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Tips From the Stars on How to Become a Wrestler

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Over the years, I have interviewed many wrestlers. One of the questions that I frequently ask them is if they have any advice on how to become a wrestler. The reason I ask this is because so many of you have written to me asking about becoming a wrestler. Who can better answer these questions than the wrestlers themselves. The links in these sections contain the full interview and in some cases even more of our discussion about this topic.

Brutus Beefcake

Unless he is 6’8”, 270 pounds, rock-hard, young and stupid, and has a lot of money, I’d tell them to go to school, get an education, and get a job because he is going to wind up on skid row probably. He is going to get beat up, he is going to lose everything he’s got, all his friends, and the chances of making it in the business right now, unless you are somebody’s son or somebody’s cousin or brother, are about slim to none.

Cary Silkin (Ring of Honor Owner)

The [Ring of Honor] school is in Bristol, Pennsylvania, about 30 minutes outside of Philly where Ring of Honor offices are. It’s run by one of our stars, DELIRIOUS. There are different price levels that you can join the school at. So, in other words, somebody doesn’t have to plunk down $5,000 or some crazy figure. They can come in for a month or two to try it out. We like people that make a commitment and come to the school. There are a lot of guys out there that would love to be in Ring of Honor but it is a very high bar, especially if you are young and just starting. If you go to Ring of Honor’s school, it is a good lead in to getting to be on the shows.

Chris Jericho

It’s the same thing for any dream whether you want to become an actor, musician, wrestler, or botanist. If it’s what you want to do just keep your blinders on, believe in yourself, and realize that nothing worth having is easy. If you really want to make it and you really think you have it in your heart than just go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.

Daniels

Just understand that it is a massive undertaking and you’re only going to get out of it what you put into it. When I started my training, I was at my wrestling school four days a week, two or three hours at a time. I wrestled as many different people as I could to become comfortable with my own skills in the ring and to be able to adapt to the people that I wrestled. Once I started wrestling matches, I tried to work for as many different promoters as I could, against as many different opponents that I could just to get that experience. You’re never going to exceed if you stay within your comfort zone.

Dallas Page

I'll say: “Dude, are you willing to live in your car?” And they're like: “What?”. And then I'll say: “Are you willing to drive 200 – 500 miles to a gig for just $25.” That's what guys have to do to make it and many guys have that story.

I always think of Christian and Edge. Both of them got some really awesome stories about living the dream like that. Never knowing if they would get out of the independent scene but they loved it.

Would you be happy just working the independent scene because 99.9% of the time, that is just how far you are going to go. So if they're into that and they just want to perform in front of people and they can't live without it, I would suggest getting an education because if you get into right out of high school, you'll have nothing to fall back on.

Dolph Ziggler

My advice, just like I told my brother [NXT Star Briley Pierce], no matter what you want to do in life, if you work harder than everyone else in every aspect of that job and somehow you still don't achieve your goals, at least you can go to sleep at night knowing that you worked hard at it.

Hillbilly Jim

He said that the WWE is the top of the mountain and that you have to start elsewhere. He recommends that you make a local contact and start wrestling locally. If you are lucky enough to get a call from the WWE, make sure that you are ready because you may not get a second call. He also said that the WWE has scouts that go to many indy shows and they have a big enough staff that see many of the indy wrestlers throughout the country.

James Storm

You've got to be on the road to be learning and perfecting your craft so that when you do get a chance you are ready. I'm not talking about just learning how to flip and flop. I'm talking about learning how to be a professional wrestler. How to get into the ring and being able to tell a story. You know, everybody at one point of their life can flip and flop. But being able to be a good storyteller, that is something totally different.

Jim Duggan

I say always chase your dream. But, you also have to understand reality. Have something to fall back on because there are 1,000 NFL football players playing this year. There are 500 NBA players in the NBA. There are only 120 wrestlers under contract. It is a television show and an extremely competitive business. People think that because wrestling is wrestling, it is not competitive. It's a television show and extremely competitive. To get one of those 120 spots, you've got to take me out of my job or you've got to take Cody Rhodes out of his job or somebody else and nobody is going to give up their job.

Jimmy Hart

I just remember something Dick Clark once told me. He said that if you ever want to be in this business, whether it is entertainment, or anything, just remember that if you dress like you are in the audience then one day you will be sitting in the audience. That is why all my jackets are colored. That is why the megaphone was colored. When Vince brought the megaphone back for me from Japan and said this is going to be your new gimmick. Take this and bring it to the ring with you. He let me paint it up, fix it up, do whatever I wanted to do to it.
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