Hello there, fellow wrestling fans, my name is Romeo. If you like to read about wrestling on the Internet, you might know me, having seen me around other sites, foolishly handing out my opinions for everyone to digest – like things were just one big buffet of information on half-naked men beating each other up.
My story is that I was offered a spot in this very site’s revival, and I was only too glad to take it – I had missed doing this, even if the WWE is still not what it once was, even if public opinion on it is down at the moment. The art of pro wrestling, I might as well admit right here, is my life. (If it were only possible here, I’d have long forsaken everything and tried to make it in the business, someway, somehow. It’s still my dream to re-establish a wrestling scene in the Philippines.)
And because wrestling, like all other things, is not only my life, but can just as easily be a metaphor for life, the things and lessons one can apply to the squared circle can also, by analogy, be easily applied to life. One of my favorite nuggets of wisdom that readily fall under that category come from grizzled veteran William Regal, who took the time to come up with a really, really long tweet (that is pretty much a blog post already) that gives aspiring wrestlers advice on how to make it in the business. (I suppose that makes it more than just a nugget.) It’s also great advice on how to be an all-around good, if not complete (or completely awesome) person. It’s something everyone – wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans alike – should take a gander at, and I’m here to break it down, point by point, today.
Let’s take a look at his sage advice, shall we?
- “You must develop all your skills and that usually comes from help from more experienced pros. I never had to be told to ask for help and guidance and never to this day stop working on my skills. Sitting ’round texting, playing games and whining will get you nowhere. No one owes you a living.” He says that everyone needs work from someone else who’s been around, no matter how much raw talent you do or don’t have. Working on yourself also means seeking help and learning from others, because you can only get yourself so far.
- “Find a school with a good rep and a trainer who has a great pedigree. Study the greats and the people who the great ones admire.” Make sure the person you’re asking help from also has at least some idea of what he’s talking about. Learn from the best. Make sure where you’re learning from is good enough. Then make sure the people they got their knowledge from also know their stuff well, because their predecessors are also teaching you.
- “Learn the basics properly. Get a good base of basics and perfect them. Don’t take this for granted.” Know and learn all the fundamental, important stuff you need to know in order to be the kind of person you want and aspire to be, and take it all to heart.
- “Work hard and have respect for the job.” This one’s pretty self-explanatory. No matter what you’re doing, do it the best you can. Even when you think you’re jobbing, even when you think you’ve been saddled with something terrible as a gimmick. Even when they tell you to fart (very loudly) on cue.
- “Good manners go a long way. Treat people the way you would like to be treated.” The Golden Rule. And if you ever mess up, just do your best to right that wrong. Better to try and do that than to leave things as it is, because…
- “Make everything you do mean something or don’t bother doing it. A tip from Roddy Piper: Always wrestle from your heart. It sounds simple, but it’s not.” Everything you do should matter, and you should be aware of the consequences. I’m going to paraphrase House here: you should feel great that [what you did is] great, and you should feel like crap that it’s wrong. One of the worst things are people who just couldn’t care less. Care about what you do, because people will hold it to you.
- “Work at perfecting your skills but be honest with yourself. If there are things you don’t do well then avoid doing them.” There are some things you just aren’t cut out for doing. I’m going to change up that last part a bit, though: if you absolutely have to, then work on your weaknesses. You won’t know if you can improve on them until you try – and if it really doesn’t work, then you accept that, move on, and make up for it when you have to.
- “Try to find someone who will give you an honest answer about your skills. Most people’s ego won’t allow them to think they do things badly.” Read: find frank, honest friends. You need to know what is wrong with you, and if you’re not self-aware enough to accept that you’ve got flaws, you need somebody else to tell you so.
- “Practice your talking skills.” If you suck at communicating, learn how to communicate better. People aren’t mind-readers, although you also have to…
- “Learn how to read people’s emotions. This tip is invaluable.” A lot of what people say don’t come out of their mouths, and you need to learn how to read people so you can play off them and the timing these circumstances create. There are times that you can and can’t do or say something, and being sensitive will tell you when and what those times are. And I believe that sometimes, you’re better off risking assuming a little bit than to come off as oblivious, ignorant, and ultimately, careless.
- “Look to the world to find things that you can use to develop your character. Films, TV shows and anything else that grabs your attention.” Learn from experience – not just yours, but other people’s, too, and that includes the experiences they pour into the things they create.
- “Only one in a million has the Elvis factor. If you truly have that quality, then you can get away with anything, but the majority of us don’t, so don’t take your skills for granted. I believe that that the more time you put into learning, the details the better and longer your career will be.” There are some people who are just plain (almost) perfect. But you are most probably not one of them, and even if you are, you’re much better off keeping your head down, working hard, and never failing to learn what you need to know.
- “Learn from the mistakes of the people who have come before you (including me) and try not to make them.” Real important stuff. Not everyone is perfect. Utilize that imperfection to learn, and be better.
- “To make it in the WWE you have to be very adaptable and willing to make any character or opportunity work. Heres some very good advise. Make a list of the worst possible situations and character traits you could be asked to do. Now make up a character and promos involving those traits and work on perfecting that character and promo (on your own otherwise you’ll get locked up). Make those things second nature. Now you’ve taken away some of your fears, so whatever you are asked to do should be easier. Don’t skip this task. Very few people who come to the WWE end up being the character they envisioned.” Obviously doesn’t just apply to the WWE, but to any endeavor you might find yourself undertaking. Everything’s a risk, you just gotta learn how to deal with it.
- “If you believe in yourself and your persona, it will be evident in your eyes. You cannot show any real emotion without your eyes. So, if you’re interested in being taken seriously, then never wear anything to cover them. If you need an example of this, do you trust anyone who you meet who can’t look you in the eyes?” Self-explanatory. And if you’re a shy guy (like I am) who has a bit of difficulty looking people in the eye, practice. It won’t harm them.
- “Go out every night thinking that no one knows you. By doing this you will never take your audience or yourself for granted and show them exactly what you are and what your character is all about.” Sometimes, you will need to prove yourself over and over. If you’re intent on making an impression, or if you need to change the way people look at you, then you need to do this. Keep your head down and present the best you that you can present.
- “Study what’s going on in the industry as you don’t want to be left behind. A lot of the fellas I see that can only do one style seem a bit outdated against some of the talent who have learned different styles.” Always keep learning, but don’t forget…
- “Everyone takes ideas from others, but make them your own. Try to be original. Be a one-off.” Learn from everything and everyone else around you, but synthesize them. It is your ability to synthesize what you’ve taken in and digested which dictates and molds the character and personality you go with every day.
- “Use common sense.” Common sense isn’t really common, despite what it’s called. But everyone has it; use it and make it common.
How ’bout that, huh? I know it’s something I need to print and tape to a wall or something, and I suggest you do the same. You, as a person or as a wrestler (if you are, good luck to you) can always be better.
And if you doubt this man, here, have a good match from him and one of his most famous apprentices (because this is still an article about wrestling, after all):
So, until next time, never fail to learn, to improve, and be awesome. The world needs more awesome people, and you could say that William Regal, of all people, taught you how to be awesome.