Sometimes starting something is the hardest part - actually, often times I feel that statement is true. This blog isn't going to be anything Earth-shattering, but I've got a few things I'd like to share that are intense for me.
I'm not sure where I should start, so I'm just going to throw it out in the order of my thoughts...
RETIRING FROM PRO WRESTLING
For the last 20+ years, I've been involved or somewhat involved in the pro wrestling scene. I started training (kind of) around the age of 12 and officially enrolled in a "legit" pro wrestling school the summer before Freshman year of high school.
Now, it's pro wrestling so there is no real retirement. I will, however, be focusing a lot less on the pro wrestling scene. I've done this before. I spent many years just going to random wrestling practices at my friends wrestling schools and playing around here-and-there on sporadic events. Sometimes having to borrow wrestling boots or kneepads or simply just wrestling in my jeans and sneakers.
The plan when I made my latest run was to check off some Bucket List items for myself...and I wanted to achieve those things with my long-time friend and tag team partner. We struggled to figure out the current "indy wrestling style" and the art of tag team wrestling. We did Zoom coaching sessions with former WWE wrestlers and I asked several close friends with big league experience for feedback and insight. I think I can say that as much as I enjoyed a faster-paced, most athletic style of wrestling, the current style seems wonky to me. Very little time to let things set in for the audience and the storytelling. This is a conversation for another day.
I just feel I don't have the same passion for the pro wrestling scene as I used to.
Back to my "retirement," I've spent lots of weekends away from people and things I'd like to spend more time with or doing. It's great traveling, seeing new places and I've been beyond lucky to experience all I've experienced...especially coming from Small Town USA.
I fell short on a few Bucket List things, like being an extra for WWE or my ultimate dream of being the best jobber in the history of WWE for just one night. It would've been neat to actually wrestle a match on AEW instead of just spending 8 hours eating excellent catering. But you know what, I've got to hang out at Impact Wrestling the last year or so and I gotta say, I think those guys have an underrated show. I would've liked to do some ring work for them but I got to play many roles on their TV show, so again, I gotta think of how lucky I am. Many people don't get to see the happenings behind the curtain.
Man, sometimes I ramble...oh well...
My plans (and we know how the best laid plans of mice and men go) for the future are to eat lots of pasta and ice cream. I want to spend more time outside in the sun whether it's doing yard work, swimming, fishing, maybe I'll hike to the top of another mountain or 2. And you bet I'll be drinking some beer at some summer concerts :)
I still plan to continue doing small shows here-and-there but not gonna travel as much for it and not taking it so seriously. I have a good time playing around at local county fairs and I'm still gonna do videos for the next couple years...or until all my hair falls out.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST WANDERS
I was planning to finish up my last 2 pro wrestling gigs - one in Florida and one in Washington state - but I got rundown and sick so I had to cancel on the Florida booking then about a week from my Washington wrestling match (the last I had planned for the foreseeable future) I got a text from the promoter saying his wife caught Covid. I didn't want to cancel my flight out west and I had to make a stop in Los Angeles for a video shoot with Ron Sexton following the trip to Washington so I decided to make the best of it.
I met up with my buddy who helps me with the business end of Wrestler4Hire. I suck at the business part, but I enjoy the wrestling part, so he helps guide the ship.
We met up in Charlotte then traveled cross-country to Portland, Oregon. After a quick nights rest, We began our wandering business chat. I needed to discuss some tax stuff, reports, Quickbooks, etc etc. You know - the fun stuff (eye roll). I wish I could do less business stuff and more wrestling stuff but gotta take the good with the bad I guess
Our first destination was to aim for the San Juan Islands. It's amazing how dirty the I-5 corridor between Portland and Seattle was. Also, I haven't been in windy, cold temps like that in a bit. I don't know how I did it for so long.
Stopped off in Olympia for a leg stretch and caught a glimpse of some starfish and jellyfish. Here is a screenshot from a video I took with my phone. Yeah, I put my phone underwater to capture this.
Spent just an evening on the San Juan Islands. I think I'll have to find an excuse to go back when it's a little warmer. Stopped in Seattle for an evening then woke up to grab breakfast at Pike's Market. On our walk to the place I got to see people openly smoking crack (or meth or whatever) on the streets. I'm not sure what the answers are to fix societies problem but it wears on me to experience those things. Life is intense.
