November 4, 2019
EP. 188 — Aspiring Pro Wrestler
Geth loves pro wrestling. This caller does too, and so much that he’s trying to make it in that world.
This episode is brought to you by Brooklinen (www.brooklinen.com code: STORIES), Third Love (www.thirdlove.com/beautiful), and Talkspace (www.talkspace.com code: BEAUTIFUL).
188 — Aspiring Pro Wrestler
PHONE ROBOT [00:00:00] You have a collect call from an inmate at a federal prison. To accept this call, press 5 now.
CHRIS [00:00:07] Hi, everybody. Chris here. I think a lot of fans of the show might remember that about a year and a half ago I spoke to someone, it was a mind blowing conversation, this person was about to head to a federal prison to begin a four year incarceration and last year I followed up with her while she was in prison on Beautiful Follow-Ups. And guess what? Spoke again with her again recently.
PHONE [00:00:28] [beep]
CHRIS [00:00:28] When other people ask you, hey, what are you in for? And you tell them some of the stories you told me in our first call–.
PHONE ROBOT [00:00:35] This call is from a federal prison.
CHRIS [00:00:37] Ooh, boy, I forgot that was, I keep forgetting that’s coming. When you tell people some of the stories you told me, which which I think you’re the first to admit some really dark, horrible stuff. Are they shocked?
CALLER [00:00:49] People typically don’t ask what you’re in for. It’s kind of, it’s kind of considered rude.
CHRIS [00:00:52] Oh yes.
CALLER [00:00:53] Typically what they’ll say is money or drugs? Are you here on white collar money or are you in for drugs? And people are shocked that I’m not here for money.
CHRIS [00:01:04] That’s a clip from the first episode of season two of Beautiful Follow-Ups came out last week on Stitcher Premium for the next seven Fridays. We’re releasing a new follow-up call every single week. It’s going to be callers that you guys have known and loved over the years. We’re going to see how they’re doing. You want to listen, go to Stitcherpremium.com. Sign up with the promo code stories. You get a free month of premium that lets you listen to Beautiful Anonymous’ whole back catalogs without ads. Whole bunch of touring shows you can’t get anywhere else. It really supports the show in a huge way. And of course, you get to access both last year’s Beautiful Follow-Ups as well as a whole new batch that’s coming down the pike. That’s stitcherpremium.com. Promo code: stories. [transition music]
CHRIS [00:01:53] Hello to all my burrito robots, it’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred.
THEME MUSIC [00:02:01] I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it’ll be more fun and I’ll get to know you and you’ll get to know me.
CHRIS [00:02:16] It’s Beautiful Anonymous. Hi, everybody. Chris Gethard, so grateful that I to watch this show. As you just heard in the pre-roll, Beautiful Follow-Ups is back. Follow-up calls with some classic callers. We came out of the gate with prison bound who’s been in prison for 15 months now, so sign up for stitcher premium. Use the promo code stories, get a free month. Have to say the Motor City Mayhem call from last week, our Detroit live show, it went over huge. I thank you guys for the support. I noticed it spreading a little further and wider than a lot of our episodes tend to a lot of chatter and feedback on social media and so many wonderful comments in the Beautiful Anonymous Facebook group. It was so funny to read that people were really laughing hard at that one. A lot of people said it was good to see some some guys who are unapologetic bros, but that they weren’t toxic, that that that’s, you know, I think that is getting rarer and rare to see in the world. Quite cool. And there was a line that someone called out from the show and it made me laugh really hard to. Someone, it was much in the same way that those two connected via their murdered fathers, we connected via our love of pickling. And of course, everybody likes the phrase goosey bumps. Now, on a serious note, the caller mentioned their involvement at a camp that helps grieving kids. And we just wanted to take a second to let you guys know Ourhouse/grief.org. That is where you can check out this organization. It’s ourhouse/grief.org and the Night for Hope, which you can click on. That’s something that our callers were directly involved in. Now, this week’s call is one I am built to love. It’s about pro-wrestling, which is an art form and a type of entertainment I’ve loved since I was five years old. I come and go on watching regularly, but man, I love swear by it. I think it’s fascinating. This caller is starting out as a professional wrestler. This world that’s tougher than I think any listeners realize. This world that has, so many hidden traditions, so many tough aspects. This world that breaks you not just physically but mentally. This caller is right at the beginning in this Jersey, journey because he is chasing a dream. Sorry, I just said Jersey instead of journery but Jersey is always on my mind. Anyway, enjoy this conversation.
PHONE ROBOT [00:04:29] [beep] Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous a beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host. [beep]
CALLER [00:04:41] Hello.
CHRIS [00:04:43] How’s it going?
CALLER [00:04:44] This is great. Doing all right. How are you?
CHRIS [00:04:47] Good. I’m losing my voice a little bit. So you have to pardon me on that. I’m going to see if I can hold out for a full hour.
CALLER [00:04:54] I got you. Like, I know exactly why you’re losing your voice. Cause you performed in Chicago last night and I was there.
CHRIS [00:05:02] You were there?
CALLER [00:05:02] Yes, I was actually.
CHRIS [00:05:06] Were you at the early show of the late show?
CALLER [00:05:09] Late show.
CHRIS [00:05:10] That’s good. I felt like that show was good. The early show crowd was a little bit hotter. Felt like a my, my the guy, the guy who came on the road with me, who is co-hosting the show, foolishly ate an edible before going on stage and then had to admit on stage it was hitting him way harder and faster than he anticipated.
CALLER [00:05:31] Oh yeah for sure I was like midway through the set he was like, ‘Ugh! I’m legit high right now. I cannot do this anymore.’
CHRIS [00:05:39] Yeah, I think his, his plan was like, I’ll eat it now. It’ll kick in as I get off stage. No. but I’m not trying to blame him. I felt good, I felt good. It was a fun show. That was a fun late show. I liked it.
CALLER [00:05:55] Yeah, it was really fun. It was actually kind of funny cause when you walk in and like think early on, people start to notice like, oh, wait, there’s not that many seats. Everybody was like, oh, where can I lean? Oh, let me try to go to the back and everybody who listens to the show probably already, is already like oh I need to go to the back. I don’t want to be seen.
CHRIS [00:06:14] Right. Right.
CALLER [00:06:15] It was really funny. Like just everybody in this weird state of confusion. Like ‘Ughh.’
CHRIS [00:06:19] Well, it’s nice to talk to you. Yeah. Thanks for coming to the show. And you can hear my act, my voice is actually, I think, bouncing back compared to where it was at in the show yesterday.
CALLER [00:06:30] Oh, that’s good. Yeah.
CHRIS [00:06:31] Yeah.
CALLER [00:06:32] You sound normal.
CHRIS [00:06:34] Good.
CALLER [00:06:34] That’s really weird to say, but you sound normal.
CHRIS [00:06:36] Thank you. Everybody loves hearing that, right? You’re coming off normal. That’s always a nice thing to hear.
CALLER [00:06:43] Yeah. Yeah. Usually. Usually, yeah.
CHRIS [00:06:46] Although normal is overrated. Normal is very overrated.
CALLER [00:06:50] Oh yeah. I can definitely relate to that because I have a very unnormal aspirations.
CHRIS [00:06:57] What are we talking here?
CALLER [00:06:59] It’s something that you’re very familiar with. It’s professional wrestling. I’m actually surprised that I’m the first person to even like talk about this at all.
CHRIS [00:07:12] You’re telling me you want to be a professional wrestler?
CALLER [00:07:17] Yes.
CHRIS [00:07:18] Hell, yes. This is a dream episode for me. This is a dream to talk about this.
CALLER [00:07:24] Yeah. Yeah, it’s actually just quite a, quite a wild ride and I’m like, I’m just like really, it’s a very interesting life. No one truly understands why you do it or how you do it and it’s really hard, just like when you try to explain it to somebody like, ‘Oh, you do wrestling like MMA?’ And it’s like, ‘No The Rock. You know, what The Rock used to–’ ‘Oh, yeah. That that that kind.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh I didn’t know that was a thing.’ And it’s just like ugh OK.
CHRIS [00:08:02] Wow.
CALLER [00:08:03] But yep. That’s–.
CHRIS [00:08:03] How long you’ve been training for it? Are you like already out on the circuit or are you still training?
CALLER [00:08:12] I so I trained in like late 2016, early 2017, and then I pretty much spent on and off round circuit because I’m still a green boy. So I was just trying to pay my dues and all that stuff. So yeah, pretty much.
CHRIS [00:08:31] Wow.
CALLER [00:08:31] That’s what I’ve been doing the last few years. Yeah.
CHRIS [00:08:34] Now, let me ask you a question. I mean, I mean, no offense by this, I promise you. But just to explain. So when you say you’re a green boy who’s paying your dues, does this mean is your jobbing for other people at this phase in your career, which I do not judge?
CALLER [00:08:48] Oh, no like I would, I would love like, but I guess far as like that kind of stuff. What I’m just going on like indies or little indies cause I’m mostly new. And you can’t really get into like the PWGs or like the really big indie scene.
CHRIS [00:09:03] Right. Right.
CALLER [00:09:05] So they’re like really experienced and stuff and I’m still like trying to figure it all out. So I do like little shows and all that.
CHRIS [00:09:13] Yeah.
CALLER [00:09:14] Sometimes it’s literally just, hey, what’s up to a promoter and then you’re helping set up the ring and which I’m glad to do because I love it. I love this business. And, you know, cause that’s what you gotta do.
CHRIS [00:09:25] Paying your dues. I love it. For anybody listening when I asked jobbing, there’s a term in wrestling called jobbers, and these are guys who kind of go in and just someone bigger will come in and kick the shit out of them. Just hand them their ass. And sometimes these guys I mean, a lot of these guys from my childhood, these jobbers like Iron Mike Sharp, Dusty Wolf, actually were guys that were pretty beloved and could–.
CALLER [00:09:52] Oh yeah.
CHRIS [00:09:52] Could add, like their ability to just get the shit beat out of them, could make other guys look really big and bad ass and strong. So being a jobber, there’s no shame in it. But sometimes my understanding is when guys are starting out, sometimes, you know, if if a more established name is passing through a smaller league, they might go, well, we’re just going to feed feed you a new guy so you can beat the hell out of them and look like a monster.
CALLER [00:10:21] Yeah. And if you can help that guy, look at him look like a monster, then it helps you eventually in the long run. It’s like, ‘Hey, you know what that guy, that guy was good to me that, you know, there’s no heat involved in your life. You know what? That guy was good. He was very professional, you know.’
CHRIS [00:10:36] Yeah.
CALLER [00:10:36] And then maybe it helps, it works out for you later on in life or whatever. So.
CHRIS [00:10:40] Now I have so many questions for you. So many questions. I, first thing though, you were at the late show last night. Did you know Colt Cabana was also there?
CALLER [00:10:51] I, I saw him and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s Colt Cabana.’ And then I was like, I’m not like I don’t usually wrestle around the Chicago area. And also, he’s like f-ing legend. So I was like, I, shit, that’s Colt. And I was like, God, I can’t talk to him.
CHRIS [00:11:09] You shoulda said, he’s the nicest guy in the world. You should have said, hi. He’s one of my good friends in this world.
CALLER [00:11:16] I know I should have said hi, but it was just one of those things where I was like maybe in the future. Maybe in the future. I think it to be like–
CHRIS [00:11:24] Let’s explain for anybody listening. Colt Cabana is a wrestler who he, it’s funny, we once were both cast to do this like comedy wrestling based video that didn’t ever come out. And then years later, he reached out to me and he was like, dude, I don’t know if you remember me, but where you’re at in comedy is kind of exactly where I’m at wrestling. I had been booked on a sitcom and it bombed and he had gotten called up to the WWE. And very quickly kind of bombed and was shuffled out. And I started my public access TV show to just kind of empower myself. And he wound up starting a podcast that’s great. It’s called The Art of Wrestling. And it blew up. And the idea of indie wrestling right now, it’s like a very hip, cool thing. And a lot of people have actually given him a lot of credit and said that his podcast just made that world feel so interesting and accessible. And a lot of people say that Colt is one of the people who’s really responsible for indie wrestling having this resurgence right now.
CALLER [00:12:24] Oh, yeah, absolutely. And the thing is, too, is like in this podcast sometimes you like does like deep dives on, like the craziest stuff that happens at these shows. And you would and people who don’t even go to wrestling shows are they’d be like, what? This happens at a wrestling show. Why? And I need to go for some reason. I have no idea why, but I need to go. And like, he also has like wrestlers that jump on to the podcast and then deep dives into their personal lives and it’s just like that’s crazy. I had no idea. Like any of that stuff. So, yeah. He’s a really cool man.
CHRIS [00:12:59] Well, next time you come up to him, you go up to call, you tell him you’re a fan of my stuff. He’ll be nice to you. I slept on the man’s couch last night. Like we’re friends. You got an in. You tell him next time Gethard said I should name drop. Now wait. Let’s get into it. Oh, God. Where do I even start. Okay. First things first. What inspired you to want to become a pro wrestler? Who are the wrestlers you loved coming up? Why did you decide to go into this lifestyle? Because it’s a very specific and tough lifestyle.
CALLER [00:13:27] Yeah. So when I was a kid, I I should say that I am 23 years old.
CHRIS [00:13:35] Okay.
CALLER [00:13:36] So pretty young. I was not around for, like, the attitude, like like thee late 90s, I was more like early 2000s when like Eddie was, Eddie was big and prominent.
CHRIS [00:13:48] Eddie Guerrero. You’re talkin Eddie Guerrero, one of the greatest of all time. Rest in peace.
CALLER [00:13:55] Oh, yeah. Thanks. Thanks for the network. Just because I get to watch every match of his now or like most of them, even from like the 90s and everything and it’s just like, what he was even better? Like just everything. And then there’s guys like The Rock he’s like pretty much the reason I was super enthralled with wrestling. Just his character and his promos and just like everything about him was just like, cool. And I, like, aspire to be him because I wasn’t cool. And I was like, oh, god, he just he walks in the room and then just 20000 people are going crazy. And now he walks in a room and it’s like millions of people go crazy now. Ridiculous. But, yeah, I was a huge fan of it. And then I think it was like early 2016 pro wrestler had his retirement, Daniel Bryan had his like first retirement. And he was just talking about how much he, like, loved the business and everything and like what it gave for him. And just this feeling of like going out there and performing in front of a crowd and showing your art and having people like love it and everything. And I was like, ‘You know what? Man I want to do it. And I want to try it. I want to try it.’ So I think it was literally the next day I applied to a wrestling school because it’s way easier now than it was in like the 80s or 90s. You would have to look at like be walking in town and see a poster like Wresting Training for five hundred, or just like just like what? But yeah, I like applied to a wrestling school. And literally, I think I was seven, eight months after that was like learning how to bub bumps slash lay, fall flat on my back for the first time. It was kind of crazy.
CHRIS [00:15:47] OK. And, let’s, cause I do love there’s all these stories. My favorite era of wrestling. I, I, I started watching when I was real young and I was, I’m much older than you. So I was watching during the rocking wrestling era when when Vince first went national with Hulk Hogan, Junkyard Dog, Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snucka that whole era. But I really loved the Territory era. You’re kind of talking about, like it was really hard to find wrestling schools. There’s all these stories. A lot of wrestlers have stories where it’s like yeah I was working out at a regular gym. And somebody approached me and was like, you should be a wrestler and like brought me to the wrestling school that no one knows about. Now you can just sign up. That’s nice. Talk to me though. A lot of people listening to this are going, why are these two so enthralled with it? It’s a fake sport. Talk me through, you just said you take bumps, which is the art of falling. We do that in jujitsu as well. It’s actually shocking how much technique needs to go into falling and staying safe. Talk to me about the training. How difficult does it get? Because there’s a lot of legendary stories about places like The Dungeon, a few other schools, Vern Gagne School, where people like high level athletes would show up there and not be able to hack it because it’s so brutal sometimes. What’s your experience with wrestling training been like?
CALLER [00:17:04] Oh, man. So I remember. So there was a house that was like set up kind of like a fraternity house, and it had a bunch of like old graduates from the wrestling school that I went to and I was like, I was an idiot. And so I applied like a month. I like moved into that house a month before that my training was going to initially start. So I was like, all right. Hi, everybody. And everybody just kind of giving you the: Who’s this guy? Because I was like, I’m 5 ft 10 in and I was like around two hundred and ninety pounds. So I’m like your average looking wrestling fan just walking in and just like, who is this guy? Is he going to hack it? Just like you were saying, is going to hack? What, he doesn’t even know what’s coming to him. And so they would just be like all hanging out with each other and like not taking me seriously. And I was just like man, all right, well, I gotta see. And then I remember that first day. That was a nightmare, like it was like at 7 o’clock at night. I’m trying to be very anonymous with it because I don’t want to like spoil where I was working, but it was like a conditioning day and we were just doing no, no wrestling ring. There wasn’t no initial like open the doors that first day. It’s like, oh, wow. The one thing that I’ve been dreaming of my entire life is like right in front of me and like, I can step foot in the ring. It was like, no, we’re gonna do a bunch of air squats, lunges, like 500 air squats, a bunch of lunges, a lot of running, a lot of birpies, a lot of this that. And it was like like pretty much like a six hours of like solid boot style. Just crazy. It was like brutal and I was like, ‘Oh. You’ve got to be kidding me.’ And there was one point where I was telling on of the guys that I was roommates with. I was like, ‘Dude. I think I’m going to leave right now. Like I if I can’t go to the bathroom–’ He’s like, ‘Dude then piss yourself.’ And I was like, ‘I am not. I can’t do that.
CHRIS [00:19:10] What?
CALLER [00:19:11] That would be embarrassing. I want to do this. And so literally, I just like held it and it was like, oh, my God, oh, my God. Oh, my God. Like thinking the entire time we’re doing bear crawls. Oh my god. I’m out. I’m like, at one point we had like a stoppage, he’s like, ‘Does anybody have any questions?’ And I was like ‘I need to take a piss. I, I, I’m about to lose it.’ And he’s like, ‘Go, go, go, go, go.’ And I’m like running, but my legs are cramping. So I’m just like the worst run you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Just going into the bathroom and just ‘ugh.’ And then like you were saying with athletes and everything, there was like a bunch of athletic dudes that were there too early. Litterally there was just a German that was there that was like one of the new guys, too. He just in the trashcan all just like, ‘Ughh!’ Just like throws up violently, super violently. Just awful in the trash can is just like, oh, man. So this is the first day of professional wrestling training. This is fantastic. I love what I got myself into. But then the second day you start to learn how to like do rolls and you’re like, why are we rolling? But then you’ll find out that that’s very necessary going on into the future. And you’re just spending the whole day rolling and doing workouts. And yeah, it’s a pretty, I remember that first those first couple days like, ooh I’ve never been so tired in my life. I’ve never been so tired.
CHRIS [00:20:47] Six hours of lunges and burpies and bear crawls while you have to pee and athletic people vomiting, they’re trying to break you. I’ve always understood. I love that we’re talking, I want, cause this is like my dream. You’re living one of my dreams right now. I’ve always heard that part of wrestling school is like they’re trying to break you. And if because if you don’t have it, they want to break you early and get you out of there.
CALLER [00:21:11] Oh, yeah cause the wrestling school that I’m a part of, it’s a blahh I don’t want to give out, but it’s like a very prominent person is is a trainer of. And so it’s just like, They’re saying it’s a meet and greet. Like, this is not a meet and greet. You’re you you’re taking my craft seriously. It’s like this is a bootcamp. You’re like I want to wrestle too man. It’s like I know you’re you’re big and all, but I’m here like everybody else. So I want to wrestle. But they’re trying to break you. They’re like trying to weed out the weak, the weak ones and the ones who are like fans from the ones who are, like, serious. But. Yes.
CHRIS [00:21:53] And you pushed through.
CALLER [00:21:54] Crazy.
CHRIS [00:21:54] And what’s it like? So let me like, like, for example, for any, I bet a lot of our listeners are not wrestling fans like a chop. This is a basic thing. Ric Flair really made ’em. It’s known as the flair chop, mostly, where you just take the back of your hand and you just whap across someone’s bare chest. It makes a real loud noise that looks like such a–.
CALLER [00:22:14] Well yeah that’s a day.
CHRIS [00:22:15] That’s a day I was going to ask like that looks like a basic move, but they gotta just spent hours chopping the hell out of you. So you get, you get used to it, huh?
CALLER [00:22:25] Oh, yeah. No. It’s so like like some days we’ll have strike days. So, you know, you’re practicing your punches, your forearms, your kicks, your knees or whatever. And then it’s like, all right. And you don’t know what’s coming. And they’re just like. All right, everybody take your shirts off. It’s like ‘Oh’ and they’re like, ‘Yep. It’s time for chops. We’re going chops.’ And they’re just like, ‘All right. Here we go. We’re gonna take your first chop.’ And then you’re just like standing there. You’re, ‘Oh, my God. Don’t hit my neck. Please. Just.’ And they’re like, ‘All right. You gotta lay your chest out fully. Do not, do not at all like move your chest together. Whatever cause it’s, it’s just going to make the pain worse bud. It’s just gonna.’ And then they do it is like, ‘Oh, my God, this hurts. This hurts.’ It’s a full on slap to the chest and like in Japan it’s like, like a like a full on and a slap so it’s even worse. Cause it’s just like a boom. It’s just like a thud. It’s like, oh, goodness gracious. It’s never fun.
CHRIS [00:23:30] Well, it’s a well-known thing. Japan there’s a lot of leagues that are known as strong style, which is effectively these people are just fighting with predetermined outcomes. But like you said, like, really laying in. There’s also this guy right now. Who I’m sure you are aware of. He’s in the WWE. He mostly is in their NX to UK league called Walter. His name’s Walter.
CALLER [00:23:53] Yes.
CHRIS [00:23:53] Real.
CALLER [00:23:54] Yes.
CHRIS [00:23:54] Big, evil looking bad guy. And his chops. I mean, his chops sound like someone hitting a tree with an ax. They sound horrible.
CALLER [00:24:03] Oh, yes.
CHRIS [00:24:04] You watch one of those things and like I would never want a human being to do that to me ever one time.
CALLER [00:24:11] Yes and the thing is, is like so he has I can’t remember the theme that he comes out to.
CHRIS [00:24:17] Yeah.
CALLER [00:24:17] It’s like this orchestral thing and he’s just like walking, he’s like very pompous and everything is like, all right, this dude looks intimidating and then they go for like a spot or whatever and then just it’s like, oh, my God. Noooooo.
CHRIS [00:24:32] And it’s your dream to have that happen to you. What is it? What is so sick in your brain? What is so sick? I’ve got to ask it just bluntly. Every wrestler, because you’re like comedians, all you’re gonna sacrifice your whole life to be on the road. Your personal relationships are gonna suffer. You’re putting yourself through physical pain in a culture that can notoriously end disastrously, people get injured concussions. People have paralyzed. People get addicted to pills, all sorts of stuff. What is sick in your brain that makes you want to do this? [transition music]
CHRIS [00:25:07] You know, normally I wouldn’t be so blunt, I wouldn’t say something like that because these calls are sensitive, but I know for a fact I am friends with a number of pro wrestlers and they are all sick in the brain. It’s not an offensive question to a pro wrestler. Anyway. We got ads. Check them out. Use the promo codes. We’ll be right back.
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CHRIS [00:28:36] Thanks again to everybody who advertises on Beautiful Anonymous. Now let’s get back to the conversation.
CHRIS [00:28:42] Concussions, people have been paralyzed, people get addicted to pills, all sorts of stuff. What is sick in your brain that makes you want to do this?
CALLER [00:28:50] Like I said, Chris, this isn’t, this is not normal like this. This is like, what, we’re talking about this. It’s not a normal thing, a Gulf War. But I don’t know. I I just I don’t know what it is about it. I’m like a very creative person, but I love like Mike Quackenbush. He calls it sports, it’s combat theater. And in a way, I kind of look at it like that just because it’s like this performance that I get to create with somebody else and then it’s only that one time and that’s it. It’s just like that one time for that crowd. And even if I wrestle the same person again, it’s not like we’re going to go based off that same style. We’re not going to do the same match all over again. It’s just that one time, it’s one take, it’s just boom. There you go. Unless, God forbid, you’re in like a taping and then you got to redo it. It’s like nooooo they already saw this happen. But, I don’t know. It’s really weird, but I’m like obsessed with it. And luckily, my mom was supportive of it because it’s really interesting to tell your mother like, ‘Yeah, look at this video of this guy going through a flaming table. I kinda want to do that.’ ‘Well, what? What are you crazy?’ Yeah, like, but yeah, I don’t know I guess I’m just, it’s very appealing to me.
CHRIS [00:30:21] Wow.
CALLER [00:30:21] I like the arts yeah.
CHRIS [00:30:24] I know with comedy sometimes it’s funny because sometimes I’ll say like something scary and people go, well, you know, the number one fear most people have is public speaking and that’s what you do every night of the week, most weeks. I’m like, oh right. My life is weird. Most people would view my life as very weird, but I’m addicted to it, just like you said. And I so greatly identify because comedy is a similar thing where like, I always try to clear my mind before a show and I’m like, all right, there’s people out here. Maybe somebody is having a bad day. Maybe I can go out and get them to laugh, get them to feel a little better. And then you go out in front of that crowd and you’re like, OK, this is just me with a microphone for the next 12 minutes. And it’s just these people. And I’m going to start with the material I’ve practiced, but I’m gonna see where it wants to go. And I’m gonna adjust on my feet and adjust the set. And if there’s crowd that comes up and it’s almost like surfing, it’s like if you can catch that wave and you feel those people come with you, it’s like for those 12 minutes, you just feel a little bit less alone in the world. And you know, they do, too. And I feel like as a wrestling fan, a similar thing. I feel like when you’re a wrestling fan and I’ve never thought about it from your perspective, but there are certain moments where an entire arena full of people will forget that this is predetermined and they will genuinely they’ll genuinely root for it. And that has to be the greatest feeling in the world for a wrestler.
CALLER [00:31:47] Oh, yeah. Rock Hogan is what I aspire for in my entire life, because that match if you watch it. Wrestle Mania 18 Rock versus Hogan. It’s literally 10 minutes. And that crowd, that’s all you want. Cause that crowd reaction when rock hits the rock bottom one to all of kids sobbing and he starts doing the he starts doing the Hulk Hogan I’m pumping, I’m pumping, I’m pumping up pumping. And The Rock’s face selling it and going, ‘Oh. Oh, my god.’ And the crowd’s just like into it. ‘Oooh, What? Boo?’ And then does the boot, the leg drop, was like, oh. See, that that’s what you’re in it for. You know, like I just want moments like that.
CHRIS [00:32:29] You just want to make those kids out there in the audience or those those that, what did they call them? Hatpin Marys. The old ladies that buy the front row tickets. The dads with their kids. You just you want them to forget for a while what real life is like. And you want them to forget that this is all a fantasy.
CALLER [00:32:48] Oh, yeah. Forget for a while. I mean. And the thing is, it’s like with comedy. You want to make that person laugh and you want them to have like a great time or whatever. But like, sometimes your job is to be like, I’m gonna have you hate me and you’re going to like that guy and you’re going to absolutely hate me. So I’m going to say the worst thing.
CHRIS [00:33:08] I love this.
CALLER [00:33:09] That I would never say to you in public. I would never say to you in public, but in the sense of the show I am saying to you now so you hate me, so you despise me. You want to see that guy eat my ass right now.
CHRIS [00:33:24] Right. Let’s talk about this, because there’s so again, for anybody listening and you know, far more than I do, I’m not trying to act like a know it all, but in wrestling terminology, you’re either the face, you’re the face. Oh, yeah. Most men when you’re young, you’re in the game. You’re not trying to come off. You’re doing really good at that. Like any veteran wrestlers who hear this aren’t going to be like we had to track this kid down because he’s a know it all. No way. You’re just telling us your experience. Now, you could be the face, who’s the good guy or the heel, who as you describe the heel’s job is to make that crowd so livid that they will keep buying tickets in the hope that they will be there on the night where that guy finally gets his face stomped in. And this is really I would.
CALLER [00:34:07] Oh yeah.
CHRIS [00:34:07] And I would say that a lot of the art side of wrestling is rooted in the heels. Like you don’t have Hulk Hogan become a national icon if Rowdy Roddy Piper is not there pissing everyone off week after week. You don’t get one without the other.
CALLER [00:34:25] Oh, yeah. You look at Rick, I mean the greatest.
CHRIS [00:34:29] The best.
CALLER [00:34:29] He was the biggest piece of shit you will ever see. Just coming out in and like, ‘Look at my Rolex, look at the women behind me. Yeah. You’re jealous, aren’t you? Oh look. Dusty roads. This guy is, look at him, look at him.’ And his promos and just you’re just jealous of Rick, but it’s just like oh my–
CHRIS [00:34:50] And then Ric Flair’s a genius. Ric Flair is probably the best of all time in many people’s minds. And here’s where he’s a genius, too. He comes out, like you said, he got the Rolex, the sunglasses, the 80s bleach blonde mullet. And he’s so condescending. And then yet when he gets in the ring, when he takes a couple knocks, all of a sudden he’s on his knees and he’s begging and he’s praying and he’s groveling at the feet praying for people to not beat him up. And then, of course, he does the cheap shot. And it’s like he manages to be both condescending and a coward and a backstabber. And he just makes you hate him so much. And then back in the 70s. Oh, go for it, you talk.
CALLER [00:35:32] And then you’re like, ‘Ricky, just beat him up. Just beat him up.’ Oh, my God. Chi-Town Rumble.
CHRIS [00:35:37] Oh, my God. My favorite match of all time. Chin-Town Rumble ’89. Flair versus Steamboat. It’s a work of art.
CALLER [00:35:44] I just watched that recently, it’s so good, it’s so good. And like. And, you know, it’s good when it like goes like it’ll last forever because, you know, a guy like me, I didn’t watch that. Then you have the network where you can like watch this and experience and can like, oh, my gosh. And this was like a time where, you know, the curtain pulled back a little more. People get an idea, I’m not helping with the sense of being on this podcast, but I feel like it just it’s so good. Like.
CHRIS [00:36:18] Yeah.
CALLER [00:36:18] And they’re not doing too much. And everything just means something. And it’s like oh man.
CHRIS [00:36:23] I love it so much. I would I would go so far as to say that if you’re listening to this and you’re like, I don’t know. I’ve never been into wrestling, but this guy’s living a unique life. Maybe I’ll give wrestling a shot. If you track down the Ric Flair Ricky Steamboat match from Chinatown Rumble 89. That that might be the one that’s going to get you sucked in. It’s a beautiful match. I also love, have you watched all the old Tiger Mask versus Dynamite Kid matches?
CALLER [00:36:47] Oh, my. Yes. Yes. And you could easily watch those on YouTube, I think.
CHRIS [00:36:51] Yes.
CALLER [00:36:53] You could easily. They’re so good. And it’s like, man.
CHRIS [00:36:57] It’s also.
CALLER [00:36:58] Make me mark out over everything.
CHRIS [00:36:59] Marking out means being a fanboy, basically. Right. Like being. Which is kind of it. Not wrestlers always say don’t be a mark. Don’t be one of the people who’s supposed to buy the tickets. But these–.
CALLER [00:37:11] But we’re all marks.
CHRIS [00:37:11] Of course. Why would you put up with it? Why would you go around getting chopped by muscle bound steroid freaks unless you were a mark who loved it? I’m so jealous of you. You. I wish I was a wrestler, man. I want to quit comedy every day. And I if I was big and strong, I’d be a wrestler. Dynamite Kid was a British wrestler. Tiger Mask was a Japanese wrestler who literally wore a mask that looked like a tiger back in an era where this was not a very popular thing outside of Mexico to wear masks. And they started coming to America and doing they started in Japan doing these matches that are incredible. Then there’s footage of them wrestling in Madison Square Garden in the 70s. And this was an era when wrestlers were kind of like it was mostly big dudes who just punched and kicked and got each other in headlocks and the matches were real slow. These guys show up, Tiger Mask is doing like flips into karate kicks. He’s jumping over the top rope, Dynamite Kid is throwing him in suplex where he’s literally gone from one corner into the other. And you can feel the crowd in Madison Square Garden. You watch their match from MSG. You can feel the crowd like standing up, going, oh, we’re watching the future happen in front of us. This feels like science fiction.
CALLER [00:38:20] What is going on? I like to like imagine it like it’s like that match is like the first time, like in basketball, you saw somebody do like an alley hoop and you’re like, what? What?
CHRIS [00:38:31] 100 percent? 100 percent. There was an era in basketball where no one had seen an alley hoop. And then it happened. And everyone in that arena felt like they were gonna pass out with disbelief and Tiger Mask versus Dynamite Kid in those American matches for the American wrestling audience, the same exact thing. You’re right. Holy shit. Do I love talking to you? What’s the first time in front of a crowd like like once you because you’ve said you’re doing some of the tiny indie leagues now. You’re 23. You’re paying your dues. That first time you’re in front of a paying crowd. Walk me through what you’re thinking psychologically.
CALLER [00:39:05] Well, psychologically, you’re like, please remember everything, like, don’t don’t mess. Don’t like, do something dumb like. Like, if if you’re going to do something. Let it be like, oh that was silly, but like, don’t be and like, I guess the biggest thing for me was just like, you know, make sure everybody’s safe in there. You know, make sure that everybody is, you know, because wrestling like we’re talking about is a combat sport. You know, things do go wrong. And you just want to make sure you do your best to make sure that, you know, you’re keeping our opponent, your opponent safe and everything like that. So that was the first time. Like, I’m just in the back and I’m just saying like, all right, this is like everything you’ve ever thought of. And oh, my goodness. Oh, my gosh. And like then like, the thought hit me like as my music was playing, I was like, wait, I’m literally that guy in a movie going to walk out to a theme song. Like, I like this is like everybody–.
CHRIS [00:40:07] Oh that’s so good.
CALLER [00:40:07] It’s just like all of us, like everybody thinks of that, like that, they always think of like oh man, I was like my theme song if I were to walk into the bar with. But like, literally, I’m about to walk out to a song in front of these people and that literally is happening in my brain right as I walk out, and then I’m like I walk out and I’m being like a cocky asshole. I’m like, ‘Oh shut up. Who are you?’ And I remember my first show there was like a little girl. And I’m a very nice person so it was like, very hard for me to say this but I was trying to stay in character as much as I can because that’s what the show wanted. And I just go up to this girl and I’m like, you’re cute for a little boy. And she goes, ‘Oh my god.’ And she screamed in my face and I was like rushing away from her acting like I was just. ‘Hey, take it easy with that kid, easy with that kid.That kid is terrifying.’ And like you know, but it was cool cause if you get to have that experience with somebody like just create this this memory and like woah, like instantly and it’s crazy. And but that personally afterwards, probably horrible. If I were to look back, probably the worst.
CHRIS [00:41:18] Now, you know, I don’t want to make this about myself. And I wrote about this in my the one book I put A Bad Idea I’m About To Do. You know, I had one night where I was a manager. I did have one night where I dabbled in your world.
CALLER [00:41:30] Oh, no way. You have to tell me. You have to tell me.
CHRIS [00:41:34] Well, this was I was a freshman in college, and this was when wrestling was at I mean, Stone Cold, The Rock, Mick Foley. Like, it was as big as it’s ever been.
CALLER [00:41:44] Huge.
CHRIS [00:41:44] And when one of the cool things I think for you guys in your position is when wrestling gets that big at the top of the food chain, they’re just all of a sudden there’s dozens of tiny shows like every weekend there’s like a high school gym within driving distance of you where there’s people wrestling because they know they can make money off of it cause it’s popular right now. And a buddy of mine who I grew up with, who also loved wrestling. He had gone to a wrestling school in New Jersey run by a guy named Gino Caruso. I think a pretty well-known wrestling school in the tristate area. And my budy was a smaller guy and they were like, you know, you’re working real hard. But in the meantime, why don’t you become a booker for this league we’re running. It was real, real small potatoes. And they did a show at Seton Hall University. My buddy calls me up and he’s like, ‘So, dude, I got this opportunity and I think you need to be a part of it. Like we grew up together. We love wrestling.’ And he always thought I was real funny cause I was in the school plays with his sister and I was always in the comedic roles. Luther Bill in South Pacific, baby. So he’s come up with a character and we’ll pitch it to the guy who owns the league. So this guy I get on a three way call with them like a day or so later. And it turns out this guy is like. I think agoraphobic is that the one where you will not leave your house? I think it’s a goraphobic. The guy was like, he just never leaves his house. But he had all this money to burn. So he’s running a wrestling league and I pitched them this character where I would be called white magic, where I would be a pimp. I would wear a top hat and a cane and a smoking jacket. And I’d be cause and especially back then. You can imagine me dressed as a pimp now. When I was 20, I looked like I was like 15 years old. And then he’s like, God, why? Oh, my God. So dude they put, they put me, they’re like, great, come do it. And there’s this kid who was having his first match. And I go in the locker room and this was in an area where every wrestler was just working all the time. So dude King Kong Bundy was there. Marty Jannetty was in the locker room like a lot of Low Ki. Like a lot of really well-known wrestlers, Iron Sheik was there. It was nuts.
CALLER [00:43:49] Oh yeah and like, yeah, for like those that don’t know is like especially like back then there weren’t like guaranteed contracts. So like, if there wasn’t a WWE show or whatever, like they still want to get paid, they still want to be like for their services. And so they would go out to these shows and wrestlers would perform just because like WWE is off that week. So let me you know I got gotta find some cause I’ve got to pay my rent or like feed the kids so they would go to all these shows. So, yeah, I definitely believe that’s crazy. White magic man.
CHRIS [00:44:22] So then they bring us out and I’m managing this kid. This kid’s terrified. It’s his first match and he’s up against this local dude who’d been around a bunch named Flash Wheeler, and they told me, we want this new kid to win, but nobody’s gonna buy it. So we need you to hit Flash Wheeler with your cane. And I was like, I don’t know about this. So Flash Wheeler comes up to me. He’s like, ‘Hey, I don’t know who the fuck you are. He’s like, but you have’t trained in this. And if if you hit me with that thing and hurt me, this is my career like I’ll mess you up, dude.’ And I was like, ‘All right man. Fair.’ So I’m scared. I go out, they see me, they’re booing. It’s working. I’m loving it. I feel like I’m living my dream. People are yelling at me. I’m gone back. Like, some guy yells at me and I’m like, do not make me hit you in front of your kids, man. Neither one of us wants that. And everybody’s booing. Some other guys yelling stuff. I was like, I will slap those last two hairs off your head, baldy. Why don’t you shut up? Like, really proud of my heel work, you know? Everybody’s booing. Then this match happens and it’s terrible. This kid is his first match. He’s so scared he keeps messing up. And then Flash gives me the signal that it’s time to hit me. Hit him with cane. So I jump up on the ring apron. And first I get scared and just like, don’t do it. He kind of looks at me like what are you doing. And then I hit him and all I had in my head was him telling me, don’t hurt me. So I just kind of like lightly tapped him and I could see him like rolling his eyes. And then he had to sell it. He had to lay roll around on the ground, like in her. And the whole crowd just started doing me like making fun of me. And I’ll never forget when I, when I went to leave, like, all the mystique was gone and a kid jumped over the guardrail and stole my top hat off my head and I was like, ‘I need that. Hey, I need that.’ And it was just like just a disaster. And then a bunch of guys were supposed to run out because of the cheating. And one of them grabbed me and threw me back towards the locker room. But it wasn’t a room. It was just like these partitions set up with a curtain. And I ran into it face first and knocked it over. And the whole crowd saw King Kong Bundy in his underwear. And he’s huge. Everyone was so mad at me. I actually just snuck out the back door before the show was over. My brother. I ran out one door and then I saw my brother running out the other. He just instinctively knew that I was going to be out of there. And he had my top hat and I was like, ‘How did you get my top hat back?’ And he was like, ‘That kid was like, twelve. I just went up to him and told him to give it to me.’ I was like, I can’t ever do wrestling again. I just proved this is not for me, but that’s my dream. I would really I would abandon a lot of my career if I could just be a bad guy manager in pro wrestling. I would love it so much.
CALLER [00:46:56] Like and it is good to like it, especially when you’re a talker and I want you just to feel the energy and I think like comedians are like the best at that or just wrestling fans in general are the best when it comes to like just saying we like just being the worst.
CHRIS [00:47:12] Just burns.
CALLER [00:47:13] Being the absolute worst. Like walk out there and try to be the bad guy. ‘Shut up, push you. Shove it.’ And like, and sometimes you have like the P.G. shows that you gotta keep P.G. But then like in a lot of New York shows, you get really into it.
CHRIS [00:47:27] Yeah.
CALLER [00:47:28] ‘I. I will, come into this ring, come into this ring right now and see what happens.’ Like you just, oh man, it’s it’s wild.
CHRIS [00:47:38] Have you ever been in a shoot situation? This is for anyone who doesn’t know, this is when a wrestling match turns real, where people start actually going at each other in the crowd, maybe knows it, maybe doesn’t. You ever found yourself in that situation?
CALLER [00:47:51] I have not, and I absolutely hate it. I absolutely hate it, especially when it’s a situation where a guy’s just doing it because something happened like I think I just saw recently like this, like somebody shot on a ref just because the ref messed up. But like technically the ref was doing his job because he counted to three. It’s not the guy’s fault that he didn’t kick really kick out or whatever. And then this guy, just like suplexed him on the outside the ring and just, and that’s like one of the things that just infuriates me is like that’s why I like condone like people to learn how to legit start fighting, like start learning how to legit fight to protect yourself, because you never know when some crazy fan is going to come in or when some guy’s going to try to be bigger than you or anything and just try to take advantage of a situation. And so that’s why I always encourage, like no learn, learn how to legit fight, because that’s ugh that just frustrates me and makes me angry and it’s just unnecessary at all. [transition music]
CHRIS [00:49:04] Go ahead and pause there. I think that’s true for all of us in all walks of life. You gotta learn how to legit fight. No, not, not everyone needs to know how to physically flight, but I get why he does anyway. We got ads. Check em out. Use the promo codes. We’ll be right back.
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CHRIS [00:50:47] Thanks to all our sponsors. Now let’s finish off this conversation.
CALLER [00:50:53] Learn how to legit fight because that’s ugh, that just frustrates me and makes me angry. It’s just likunnecessary at all.
CHRIS [00:51:03] Yeah.
CALLER [00:51:03] But I am. Yeah, I haven’t I haven’t been in one, nor do I ever want to be. And I always. I really hope there is not a day where I see one, because if I get my ass beat or not, I’m I’m going in there, I’m going to give it my best shot to stop that from happening.
CHRIS [00:51:23] Yeah.
CALLER [00:51:23] That’s just not.
CHRIS [00:51:25] It’s funny. It’s one of the things that I think fans romanticize and are so enraptured by this idea of like, oh, there’s a shoot happening. But being friends with a couple wrestlers, I’ve really gotten the sense from them. It’s not a pleasant thing. It’s not a cool thing. It means that there’s a level of control that has gone away and it means that there’s like a feral animal in the ring that you need to tame. And it’s not it’s not an enjoyable process.
CALLER [00:51:48] Yeah. Because like the whole thing is like this is an art and like this this guy is like just totally taking advantage. And I think in that particular video that I see from one other video that I saw was like, this guy who’s like really huge, and he’s facing off against this really small dude. And I don’t know what was told in the back, but he’s like, there’s literally just shooting on him, like from the moment the match starts. I I don’t know what was happening in the back, but just immediately just wranging in. And there’s times where you’re like you think, oh, like strong style, whatever. And then there’s like you instantly know, oh, wait, this shit is happening right now. And it’s almost like like like you’re saying like a bear, just like going crazy and like somebody is gonna stop this dude right now. So it’s just those situations are not ever fun. I wouldn’t. No way. Not fun.
CHRIS [00:52:49] Now let’s go ahead. A lot of people are gonna be shocked by this. Tell me, as a starting out wrestler. What’s the pay range like for you to go to a city and have a match?
CALLER [00:53:05] Man. Oh man, people will hear it and they’ll be like, are you fucking kidding me, sorry Sally. They will lose their, their so the lowest I’ve been paid was like five dollars.
CHRIS [00:53:21] Five dollars?!
CALLER [00:53:24] And a hot dog, that was probably the lowest I was paid.
CHRIS [00:53:27] You’ve gone. And how far did you have to drive to be in that match?
CALLER [00:53:32] About two hours. So it wasn’t it wasn’t awful.
CHRIS [00:53:39] Yes, it was. You drive two hours and they pay you. Did you say five dollars and a hot dog?
CALLER [00:53:47] Well, I’m just saying five dollars. I bought a hotdog with the five dollars.
CHRIS [00:53:52] From the concession stand? So they made back a buck seventy five?
CALLER [00:53:57] Yeah. The hot dog was not included in the five dollar arrangement.
CHRIS [00:54:01] They gave you, you drove two hours. They gave you five dollars and they made you pay for the hot dog.
CALLER [00:54:09] Yes. Yes.
CHRIS [00:54:11] What happened? Did like no one show up, so they didn’t really–
CALLER [00:54:14] I can feel like every listener’s eyes just rolling like, ‘Oh my gosh. Ugh you’re doing this.’
CHRIS [00:54:19] Even.
CALLER [00:54:20] It’s like just, oh man.
CHRIS [00:54:23] I’ve heard these stories and even I didn’t expect you to say five dollars. Jeez.
CALLER [00:54:30] Yeah I mean, that was like that was like the extreme of extremes. And I was like when I was first starting out. And it was just that was one of those things where you’re just like, man, that’s all right. But like, I just looked at it from a perspective of like it was I guess you look back on it now and it’s just like grim and that’s crazy. But at the time I was just like, man, like, I’m really doing something that, like overall makes me happy because, like, obviously, I don’t make a living off of pro wrestling. I’m very new and I have like I am a burrito robot cause I worked at Chipotle. So, but you got to, you got to get that free protein. So, you know, you just gotta. But I looked at that situation. I was just like, man, you know, this is this is crazy. Like, I’m doing something that I actually love. And so you look at the five dollars, it’s like, OK. But now you’re like, you think about it and are lik, ‘five bucks?’ Like five blocks for a two hour drive late at night. And you think you’re gonna like hit a deer halfway through driving in a snow and you’re like, ‘Oh my god. Just get home. Let’s just get home.’ And, but, yeah, two hour drives are nothing to me anymore like that, they’re like 30 minute drives to me, like–
CHRIS [00:55:50] What’s the longest you’ve driven for a gig? What’s the longest you’ve been out on the road?
CALLER [00:55:55] Well I did like a road trip where it was like around, so we went from Chicago to, I think it was Atlanta to Canada, back to like Indianapolis, to Chicago. That was a whole week of just driving.
CHRIS [00:56:21] Atlanta to Canada.
CALLER [00:56:25] Yeah. And I was like, ‘Isn’t this weird how we’re going pretty far south to a completely past like to the north northern border, just like for as was like, oh, my.’ All right. And then you don’t even think about it. You’re just like that’s like kind of where you start, like gaining your best friends and everything just because you’re talking about like everything, life and everything. But like and you think about wrestling and you do a show and then you got to drive to get in your seat, whatever. Now you have to drive to Canada from Atlanta and all the adrenaline you have. And you’re like, this is so fun. This is so fun. And then you’re just sitting in your car and you’re like constantly moving cause your back is hurting and you’re ‘Oh my god, this is the actual worst. This is the worst.’ And yeah, that’s that is one that I got. I think that was probably the biggest span of I can’t dial the hours because it was literally a full weekend, but, yeah, that was pretty much a lot of protein bars. Yeah.
CHRIS [00:57:34] Driving in Canada for five dollars. Yeah. They pay you more than five dollars on that trip. Right?
CALLER [00:57:43] Not on that trip. Not five dollars on that trip. But I have heard stories of like guys driving like 16 hours for 20 bucks and the like, it’s crazy, but it also depends on the opportunity. Because if you’re working for a bigger show and they give you that amount, but you get exposure and you get booked on more shows, then it may help you out in the future. Then again, I don’t know. I’m very new. I’m a rookie. I’m a green boy. So I I can’t fully, fully indulge on that, but like, yes, I’ve definitely heard other stories like that. It’s pretty wild. It’s pretty crazy. But, you know, family’s okay with it.
CHRIS [00:58:26] So talk to me about that, because I think a lot of I would imagine a lot of the wrestlers you meet, their families are not OK with it.
CALLER [00:58:35] Um, surprisingly at, the more younger you are, the more that your family seems okay with it. I think that was like, my, kind of like my mother’s way of putting it because I was around I was 20 years old when I first started like thinking about it. And I obviously told her before I like applied and I was like, ‘I’m really thinking of doing this. And I just want to hear your thoughts cause like I respect your opinion and everything.’ And she was like, ‘Well. You’re young, so you get to do this. You get to do this. You get to live your life because there’s like no point.’ And my mom is like, super cool. So, like, she was like, you could get to live your life, like you’re young, you get to do this and, you know, there will be mistakes and there’ll be failures on the way. But you’re you’re 20. Like I wish I could have done like, like had this idea when I was 20 and just like gone out and did it, you know, for no reason. So my mom was very, very cool about that. And then you hear other stories. You’re like, man, that sucks. But usually most what, I think most parents get excited the more they see you perform, the more it’s like they see you’re a part of the show and everything like, oh, that’s my that’s my kid. And then they see you get happy. Like, that’s my kid. Oh, my God. Be safe honey. I’m the bad guy here.
CHRIS [01:00:08] I’m the bad guy here. That’s cool. Sounds like you got a great mom.
CALLER [01:00:14] Yeah. No. She is. She is. She is my rock and she is well into wrestling, I don’t want to say she is–.
CHRIS [01:00:21] She’s your Dwayne Johnson.
CALLER [01:00:24] Yeah she’s my Dwayne Johnson, you smell what she’s cooking. But yes, she is. She’s with me. She’s been the absolute best. My older brother is also the absolute best because he was he’s a huge, huge wrestling fan as well. And we were definitely those kids that were just walking around Walmart or Target or anything in like the Chicago area, just beating the crap out of each other and my mom, ‘Hey, hey.’ Mom, Stone Cold Steve Austin did it. It’s fine. No, I definitely got in trouble in 5th grade for doing shit, like doing the middle finger like up and down. And also I got in trouble for wearing a Latino t-shirt in fifth grade.
