Pro Wrestling is silly and that's okay that is part of what makes it so amazing. Whether you've accepted that or not it is the truth, it's probably not as silly as the outsiders view it but it is silly none-the-less. So when self-promoting my various ventures in the field I find it somewhat challenging. Do I go full silly and try and promote it to my friends as a joke? Do I go full kayfabe and never break character? These are questions I came across when I was promoting my appearance at my hometown wrestling show. Literally half of the people on my Facebook assumed I was joking when I said I was now a wrestling manager. So there was a few things I had to figure out about how to respectfully and appropriately get the word out. A big crowd makes it fun for everyone, not to mention that I have a giant ego and want my friends to see me perform. I had a weekend of managing and commentating in my back pocket, one great show, one that wasn't so great. This was a different story though, lots of people I knew were going to be there, a touch of extra pressure.
I grew up one town over from where I was performing and my grandparents lived in the town I was about to disrespect . Easy pickings if I don't completely muff it. I want my friends to enjoy it, I want them to realize pro wrestling is actually more than just two guys faking a fight Also I want them to boo my guy or me, not cheer me. I can only control how they react to me so much I suppose but I still want to get my point across. Obviously it's not on me to get a crowd there, just giving you a little perspective of the things that go through my head while trying to promote my new hobby. So when I'm telling people they are idiots and their kids are dumb, its going to be people I know. Ya know what? That actually made it easier because I knew none of them would fly off the handle if I had accidentally crossed a line.
The show was on Saturday but I wanted to be of some use beforehand so I went and helped with the ring on Friday. They said they usually have 10 people tearing it down and moving it, well there was only 3 of us there this particular day, and shit got grueling yo. After hauling about 15 20ft planks and unhooking and moving various steel parts I was drenched in sweat and exhausted to the point of bitching like a recently-dumped emo kid. I'm glad I did it though, this definitely seems like one of those businesses where the more you put in the more you get out. Plus now I have at least a slight idea of how they go together and come apart.
Now it's Saturday and showtime is drawing nearer. The booker tells me that last weekend's nemesis "The Dodgeball Superstar" would be my client this week, nice, a little familiarity never hurt anyone. Funky Munky does what they call "spot shows" because they are not quite on a monthly show basis yet. Spot shows don't have continuity in the story lines and means you might be a heel one week and a face the next. It works well for them since they travel a lot and see mostly different faces at each show.
The setup, ending, and match itself was much more complex than the two previous matches I had worked. "You're getting hit in the nuts with a dodgeball again" the booker says "Okay" I retort "And I'm gonna throw her head at your nuts right after" he says as if he is ordering food at a drive-thru window. I glance over and see his valet for the night and greet her with "oh, nice meeting you by the way" she says she is sorry in advance and we move on. There is quite a setup for the ending and when he is done I assumed that was the entire match planned out. "So that's the match?" I asked "No, that's just the ending" he responds. Okay, I feel a little stupid now because maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention or maybe I was still a little nervous. So I sheepishly ask what to look for again fearing backlash for not paying attention. "It's cool" he said after I apologized for asking again "It's like cramming for a test in school, just remember the important parts and hope you don't screw up too bad." That actually calmed me for a little while, I'll just remember the main spots and improvise the rest.
"Bossman slam into a backbreaker, 2 count, then you enter and argue with the ref and blame the opposing valet who kicks you out of the ring" sounds easy enough. I responded to the bossman/backbreaker spot and promptly hopped in the ring to argue with the ref. The opposing valet comes in and gives me a little push, I take a full bump on my back, one which I am proud of, unfortunately it was too quick and I realize this after watching the video. It made the next parts a little more rushed than the wrestlers would have wanted but overall not a huge deal. Opposing valet turns on face, heel kisses valet and we join in center of ring declaring "that was the masterplan!"
Everything goes fairly smooth I take my dodgeball to the nuts like a champ this time (no arm in front) I take my headbutt to the nuts and the face dances in victory. All in all a successful match, the crowd and kids hate my crew and I and it's off to have a celebratory beer with the guy who just tossed a rubber ball off my sack.
My friends and family's reaction was something I was looking forward to. They all were completely surprised at how much they were entertained and all but one vowed to return to future shows. My band played at the same festival later in the night and it was interesting to see kids cheer me after booing me so thoroughly earlier in the day. I even heard one kid ask "wasn't that the short wrestler dude with the hat?" and his buddy completely shot that idea down as ridiculous. Overall performing in my hometown took away some pressure and allowed me a chance to improvise a bit more, although I don't think I performed as well.
Here's the full match with my promo at the beginning: