What makes you a professional ?
by Mark Williamson
Hi everyone, welcome to the first of many rants that will be wrestlehustle.com about Aussie Wrestling. The first one is what allows you to call your self professional in Aussie Wrestling. Well for starters this is a Industry in this country that only a handful of people make a living off. However that’s not to say there is handful of professionals. Some workers can claim that they are a professional because they have trained overseas, used to make a living on it overseas, charge a huge match fee however will act like a complete dickhead backstage at a show, hold the promoter up for stupid requests and more money, no show because they don’t feel like doing a show only to when not getting used anymore carry on like a jerk and annoy, threaten and contact the promoter’s family in their quarrel.
There are a number of aspects that I think make you a professional in this scene.
To be paid or not to be paid– Well this one is a tough question. I always believe it shouldn’t have to cost you to work a show. If traveling interstate at least most of travel should be covered aswell as an opportunity to make extra money i.e sell your own merchandise, run training seminars in something. Shows in the country do not make huge amounts of money and if you want to make $$$, you are going to have to be smart and find extra ways to make it. Bleeding the promoter you work for dry so it gets to a stage where he no longer can run shows, thus costing you a booking to ply your craft and a chance to make money. Every booking is chance for you to make some extra cash, you just have to be smart about it.
For a local show, some shows are just not going to draw. I don’t mind taking a hit on a local show and helping out a promoter as long as the promoter has done their best to promote the show and have actually put an effort into promoting. If you show them a bit of loyalty instead of kicking them while they are down usually the next show where they make $$$ you get rewarded. AN example I take is two promotions in NSW. PWA started running Liverpool Masonic centre where their first couple of shows only drew 12 people. Not many at all, no one got paid however the guys who remained loyal to PWA now work in front of sell out, rabid crowds. Another promotion going to this step has been Nightmare Wrestling- the shows at drummoyne rsl have started with low crowds of about 20 people, however ever increasing over the two months from 20 to 100 people. All the guys got paid decently for the show and another chance to put in the hardwork to increase the crowds by making them want to see you.
Giving the crowd a reason to come back and see you– A pet gripe I have with wrestlers in this country. A number of wrestlers have the attitude of it’s just Aussie Wrestling- why should I care ? I managed a wrestler the other week who forgot his gear and just wrestled in the clothes his had on. He then continued to be in the worst match I have ever been involved with, to where he got backstage and his attitude was oh doesn’t matter. Well it matters you fucking idiot. He then was the first to whinge when he didn’t get his full pay.
You need to entertain the crowd and give them something where they want to come back and see you. You need to be entertaining- you don’t have to break your neck for 100 people, but at least do something that make those people come back and say “I want to see them again.” It’s all well an good to demand a match fee, but if you are going out there and half arseing it and showing the crowd you don’t want to be doing this or just being so shit that the crowd won’t want to see you again… you are not a professional but a fucking hack.
Leaving your shit at the door– This a big one to a lot of people. You are there to perform on a show. You might not like some of the people backstage, however it does not give you the reason to act like a cock backstage and try to cause to trouble. There are a number of people I share locker rooms with where I don’t like them, however I won’t go to a promoter and say “Your not to book anymore, or I am outta here.” That is the most childish, piss weak thing to do. I you don’t like someone backstage- don’t talk to em, have nothing to do with em unless it involves the show. You are backstage with them for a couple of hours, get the fuck over yourself. Going to a promoter and trying to get someone unbooked or holding them up is being a pussy. And if you want to sort out whatever problems you have, take it away from everyone else and sorted out like adults.
A great example of this was a problem Jag and myself had. Jag wanted to speak to me outside because of some very stupid comments I made. We talked the problem out away from the locker room so it did not affect it in a negatively. And now while Jag aren’t best buddies, I certainly have a tonne of respect for him as a professional.
Backstage etiquette– Some workers will carry on backstage with a superiority complex because they have trained overseas or come from a “better” promotion. Well guess what you are a sharing a locker room with people “beneath you” so you mustn’t be doing that crash hot. And example of this is an arrogant little maggot that worked an SWA show. He changed the finish of match which made the promotions top baby face look like shit, then came backstage and claimed he is a professional and doesn’t put over shit workers. Despite the face the bloke couldn’t get over with the local crowd even if he knifed a baby, and now his shitty attitude will cost him a whole bunch of bookings. If you don’t like the way a match goes, don’t carry on like cock head.
All in all I found people that show these qualities often get more bookings, make a nice supplementary income from wrestling and genuinely are professional.
Well enough of my ranting, now it’s time to train to beat up a midget.
What makes you a professional ?