Where can I buy some spandex?: A last ditch attempt at learning to wrestle

pbwGary Henderson

So, eh, I’m going to wrestling training this weekend.

This is a terrible idea. Obviously I love wrestling right. I’ve loved it since I was eight. I have a rainmanesque knowledge of completely pointless trivia that I constantly use to try and impress people without the self-awareness to realise that ‘wrestling trivia’ and ‘impress people’ don’t really gel.

I subscribe to ‘dirt-sheets’, post on forums, go to local shows, watch old school NWA on the network and try to pretend I know what’s happening in Japan. I am a complete walking stereo-type of a ‘smark’. Thing is, I fucking hate ‘smarks’, I hate people that use in-the-know phrases like they’re part of the business, I hate people that spray about internet rumours like their mate Hunter has told them personally, and I hate, hate, hate people that point out botches like they’re privy to some sort of unlockable cheat that’s allowed them to know the big secret – wrestling is fake.

Anyway, I do all of those things in abundance. The only way that this becomes remotely acceptable is if I can wrestle myself. I mean, that’s part of my reason for doing this. The rest is my love and respect for a business that’s brought me up and moulded part of the person I am today – but that’s much less fun to write about.

I’ve spent my full adult life cutting promos in front of a mirror, choosing my theme music, putting on Lucha masks when I’m drunk and messaging wrestlers on Facebook trying to be their pals. Whenever I walk down the street with headphones in, I will put said entrance theme on and hope nobody is watching me while I start gesturing to an invisible crowd trying to decide whether I would be better suited as a heel. I’ve laid there at night in bed and ‘worked’ complete matches in my head, from start to finish.

It borders on the obsessive sometimes. But why, at 25 years of age, clearly with my better years behind me, am I deciding to do it now?

First of all, up until about five or six years ago, I didn’t even know the British scene still existed – certainly not to the level it does now. And while it’s really easy to look at anyone starting off now as ‘bandwagon jumping’ based on the successes of ICW, PCW, Progress and the like – well – so? The more people getting involved increases the chances of uncovering real, genuine talent, thus helping the business grow.

Secondly, up until recently, there’s absolutely no chance I was remotely fit enough to give this a go. I’m still a bit of a tubby fucker as we speak, but two years ago I weighed the same as HHH’s worked weight, and it wasn’t made up of muscle. So I’ve worked hard at the gym and gotten generally a lot fitter, always with the end-game in the back of my mind of having a go it this whacky deal called wrestling.

I don’t want to be WWE Champion or main event Wrestlemania – not because they wouldn’t be lovely, but because I live on planet earth. I just want to go, learn, have some fun, have some matches and justify all that time spent mentally debating between entrances and costumes.

As a bonus, everyone I’ve spoken to over the past few months and gotten to know a bit, like Indy talent ‘Switch’ (Imagine early Mankind mixed with Golddust and Jason from them Halloween films), Graham Mckay (BCW Owner) and, more fleetingly, Grado (who is nice enough to comment on my weight loss during his entrance every time he wrestles in my home town. I’m usually very drunk by this point and take it as a solidification of our brotherly bond, brother) have been thoroughly nice chaps who look like they’re having a brilliant time of it. They’ve also been incredibly encouraging and have given me that wee nudge across the line I probably needed.

Anyway, this Sunday, I’ll head down to the Premier British Wrestling academy with a group of guys a lot younger, fitter and talented than me, and give this nonsense a go. For most of them, it’s just a Sunday morning up the wrestling, like any other sports club where they’re learning new skills with their pals. For me, like the twat I am, It’s taken the best part of a decade and a lot of soul searching or whatever you want to call it to pluck up the balls to give this a go. I think because, if I fail, I cant rest on the laurels of watching wrestling and saying “I could’ve done that”. Time to go fucking do it I guess.

To paraphrase the Texas Rattlesnake.

Arrive. Take a bump. Bite my tongue. Get winded. Leave.

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One thought on “Where can I buy some spandex?: A last ditch attempt at learning to wrestle

  1. Pingback: Where Can I Buy Some Spandex: Week 1 | Ring the Damn Bell

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