I pursued my dream to become a professional wrestler. Some jump the gun and pursue it prematurely. Ultimately thinking they will become the next big thing as soon as they get into the business. Ultimately they fail.
I am going to give you a first-hand account of a former semi-pro/ Indy wrestler’s journey through the dark side of the industry. Starting at a young age because of negative situations he was forced to make his way on his own. This meant anything goes. Even to the point where he was making unofficial documents to make himself a legal age. He started helping out in night clubs in his area and that’s where he met a promotor. The promotor would offer him what he thought would be a promising way out of his troubles.
The promotor would offer him a job with his company, I.P.W. Hardcore Wrestling. He placed him with a personal trainer. While training and trying to make ends meet his job was to clean the training center where he was studying to make his dues until his training was over. He worked for months and months as a (filler) performance talent until finally catching his break.
The owner of the promotion once asked him, “how far are you willing to go”?
Thinking about past greats in the industry he replies, “everyone wants to be the next Rock or Austin, but someone has to be Mick Foley.” Knowing from his prior commitment to the company before, blood sells in this business.
His new journey began and he was about to embrace a culture shock. Spending time out on the road he experienced a lot of chapters in his life. There were highs and lows. The highs were really high and the lows really low. He would see eagerly ambitious promising stars go to heights that would only lead to their demise. In order to keep the edge, they would fuel up on narcotics. Life on the road is tough. Long, lonely, late nights far away from his family that he left due to negative circumstances. He would have to sleep in cars during the nights that he wasn’t on the card or when the money wasn’t enough. He even missed out on important moments like the birth of his son. Depression and suicidal thoughts ran rapidly through his mind. He once told me that holidays were critical. Recalling how he spent one holiday at a truck stop with a subway sub and a bottle of Jack that he got from an older wrestler. He also had painkillers and a gun with him while contemplating suicide because of the pain and loneliness he felt.
Thankfully he overcame those demons and with a clear conscience of truth, he told his promotor he wanted to go home. This led to a confrontational heated argument where he confessed the truth about his age.
The promotor threatened to sue his parents and inform the local authorities of a child neglect case. Conflicted he and his promotor were unable to compromise. He would end up leaving the company and ultimately be ‘blacklisted.’ This was a black eye on both parties. He officially retired from the business right there and then.
Now he is a mid-30-year-old man with the body of a 50-year-old man. His body is still beat and battered to this day due to his injuries sustained in the ring. The only thing that he has to give to the sport now is his brain. No, he is not a promotor himself now. But he would like his brain donated to sports science to help out the future generation of inspiring wrestlers.
His message to future inspiring wrestlers:
‘You have to be 100% focused, give your mind, body, and soul for your dreams. Train correctly, listen to your body, and go into the business with a positive mindset.
Now it’s time to let you in on a secret. This person is me. I had a hit a rough road but I lived through a hell of an experience in the business. Names that no one knew who would go on to bigger and brighter things in the business. The only thing I have left to give is the stories and the scars.
Due to my legal situation, this story has allowed me to open up to my family that wasn’t previously aware of my journey. Due to previous family issues, I was afraid, aggravated, and disappointed with myself the ways things turned out.
I hope this helps the inspiring wrestler that is anxious to pull that trigger on becoming a wrestler. Don’t do what I did. Give it time. Train. Learn. Do it right. Knowledge is definitely power within the sport of professional wrestling.
A big thank you to the Baker man that gave me the vision to break out and turn my anger into my strength.
The snack that slaps back * Thanks Pops*
Good luck and thank you for reading.
TLDR: This is the first official story of my journey. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I have struggled to speak about this journey for a long time. Just know you are not alone.
National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255