Those who want to know how to become a wrestler are probably interested in the sport because of its unrivaled combination of entertainment, drama and displays of pure athleticism. Professional wrestlers are modern-day gladiators, using their skills not only as athletes, but as actors too.
Be Sure you Want to Wrestle
Wrestling is a dangerous sport, like boxing or football. While wrestling matches are choreographed, they are by no means safe. There is nothing fake about your 250 pound frame falling five feet straight down to the matt. The hurt is real. Wresters must be able to take an extreme beating, all the while making it look easy or difficult as suits the character’s idiom.
You really need to have a love for the sport to succeed in wrestling. Before the adoring fans can ever find you, you will have to work for very low pay at minor wrestling leagues for as little as $25 per match. To become a wrestler, you must also have patience. You will struggle for many years in independent promotions for little money. You must be determined and willing to work hard for your goals. The hope is that a talent scout will find you and help you to find your place in professional wrestling in the WWE.
Along with the poor pay are grueling travel schedules. You will be on the road constantly, traveling to matches. The life of the wrestler is much like that of the touring musician; cheap hotels, quick meals, publicity events and constant movement. If your family does not support your career, the constant absence from home can put quite a strain on your home life.
Get in Shape
Find a Wrestling School
Once you have a regular training routine and have formed a fit body, you will want to join a wrestling school or academy. Be prepared to travel to find a good school. Training is also expensive, costing around $100 per day. Choose a school with trainers who have had success in wrestling themselves. Find out the names of wrestlers who have gone on from the school to become professionals. Be sure there is a good safety and training program in place as well. Take the time to observe a training session to be sure the style of coaching is friendly and encouraging. Wrestling school should not be like boot camp. A school that also offers lessons in acting is also helpful since entertainment is a large part of a wrestler’s job.
At wrestling school, the coach will take you through wrestling moves, demonstrating how to perform them safely. The goal is to complete the move without causing any harm to yourself or your opponent. You will learn how to communicate with opponents and follow wrestling choreography. He will look at your style and help you develop a persona. You will become one of several wrestling personalities. The character you develop will be determined based upon the moves you excel at. You will have signature moves that you will perform regularly.
You may become a brawler; one of the heavy-weight wrestlers who focus on power moves or a technical wrestler who focuses instead on speed. You may also become a flyer who performs show-stopping moves to impress the crowd.
Other personalities focus on the good versus evil aspect of the wrestling drama. You may be a heel or villain, distracting the referee to get a chance at breaking the rules. You will entice the crowd into hating you. You can also be a “face” or “blue-eye”; one of the guys who the girls swoon over. These wrestlers are the good guys, playing up good feelings in the crowd.
Ohio Valley Wrestling School
If you have your heart set on the WWE, you should register with the Ohio Valley Wrestling School. This school is where the majority of WWE wrestlers get training. It is also a great place for anyone to start, offering a beginner’s class that is open to anyone interested in professional wrestling. The class consists of a thirteen-week training camp. Graduates who are successful will be invited to move on to intermediate training. Intermediate classes last for a year. The top athletes will be invited back for advanced training. The advanced graduates will go on to wrestle for the WWE and in other venues. The WWE often assigns personas to wrestlers that it employs, so you will have less say in the development of your character.
Others work their way up the ranks, beginning as amateurs. Kurt Angle is the best example of this, being an Olympic Gold Medalist who afterwards established a career in the WWE. He then moved on to a smaller wrestling organization, TNA. However, you don’t need to be an Olympiad to succeed as an amateur wrester. You can look for a local independent promotion at websites like Obsessed With Wrestling where you will find trainers and wrestlers who have been through the ranks and can provide you with invaluable information on how to succeed in wrestling. By joining an independent federation, you may be spotted at a match by a scout and be offered a dark match, which takes place before televised matches to warm up the crowd. Crowd pleasers can move up to the WWE’s webcast show, Heat.
Be a Wrestling Fan
While you work your way into the wrestling ring, you should never stop being a fan. You can learn a let simply by observing matches and applying what you learn in classes or in matches to what you see on television. This also helps you notice how certain moves and behaviors play out with the crowd.