We wandered over to the Washington coast, stopping in Aberdeen. The hometown of Kurt Cobain. That was an eye-opening experience. It's amazing the difference in how people live in the world. Again, I'm luckier than I deserve. Life can always be worse.
The coast of the Pacific Northwest was beautiful, even drenched in rain. Elite Eliot told me I had to check out Cannon Beach and some specific restaurants. He's a good travel guide as we enjoyed some great views and yummy food. We caught a dozen or so Elk just roaming around "downtown" near Cannon Beach.
I was going to cancel my flight then drive to California. I've always wanted to do the whole Pacific Coast Highway, but that "Atmospheric River" storm scared me and I didn't have the courage to test my luck or driving skills against landslides, floods and falling rocks along the coastline, plus I felt it may be a rushed trip to get to Los Angeles in time for our wrestling shoot with Ron Sexton.
LOS ANGELES RETURN
After a chaotic, stressful and intense night at the Embassy Suites next to the Portland Airport, I flew down to LAX to prepare for my upcoming video shoot with Ron Sexton.
Ron has been very helpful in my success from wrestler to producer. Endless hours of time and fountains of knowledge have been shared with me with no expectations. I appreciate Ron more than he knows. One of the hardest working dudes I know and his kindness is unmatched.
We met up at his offices in North Hollywood. I always get excited to walk into the offices. I see the Cyberfights logo mounted to the lobby area, which reminds me of my youth and Ron loves showing off his memorabilia...and I dig seeing it...every single time. We always spend longer at the office than we intend to. Initially, we were meeting up with another friend of mine to grab lunch in Burbank, but we must've spent an hour plus just exploring boxes of old videos and gear and props.
The shoot went great. My buddy Christian Thorn flew in (the long way) to help us out with video camera work. He and I split the workload filming 20 matches in 10 hours. My other buddy joined us taking pics of the matches and the guys. I gotta say I probably have the most fun on the team filming matches and I almost never want it to end.
The shoot was for Ron's website but I got a couple matches myself. I expect to release one of them real-fast-quick, so keep an eye open for it. It's HOT!
I need an excuse to go out there 3 or 4 times a year. Los Angeles is a completely different world than what I'm used to and I always meet-up with interesting people for some great convos.
GUN SHOOTING @ PDX AIRPORT HOTEL
The craziest, most intense, insane thing that happened on my 10 day trip out west was the shooting at the hotel I stayed at the night before my flight to Los Angeles.
I had tried to go to bed early as I was feeling a bit rundown. I was shook from my sleep around 2:30 in the morning. It sounded like gun shots, but I could mistake that sound for something else since I'm not super familiar with that sound. That was followed up with what I thought sounded like teenage girls screaming.
I went out the door of my hotel room to see what was going on. The screaming was still going on and a group of people were running through the lobby. Still my thoughts were they were a bunch of teen girls running late to catch their plane.
My attention was turned to the see-through glass elevators where I saw what appeared to be a security guard lying down bleeding. What the fuck? Is this a dream? A movie being filmed?
Soon I was being yelled at by the front desk staff to get back in my room. I'm not sure if it's normal but my mind was racing trying to connect the dots. I investigated more on my short walk back to my room. There was another woman screaming about Room 833. What is going on, I continued thinking? My eyes were drawn to another elevator glass window. I don't know what I saw first - blood, bullet casings or the glass broken/shot.
I'm talking about the stuff I saw before the police were on scene. I saw the police arrive a couple minutes after I saw all this. The scene was very active. How close was I to being involved in something stupid like a gun fight.
I'll include the link to an article about the shooting and some pics I took after things had calmed down, but holy fuck!
2 people were killed, 2 more were injured.
This was a long blog. I'm actually 2 hours into writing it and I feel I could keep going. I won't for 2 reasons - you're gonna get bored and I need to get off the couch.
I have some family visiting this week starting tomorrow then a few weeks of low-key 80 degree weather where I intend to be outside and productive. I may wander up to Georgia. Anyone up there wanna wrestle or have some tips on things to see? Places to go? Places to avoid? I think I wanna see Madison, Georgia.
I'm going to attempt to start my pro wrestling league or at least do a one off event before I head north for the summer. I've met some pro guys I think would be fun to do something with and I have my wrestling studio nearly ready for live events...or at least a TV Taping.
My apologies for the rambling, misspellings or poor grammar. I had to get these words out and I re-reading what I wrote. I feel that'll make it less genuine and raw.