FanPost

How WWE helped me grow as a professional

community.wwe.com

I originally published this on my LinkedIn but thought I'd share here as well just for fun.

I walked into Monday Night Raw two years ago with no idea what I was in for. I walked out of that same Monday Night Raw two years ago as a full-fledged fan. My fandom has baffled and amused many who know me.

A friend recently said to me, "I love how you relate WWE to everything," which made me smile but also made me pause. It's true. Throughout my two years as a WWE fan, WWE has shone many a light and helped me navigate life's experiences. Below I'll share some examples:

1) Put Someone Over- This is a wrestling term and it took me a long time to fully grasp what wrestling fans meant when they said this. "Putting someone over" is when a wrestler helps an opponent look good and credible by deliberately letting him or her hit unique moves, making the moves look brutal, and allowing him or her to really shine. I came to the realization that I've never thought less of my favorite wrestler when they put someone over. I've never thought, "Oh no, Favorite Wrestler put Other Wrestler over and now I don't like them," or "Now I don't think they're as talented."

I think of the phrase "put someone over" often in pretty much everything I do. I remind myself that it goes a long way to quietly help someone behind the scenes or to sit one out so someone else can shine. It's no loss to me if I put someone else over. Putting someone over doesn't take away from my light. However, there IS a difference between putting someone over and being a pushover- don't confuse them!

2) And You Can't Teach That-€” Enzo Amore grabbed my attention the second he ran backwards onto the Monday Night Raw stage for his debut. The crowd lit up for him and his tag team partner Cass, but it was Enzo's magic on the mic that left a lasting impression. Even though Enzo only talks on the microphone for a few minutes per week, he makes sure you're paying attention for every second he's out there. Enzo on the mic is consistently a highlight for fans because he makes it a highlight. He can run backwards on stage (it's his thing) at 8:10 pm, be done by 8:13 pm, and then get listed as a highlight for the next week of Monday Night Raw recaps and discussions.

Yes, "making the most out of every minute" is something I've always heard, but Enzo really brought it to life for me. He makes every second work for him, as opposed to working for every second. His boisterous presence is a reminder to make every minute mean something and make an impact with whatever time you're given with people. Every minute is a chance to ensure people remember you and a chance to impact their day (or week) in a positive manner. Whether it's a quick call, a reply on a mindless e-mail chain, or a conversation by the coffee machine make it count.

3) Be A Bayley-€” I was miffed when I read articles about this Bayley character that was in developmental territory. "I'm a hugger" her shirts proclaimed. She was marketed toward a young female demographic, but fans of all ages apparently loved her. All the articles gushed about her and how she could transcend the business. Even my favorite snarky wrestling bloggers loved her. But her character was...that she hugged people? C'mon. How cheesy. Okay, she gives hugs and is nice. I thought that was sweet, but that's not really a character I want to see in wrestling.

Then I saw a clip of Bayley while watching Smackdown. I smiled widely when I saw her run out, arms in the air. It was like the crowd had been giving an injection of light and happiness as they all melted and screamed for her. She looked genuinely thrilled as fans of all ages were outstretching their arms hoping to get near her. She was happy to be there, she was happy you were there, and she was radiating joy without being afraid to show it. Happiness and genuine joy resonates with people, even in today's snarky world. Joy, and making feel people special, will always be welcome. I remind myself to be that person in the office.

4) Destined to Break In-€” I play Sasha Banks' theme music, "Sky's the Limit," multiple times per week- in the gym, in the car, cleaning, when people ask what my walk-out song would be if I were a baseball player. I send it to everyone. There are quite a few lines in the song that resonate, but my favorite is: "Destined to break in / I found my way." I choose to think this refers to the life we want, the field we envision ourselves in, and the goal we yearn for. We are not entitled to it, but we can work for it.

There is a quote that floats around Pinterest: "Always believe something wonderful is about to happen." This is along the same lines. Always believe we are on the cusp of a big break, and always believe that you'll find your way if you just keep moving until you find an open door. Do the work in the middle to bridge the two together and believe that good things are on the verge of happening for you—that you're on the verge of something big.

5) Put On The Performance They're Not Expecting -€” I remember half-heartedly watching a match on a pay-per-view pre-show while folding laundry. Hype for this particular match had been minimal and the sentiment was something such as, "Well, it's on the pre-show for a reason. If it mattered, it wouldn't be on the pre-show, it would be on the main card." But then the two performers went out on and put on an exceptional performance. The match was called one of the best of the night, despite being on the pre-show.

Maybe it bothered those two performers that they were thrown on the pre-show, when 75% of viewers hadn't bothered to tune in yet, and that their match didn't make the main card. Maybe they didn't care one iota. Yet, they went out there and made people pay attention. No one was expecting that performance. It served as a good reminder for me that it doesn't matter (cue The Rock: "It doesn't matter!!") what menial task you're given or what low level you're stuck at, you should do it with pride and do your best. People will eventually notice.

Yes, maybe the list above contains things that I already knew but the WWE universe made it click. Even though people parrot about WWE "it's fake!", WWE helped these lessons become real and I'd wager I am all the better for it.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.