WWE No Mercy is this Sunday in Los Angeles, CA at the Staples Center! Tickets are available on StubHub and Ticket Liquidator right now, some prices are lower than Ticketmaster!
Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Jason Jordan – Jason Jordan has shown some serious promise… must be in his genetics… hahaha You know when they announced he was “Kurt Angles son, I actually did the research to see if that could even make sense. It can. Jordan should be able to beat The Miz fair and Square, but this is The Miz we are talking about. The Miz will retain his title.
Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt – Will the Demon Bálor come out to play for No Mercy? We can only hope! I got my money on Bálor.
Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs Cesaro & Sheamus – Cesaro and Sheamus really, really want their titles back. Ambrose and Rollins aren’t going to be that easy to beat. I have Rollins and Ambrose retaining.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville vs. Enzo Amore – Neville is amazing. Enzo is… hilarious. Is Neville going to be able to outsmart Enzo’s hijinks? I think Enzo may walk away with the Cruiserweight Championship.
Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Nia Jax vs. Emma (Fatal 5-Way Match) NIA JAX!!!!!! Nuff said.
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns- RAW called this a “Dream Match” um WUT? I can hear the boo’s already… for both of them. Does anyone actually care about this match? I hear more people talking about Nikki Bella on Dancing with the Stars, than John Cena’s wrestling career these days. I’m sticking with Roman Reigns on this one.
Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman – IF BRAUN STROWMAN LOSES I RIOT!!!!
Get WWE No Mercy 2017 tickets now on StubHub or Ticket Liquidator if you are in the Los Angeles area. (If you want a fun companion, buy me one too!)
Jazzy Gabert vs Abby Laith
Rachel Evers vs Marti Belle
Princesa Sughit vs Kay Lee Ray
Xa Li vs Mercedes Martinez
Nicole Savoy vs Reina Gonzalez
Renee Michelle vs Candice LeRae
Sarah Logan vs Mia Yim
Zed vs Shayna Baszler
Kairi Sane vs Tessa Blanchard
Sage Beckett vs Bianca Belair
Dakota Kai vs Kavita Devi
Rhea Ripley vs Miranda Salinas
Vanessa Borne vs Serena Deeb
Santana Garrett vs Piper Niven
Taynara Conti vs Lacey Evans
Ryesha Raymond vs Toni Storm
Many folks dream of one day becoming a professional wrestler. This has been the dream of young men and women since wrestling became a thing. Only in the past two decades has wrestling become so much more accessible to the average person. With a slew of wrestling schools spread across the U.S. it seems like a new one is popping up every day. With all these schools there are an influx of independent wrestlers out there, all trying to get a piece of the action, many of which are disappointed by the reality of the industry.
There are so many things to look at when choosing a wrestling school. You want to see what former students have made it to the big time, who the trainers are, the amount of classes you take, the structure of the classes you take, the location, and of course the price. Just because you pay more, does not make it a better school. Just because they have been around longer does not make them a better school. It takes a lot of leg work on the part of the student, to find the right school to fit them. You generally want to find a school that doesn’t take more than 2 hours to drive to each way. You want to find a school that teaches in levels, but also has open rings for you too practice with those with more experience. You want to find a school that wants to build well rounded students, who look, work, and speak as a wrestler should. Most of all you want a school that is honest with students about their potential to make it as wrestlers, and who are willing to build them into the right roles within a company.
Remember these schools still have a bottom line, and that’s to produce money. Yes there are a few schools that aren’t about capitalizing per se, but it takes money to run a wrestling school, and few if any are doing entirely out of their pocket for the love of the sport. A lot of these schools are wrestler mills, and will take anyone’s money, slap them in a ring, give them some training and throw them on student shows. Too few of these schools, and the instructors in them are honest with student’s about their chances in making it, and what it really takes (in most cases) to make it big time. All schools should be offering a variety of courses to teach students the valuable skills of the wrestling industry. For instance, if you are not physically capable of wrestling, you may find you fit in as a manager, referee, ring announcer, commentator, or even in production. There is often no side education in the wrestling business, yet there are a ton of positions to fill. Remember wrestling school could cost you anywhere from $2500-$5000 just to get your beginner training. Many schools charge that for the first year, then a gym fee after.
Let’s say you make it through a school, even a mediocre one, and are ready to take matches in outside promotions. Then what? Are you ready to promote yourself as a full time job? Are you ready to pay for gear, and merchandise? Are you ready to build a recognizable name for yourself across your region? Do you know how to put a package together for the promoters you want to work for, to impress them and get a booking over 1000 other guys or gals on the scene? Then you do get these bookings, and you must worry about gear, gas money, travel buddies, missing events such as birthdays, weddings, and other moments your friends and family may really be angry you dipped out on. But if you cancel the show you may be ruining a story line, losing a belt, or even losing your place in the company. What happens if the promoter doesn’t pay? Do you have a spare tire? Are you prepared to drive 5 hours with 5 people in a compact car, to work in front of a crowd of 10,000 or 10, for 10 minutes, then drive home? These are all things to really think about before you get involved in independent wrestling.
