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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

10 Things I've Learnt In 10 Years Of Professional Wrestling

I don't remember the exact date, but it was in September 2007 when I had my first training session in my mission to become a professional wrestler.

I'll be frank, it's not turned out how I planned. My idols going into this were The Hardys and Lita, so in my head I wanted to learn how to do all the flippy moves, dive off the top turnbuckle and my ultimate goal was to learn a Moonsault. If I was good enough, maybe I could even push for a Shooting Star Press.

I was very quickly brought down to Earth with a bump, both figuratively and literally. I'm not the most athletic person in the world, and even to this day I still struggle with front flips, something which is considered basic in the crazy world of wrestling.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I've not made it very far in "the biz", because I know I've tried something many wrestling fans are way too scared to and I'm actually quite happy acting as a manager for the time being. If any British promotions out there need a mega-bitch personality for their shows, don't hesitate to get in touch *wink*.

Now that I've got my shameless plug out of the way, let's dive in (see what I did there?) into my list of ten general life things that I've learned whilst I've been involved in professional wrestling.

1. Wrestling is harder than it looks

When people talk about wrestling this is something that they get told time and time again, but you won't ever truly believe it until you try it. The difficulty level varies depending on the person - some trainees pick it up real quick, others struggle. There's so much to take in with all the whys and hows. Eventually a lot of things become second nature, but at first it can be a real struggle learning how to control your body when giving and taking moves.

I don't remember who took this photo, if anyone knows please get in touch?

2. Cardio is important

It seems obvious that wrestlers would do weight training, given the size of the guys that you see on TV and knowing that there's a lot of picking people up involved. What no one banks on is that you have to be INCREDIBLY fit to get anywhere in the wrestling business. So many people who throw in the towel during the first month of training do so because they weren't expecting the cardio to be so intense. It's necessary to achieve such a level of fitness though because the more tired you get, the more likely you are to fuck up.

3. Not everybody is going to like you

And you're not going to like everybody. Like any form of entertainment business, wrestling is full of egos and it doesn't take much to tick someone off when they think you're after their spot on the show. These are the people most likely to stab you in the back and step over you to get what they want. Even away from egos, there are people who are just generally arseholes, who nobody likes but for some reason they still hang around like a bad smell.

4. But there are also some lovely people in the world

On the flipside, there are also nice people who will be your friend and support you. I've met some of my favourite people through wrestling, who've been there for me in my darkest moments, and I couldn't be more grateful to have them in my life.

An example of some lovely people

5. The fight for gender equality is far from over

When I first started wrestling in 2007, women in the business were largely seen as eye candy and not taken too seriously. At least on a larger scale anyway, I've never personally had any problems at my home promotion, RWA. Women's wrestling has come a long way since 2007, but there are somehow still men out there, in 2017, who think women's wrestling should remain a sideshow as all wrestling fans wanna see women as tits and ass and nothing else. I do think this is a minority opinion these days, but it's one that needs to be eradicated completely.

6. Exes can be friends

I met both of my former boyfriends through wrestling because, quite honestly, I don't have too much of a life outside of it. Despite all the drama that can come with relationships, especially when you also have to work with them, I am on good terms with both of my exes and, as far as I am aware, there is no bad blood at all between any of us. I wrote a more in depth blog post on this topic which you can read here.

7. Hygiene matters. Like, it REALLY matters.

I mean I already knew this but I'm talking about it anyway. There is absolutely NOTHING worse when you're training or working a show than grappling with somebody who smells like they haven't showered for a week. There's no excuse for it, you KNOW that you're going to have close bodily contact with people so FFS make sure you're clean.

8. Finding your own style makes you feel SO much better

As a manager, I have more freedom in what I wear when I'm performing. Every outfit I've ever worn on shows has been made up of pieces that I would wear out and about day to day (or night) I just style them in a little bit more of an eye catching, over-the-top manner than I normally would. After all, you don't want to look too pedestrian if you want to be noticed.

Again, unsure who took the first two photos. Picture on the far right is by Matthew Gregson.

9. You should always be yourself

The more grizzled vets in the wrestling crowd will always be able to spot someone fake a mile away. I know that my dry sense of humour and my bluntness will sometimes rub people up the wrong way, but my honesty and my lack of trying to be someone I'm not is what I think has gained me the respect of my peers. Or at least I hope it has anyway.

10. I am a strong person

Professional wrestling is both physically and mentally draining. Over the years, I've lost count of how many times I've beaten myself up, I've cried, I've doubted myself. I've always got back up, I've always come back. To do that, to survive this business at any level, you need to be strong. And I'm proud of that.

The school I train at is the Runcorn Wrestling Academy (the Cheshire branch of the Al Snow Wrestling Academy) which has a school in Runcorn and a school in Winsford. You can find more information about RWA here. Please check it out :)

Stacey Rose xx

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