If pro wrestling is art, then apparently art means posting selfies, thanking your opponent on Facebook, fanny packs, and terrible handshakes.
If you look close enough, you’ll notice pretty quickly that there is very little originality on the independent scene today. It is very much a “monkey see, monkey do” world. As soon as something catches even a little buzz or momentum, the desperate weekend warriors attach themselves to it in hopes of getting some of that residual attention. It has gotten to the point where most indie wrestlers are paint-by-numbers these days, playing the role of wrestler, instead of actually being one. They all adhere to the same “Indie Wrestler Starter Pack.” Let’s take a look at the most common offenses.
The Airplane Selfie
We get it. You’re excited because someone is paying to fly you out to wrestle for them. But honestly, do we really need to see a selfie of you on the plane, literally doing nothing? What purpose does this serve? A lost aspect of a true pro wrestler is mystique. These types of photos do nothing to help that. They are essentially just posted as a not so subtle way to try and get yourself over. Plus, they are way overdone. Unless your in First Class, don’t post it. Wrestlers are supposed to be larger than life, right?
The Fanny Pack
Believe it or not, you can be a successful wrestler without having to wear one of these things. Basically, it has become part of the uniform of “indie guy” these days. Wrestlers of the past would wear these things EVERYWHERE. They were essential to their full-time lives on the road. Today they are worn as a way to draw attention to oneself. Seldom are they worn for their actual purpose; keeping your demons stored away in. If you don’t get that joke, we can’t be friends. Sorry.
Public Thank You’s
This one is the most clear-cut case of guys screaming, “Look at me! I’m a pro wrestler”! It’s a really good feeling after you debut somewhere new or have a really good match. The adrenaline is pumping and you are amped up. So what do you do? Take to Facebook to thank your opponent you just wrestled publicly. In many cases, giving the old “honor and a privileged” to a guy you supposedly just fought to the death. Here’s what I don’t understand about this. Why don’t you just message that person privately? To me, it looks much less like you are trying to get yourself over and more genuine done in the privacy of your DM’s. You all get so pissed off when regular folks call wrestling “fake.” Your Facebook thank you’s aren’t really helping the matter.
Dead Fish Handshake
Can we all stop shaking hands like a bunch of pussies please? There’s nothing worse than meeting someone in a locker room for the first time and when you go shake their hand, they lovingly extend their two fingertips. Knock this crap off!! The soft handshake was implemented when wrestling wasn’t so open to everyone. It was a way to find out who was trained properly or who was on the inside. That’s all out the window in 2019. The soft handshake is obsolete. It’s much easier to spot the phonies these days just by regular observation.
Hey, I’ll admit it, I’ve done all of these at some point in my time in wrestling. I could probably add ten or so more to this list. Thankfully, I’ve been able to fix the error of my ways. I’m not trying to come down on anyone for having fun. I’m pointing these things out in hopes of encouraging others to developing a sense of individuality. Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you need to be as well. Believe in your abilities, but most importantly, be yourself. Otherwise, you just end up looking like you’re playing a role, and not actually being the real deal.