Diary of a Present Day Pro Wrestler (Part 1)

 

Hitting the weights every day, forcing water into my system, eating on a schedule whether I’m hungry or not, missing holidays, family events, or taking a minute for personal time… all the sacrifices got me thinking: my journey as a pro wrestler would be one hell of a story to tell.

What makes my journey special? I asked myself this question before setting fingers to keys and typing away. I mean, I’m not on a Chris Jericho or Mick Foley level of biographical interest. But my story is still interesting. Maybe fans, friends and foes alike could appreciate what it takes to be a pro wrestler in today’s climate.

So I answered myself. What makes my journey special? The answer is a complicated one: nothing and everything. On one hand, you can say that nothing makes me stand out among the thousands of pro wrestlers on the independent circuit, all trying to “make it”. But what defines “making it?” For those with the desire and passion, the fire will always burn: you’ll never be satisfied. Each step up the ladder leads to another step higher. However, we all start at the bottom.

I’m not sure where the road will end, but it has been filled with potholes, U-turns, speed bumps, and many obstacles along the way. In a time where wrestlers are critiqued for everything they do, and fans demand excellence at every moment, the road is a tough one to travel. It’s tough for all of us on the circuit. This is just one story, my story, and thus begins my voyage…

Most people are surprised to hear this, even fellow wrestlers. My journey started in 1999, when I was a senior in high school. I was 17 years old, and like most boys my age, caught up in one of the hottest periods in wrestling history. I was witnessing the Monday Night Wars, each week.

Every Tuesday was a big day for me, running up to my grandmother’s house to grab my VCR tape that had both RAW and Nitro recorded on it. (TNT ran a rerun of Nitro for the West Coast, early in the morning, thus being able to tape both.) I didn’t have cable in my house, so I tried my best to not hear every detail of every show before I got home to watch 5 hours of original programing each week.

To say I was obsessed with wrestling would be an understatement. I was a fan for as long as I could remember. Before the the days where cable was king, I used to watch the syndicated shows every Saturday and/or Sunday morning. My father would record Saturday Night’s Main Event. I would stay the night over my Grandmother’s and catch WCW’s Saturday night show. I watched every PPV from a friend or family member’s house. The more wrestling I could consume, the better.

I was lucky enough to inherit a large box of VHS tapes, filled with recorded PPV’s from throughout the late 80’s and all of the 90’s. Soon enough I could tell you the results of many shows, wrestler’s histories, their change in names, titles they held, etc. I was an encyclopedia of useless wrestling information; this would come in handy soon and help me further down the road.

Reflecting on those days, I knew I always wanted to be in the business of pro wrestling. Just how I was going to do that, or what I was going to do, I never had set in my mind. At the time I was already refereeing soccer for a few years and figured that maybe if I wasn’t athletically gifted enough to be a wrestler, I could be a referee. Strange enough, refereeing soccer is how I got introduced to the business.

Small disclaimer: I will be talking about many people throughout these stories. For some I’ll use their real names, because they deserve the credit. For others, I’ll protect the guilty (and keep heat off myself) by changing their moniker. How will you know which is which? You won’t! (Unless you were there of course!)

So I was introduced to wrestling through soccer. How on Earth is that possible? Oddly enough, it was through reffing a soccer game that I met a youth league coach, who just so happened to be a supplier of 8×10 photos for WCW. As I started talking more and more with the coach Ray, the more we bonded on the subject of wrestling. He soon realized that my knowledge would be valuable, as he knew little about wrestling himself.

Enter the strangest sign that WCW might’ve been an oddly run business. Ray, who during this span became the exclusive supplier of WCW photos (8×10’s used for autographs) all while running the entire operation out of his home’s 2 car garage in the tiny village of Hubbard, Ohio!

I had spent many days hanging out with Ray and his oldest son, Raymond (who was a few years younger than me) talking wrestling, while UPS trucks came by, picking up and dropping off materials that shifted from photos arriving from Dallas and frames coming from West Viriginia. Ray would assemble and distribute as necessary, a few hundred photos for a Nitro in Georgia, or thousands of photos to a Wal-Mart distributor. It was quite an amazing feat for what was a one man band.

It was during this time that Ray had asked what my interest would be getting into pro wrestling. I had never thought of him having any type of connections within WCW, but one phonecall lead to another to another, to an email or a fax, or whatever. Through the chain of communication I somehow ended up with an answer of getting “training and experience” and was hooked up with a date and address of an indy wrestling show taking place in Eastlake, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

I’ll never forget that trip to my first indy wrestling show, but that’s a story for next time.

SLP

Disclaimer: “Diary of a Present Day Pro Wrestler” is a recount of witty, funny, ugly and otherwise entertaining stories from Scott Prodigy’s pro wrestling career. While these stories are based on true events, the author makes no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the content. In some instances names, locations and/or other general information have been altered. The author shall in no event be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, punitive, special, incidental or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of this material, which is provided “as is”, and without warranties. The author does not warrant the performance, effectiveness or applicability of any sites listed or linked to in the content.

Copyright 2011 Scott Prodigy. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this may be copied, or changed in any format, sold, or used in any way other than under any circumstances.