It always surprises me how long it is in-between blog posts sometimes. Kind of makes me think of the quote "the days are long, but the years are short." You think it's only been a few days or weeks...maybe a month, but next thing you know you're looking back and it's been months or years. Sometimes yesterday is a decade ago.
I definitely need and want to start doing more blogs, but at some point they seem redundant. I've made some notes to bring some more inspired things to this blog, such as interviews with wrestlers and stories from shoots. I, even, have one started about the wrestlers that got away. Famous ones. Award winning and championship caliber stars. You've seen them on TV or at the very least heard about them in blogs. Hell, I almost had the son of a widely known Hollywood actor....but those stories are yet to come.
I, also, want to start doing interviews with the wrestlers from Wrestler4hire - so who would you want me to start with? I have a few favorites in mind, but I definitely want to hear from you. Also, what kinds of questions would you like me to ask? Leave them below in the comment section...or e-mail me.
I know I'm late on this and that's ok. It isn't about the hype of knowing someone famous. A few weeks ago, Scott Hall passed away. It's obvious that he touched the wrestling world in a big way. From being a favorite of many homoerotic blogs to taking lots of young guys under his wing...or at least to share wisdom and knowledge. I being one of them.
When i moved to Florida back in 2009/2010, I sought out a few wrestling schools in Central Florida. The one in my new hometown of Ocala, Florida had one of the "top" schools, but they wanted a full $3000 tuition whether you had prior experience or not. At the time, I was a 23 or 24 year old kid chasing a dream. I didn't have that kind of cash and, to be honest, considering who has come out of such school, I wasn't keen on the dollar-for-dollar value they offered. I called another school or 2 without any response, including one run by a very successful WWE tag team. Making those calls and visits to places like that can be intense. In my mind, I'm talking to celebrities.
Finally, I found a place in Orlando that had lots of classes and ran live events, too. They were always bringing in guest trainers and the head trainer had some high level experience albeit nothing earth shattering. On the first few months, many current and former WWE wrestlers and personnel stopped by. I learned a lot. During those years, I was attending wrestling class up-and-down the East Coast...and sometimes beyond. I was a sponge. I consider these years (2010-2012) the years of my most exponential growth as a performer. Sampling lessons from many trainers old school and new school...including Scott Hall.
Holy Shit! Scott Hall is at practice. He wasn't my favorite wrestler as a kid, but damn was he a HUGE star on my TV during those formative years.
Scott is (was) the absolute man.
Not only was he an endless fountain of knowledge and insight, but he was one of the most kind dudes. I recall going to practice one night but I can't recall if Scott was there all evening or just showed up near the last bits. However, I know 100% that Scott showed up with some clothing and shoes that were left at his house and he offered them to anyone who wanted them. I had to look at them. A near brand new pair of Nike's...in size 12. They won't fit me...but they'll fit my roommate. I had to get them! So I brought them all the way home 90 miles to my roommate and tag partner, who still has those shoes to this day.
Another day, Scott shows up with 2 or 3 pairs of wrestling boots, knee pads and a couple elbow pads. Scott is big and that includes his feet/legs. I knew they wouldn't fit me, so I didn't even try. But the roommate did, after Scott insisted and wouldn't relent. He looked foolish. The boots were not only too big for him in shoe size, but they went all the way to his knee. My roommate is 5'7" and Scott is 6'5" or so. My roommate hobbled around awkwardly in the boots. Scott wasn't trying to get rich off them. A more-than-fair $150 for the WWF worn boots and $35 for the pads. You can't even get used gear at the rate. And he wasn't hard up for money. Simply, he was just that nice.
Scott was always seemingly going above and beyond helping people out and I'm near certain that he never received a dime for coming to class. Hell, when ESPN came to film their Documentary on him, we watched in the other room as he was in tears telling his story...but the amazing part was after giving all that energy to the interview, he INSISTED that the ESPN production team stick around to get footage of all these talent young cats coming in for wrestling class. So ESPN moved their cameras and set up to watch a bunch of misfits trying to perfect their craft after a long-ass day filming their real story. Scott wouldn't stop telling the team how great everyone was.
Wow! This rant (walk down memory lane) is going on a lot longer than I expected.
Scott even gave me a nickname. Since Justin Bieber was cool, I had grown my hair out and because I was in Florida, I walked around in flip flops almost all the time. Often, I'd just kick the shoes off and start wrestling around in the ring. So with the long hair and the bare feet, Scott starting referring to me as "Von Erich" because I resembled Kevin Von Erich. He thought I didn't like the reference, but I'm a shy kid from Nowhere, USA, it's a little awkward when a huge part of your childhood notices you enough to warrant a nickname.
I have more Scott stories and memories. He was funny, beyond kind, intelligent and much more.
The last moment that I will share is when Scott decided that I would beat one of the tag team champions on the event that evening...then after I beat my opponent in the match, I would get jumped by his partner, but, without much effort, I'd beat him, too. Both those guys were heated...and I get it 100%, but I'm not gonna tell Scott Hall that I don't think we should do it. Plus, my little (big) ego wants to believe that Scott saw a star in me (or at least something). I mean, he did give my back bumps "style-points" because they were "so sweet."
Don't worry that only went to my head a little, because a few months later, I had another former WWE star tell me that I wasn't very good and even my back bumps weren't terrible. The wrestling world can be a mind-boggling place, but it's a twilight zone that I can't seem to escape...and do I really want to?