Then once you get established are you ready to build a relationship with fans, so they buy your merchandise? Independent wrestling paydays often range from nothing to maybe a few hundred dollars if you are lucky. And you spend more than that in gas. Not to mention if you need to also get a hotel room, or pay for other travel expenses. Are you willing or able to take time off your day job to travel to shows that are further away but may be a better opportunity? What is your plan in case of injury? Do you carry personal insurance? The other expenses you will incur includes but isn’t limited to; new gear, tanning, gym dues, supplements, eating vast amounts of “clean calories”, which not only costs you money, but time to prepare, and consume as well.
So if you plan on getting involved in independent wrestling you have two choices, take it very seriously and think about all I have written about, and the things that pop into your mind that I haven’t, and take it on full bore. Or get involved as a hobby, find one spot you feel happy with, and don’t bitch about lack of bookings. Wrestling is still a competition. Know and understand the level you want to compete on. Know your limitations. Embrace what you are good at, and figure out what really suits you in the industry. And don’t get fooled by any snake oil salesmen along the way.
I am writing this as not only an editorial, but a personal piece. Let’s be real, we have all either suffered from bouts of depression, or know someone who has. Depression comes in many forms, with many faces. Some are able to hide it, and smile and be active. Some folks hide in their beds. Others just barely are able to do the bare minimum to survive.
Depression can last a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, months or a whole lifetime, depending on what environmental and chemical factors are in play. Some folks do well on medicine, others are sick of being zombies, or guinea pigs for the pharmaceutical companies. Some turn to “drugs” or alcohol to self medicate. Others are fitness junkies, workaholics, or seem to be addicted to something whether it be gambling, gaming, or sexual behaviors.
This is something we have seen in wrestling, but maybe have not recognized as being related to depression. Not only that but the link between tramatic brain injuries and depression. From TramaticBrainInjury.net:
“…major depressive disorder (MDD) may be the most common and challenging mental health condition that patients encounter following a TBI—53.1% of TBI patients in the study experienced MDD at least once in the first year after their injury. Another study showed that suicidal thoughts and attempts are also common reactions to TBI—23% of the participants had thoughts of suicide, while 17% actually attempted suicide after their injury. These higher rates of suicidal behaviors may also be connected to MDD following TBI.”
How many of us have had TBI? I know I gave myself a concussion for sure once, I have it on video… Botched sunset flip, I had never done one on a person my height before, and landed right on my head… Warning graphic video!
The night of this injury my head was severely swollen, but the roads were also incredibly icy. Power lines were down, it was late, and going to the hospital in a state I did not live in did not sound fun. So I went home with my friends, and stayed up all night watching cartoons with their cat, with ice on my head, propped up so I wasn’t laying down, as we looked up what to do in case of head injury. By the next day I felt better, but my head hurt, and was swollen and bruised. I took at least two months off from in ring work, and a couple weeks off managing, until the bruising went down.
The thing is, I never felt the same again. I have had issues with short term memory loss since then, something was never an issue for me before this. I also have noticed in the years since this happened, my anxiety issues grew, as did my depression. It became hard to do many of the day to day activities I had done in the past. It has become hard to interact with people, to be cheery, and even to feel that my work had any merit. I started to feel stagnant in my jobs, and went back to working with animals full time, training horses, teaching riding lessons, and other farm related duties. I also found solace in doing office work, and writing. But working with people became problematic, as I had developed even more social anxieties.
It took a while for me to notice how my interactions with other humans were becoming an issue for me. Sometimes I blank out, or can’t focus, sometimes my reactions seem rude, even if I do not perceive them as such. I seem short with people or even angry when I speak. I don’t mean to, but it just happens.
Learning to notice this is happening was not an easy task, and I still struggle with this at times, so I tend to limit my interactions with people when I am feeling stressed out, as no good can come from it.
When i started recognizing these issues, I also started reading more on TBI, and its effects on people in the long term, and there has been some research done on the potential for these issues to become worse over time. This makes me think of Chris Benoit who in 2007, shockingly killed his wife Nancy (Aka Woman) and his young son, before killing himself. This was shocking to not only wrestling fans, but the entire wrestling community. It was so horrendous, that WWE doesn’t list him on any of the WWE Network programming, nor is he mentioned on the website, his wins, championships, and all have been erased from the history books, as if he never existed.
At least 21 known professional wrestlers have committed suicide. This list doesn’t account for lesser known independent wrestlers who may have taken their own lives. Chris Kanyon was 40 when he committed suicide in 2010. He came out as gay in 2004, at first claiming it was a gimmick, then admitting it was true. Another notable suicide was that of “Sweet And Sour” Larry Sweeney in 2011. He suffered from Bi polar depression, and in 2009 had a breakdown, he was quite open about. Larry was not only a great wrestler, but an inspiring personality, and it seemed unreal to wrestling fans that a man who cut such engaging promo’s, was suffering from serious mental health issues.
Whether or not these suicides were the product of head injuries, or other issues can never truly be determined. What we can do is look for signs of depression, check in with each other. Also those of us who put ourselves into the ring, should think about wearing protective head gear during training at the very least, and should take an honest look at the danger we put ourselves in for what generally very little compensation. Even those who make it to the top, won’t be able to undo damage done to their bodies. We all need to look out for ourselves and each other.