CHRIS [01:01:09] Ugh huh. The great Ed Guerrero.
CALLER [01:01:12] Yeah. I was wearing a Latino t-shirt and they were like, [beep] go to the office. I was like, what? Well what? I just said my name.
CHRIS [01:01:22] We’ll bleep it.
CALLER [01:01:22] And I got you. And so she was like. She goes, I go to the office. I’m like, What’s the problem?’ And she’s like, ‘Look at your shirt.’ And it’s just Latino, it’s just Eddie and he’s like doing the most like cut, he had like a cut out shirt of himself and he’s just has a rose in his mouth. And it’s just like, what’s the problem? Like everything. Everything’s wrong with this. You say Latinos. It says Latino Heat on the shirt. You’re in fifth grade. I’m going to need t you take this the like. I need you to go home and change. It’s like, okay, fine. I’ll call my mom, I guess. My mom was just like, really? Because my mom my grandmother would dress me or she would just drop me off when she wouldn’t dress me, but she would just drop me off. So the conversation that my mom and grandmother had that night was just like, are you serious? You let him walk to school or go to school in that shirt. And she’s like, ‘I’m sorry. I just wasn’t paying attention.’ Oh man. But. Yeah. Crazy times. Yeah, definitely. But yeah, my mom and my brother are the absolute best. My brother is a huge wrestling fan. Huge. He he always feels the need to ask me a million questions, which I appreciate. But also you got a low key, keep a kayfabe with him.
CHRIS [01:02:43] Kayfabe, kayfabe is the idea that you don’t break character, the reality. And back in the day it was taken to the point where there’s all these legendary stories that if they kept kayfabe so hard that like if someone came up to a wrestler in a bar and said you what you guys do is fake, that they would fight him on the spot.
CALLER [01:03:01] Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. That was like huge back in the day cause we like and I think it is not not that sense of like we’re going to brawl now, but in the sense of like guys just going out there and like people questioning what we do as fake sports combat theater. So what we do is I mean, if you put anybody out there, it hurts. It’s not it’s not the fun, I mean, there’s a lot of adrenaline that’s going through us. So we really feel it like towards the end of the night. But it’s very real in some senses. And I like to tell people all the time. I guess now, like WWE says, sports entertainment, sports entertainment, because, you know, the the lines have been blurred, clear, whatever. And just. And just like. Everyone now kind of has an idea. So I always just go like, dude, the Avengers is not reflect, when the scene in Endgame happens and you are like, they’re finally gonna and like all the craziness that is happening that stuff that you feel, you know, it’s not real. Right, but it’s awesome. And let’s just be a part of this awesome moment. That’s like kind of how I explain wrestling to people. It’s just like just be a fan of the don’t I question the idea or like, ‘It’s not UFC.’ No, we’re erformers. I don’t want to legit go one-on-one with someone and then like, try to not get my face caved. I want to tell a story.
CHRIS [01:04:46] Right?
CALLER [01:04:48] So yeah.
CHRIS [01:04:49] It’s a play. It’s effectively a play where the story is very, very simple and easy to understand. There’s a good guy and a bad guy, and they want you to root for the good guy. And there might be a lot of creative and funny moments where they make you really wonder how it’s going to win or where maybe the bad guy wins and you realize, oh, this is just a step in a larger story, I gotta buy a ticket and come back next week too to see how this story unfolds. It’s just a play.
CALLER [01:05:14] Yes. Yes. It is just like a like some of my favorite scenes are like the times, favorite moments are the times when everybody’s in the ring and everybody’s beating the crap out of everyone just like it is just an all out brawl is happening like I think there is like any Stone Cold pop. A pop is a loud reaction from the crowd. I feel like Merriam Webster of wrestling just telling all these, but the so the idea of those like mixed it was Nick Fury versus The Rock in ’99. I think it was like January 4th. It was like that huge episode where the tides changed at the Monday night war. And Billy Gunn goes and tackles, I can’t remember who he tackled, but then everyone’s kind of fighting on the inside. And it’s Rock versus mankind for the championship. And then all of a sudden Stone Cold’s music hits and you hear the biggest pop ever and just that crowd reaction and just walks into the ring, and it’s like those, those moments are like insane. Or like when Kurt, Kurt Angle does the sprays, everybody with the milk truck. And I just love those moments. Kind of like I love the moments like you see in that, like in Endgame when you see all the portals open up and then they’re chasing down like, I love those moments like that. It’s almost better than the battle is like the before the anticipation to build to it. And that’s what I love about wrestling is like a lot of it is is like a build up to a fight that you’re telling a story about, not like Connor McGregor just doing it in a press conference or something like that. Yeah, but that’s like the best part of it. Honestly.
CHRIS [01:07:14] It’s the best. They just just a few months, maybe, I don’t know. I think less than a year ago there was one that caught my attention. They got this guy, Braun Strowman, really huge, they did that thing where they had the backstage camera following him. His chair, I forget who it was that he was beaten up on a guy and they threw the guy in an ambulance and then they had him run off and they rigged it so that they shot it really creatively where you couldn’t see like the hydraulic rig, but they made it look like this guy picked up an entire ambulance over his head and flipped it. And I was watching him and I was like wrestling is so fun. It’s the most fun thing to watch.
CALLER [01:07:52] I think it’s like if you just like, forget like if you just take out the ideas like fake in your head, you just like to watch it, whether or how ridiculous it can be. It could just be so fun to watch. And I specifically remember that moment and I was in the frat, like the frat house and watching that that specific segment and Braun’s going for it, and we’re all wrestlers, but we’re all wrestling fans. So so one of my buddies is just screaming, ‘Ahhhhhh.’ He know’s, but just like in that moment he’s just like, ‘Oh my god. Yes!’
CHRIS [01:08:30] You dream of having that one moment where you get to feel like a super hero and where people react to you like you are one. I get it.
CALLER [01:08:37] Oh, yeah exactly.
CHRIS [01:08:38] I get why you’re chasing this. So what do you think? What are the odds that you rise through the ranks? We’ve got a minute left. I want to hear the prognosis of where you think you’re at versus where you want to be.
CALLER [01:08:51] Well, I want to I want to be really f-ing good. I know it’s going to take a while to get there. I’m still green. I’m still new and I’m kind of wrestling in like these lower promotions. But I definitely the goal is to be where you’ll be able to make a living off of it. I do not want to be folding burritos anymore. That would be fantastic. And I do, oh, speaking of, no, we only have a minute. I don’t want to be like, oh, know, I don’t say guac is extra. People already know that. But I definitely want to be, a lot of people say, I want to be the best, but I just want to be really f-ing doing and just create the best moments. I guess that’s my goal with it. But thank you so much, Chris, for talking. This has been truly an awesome conversation. I always wanted to have it because we’re both wrestling fans.
CHRIS [01:09:49] What a joy.
CALLER [01:09:51] Yeah.
CHRIS [01:09:52] I wish you nothing but the best. I hope you win the I WGP championship before your life is over. And I feel like you’ve said it twice. Maybe your nickname should be really f-ing good. Maybe that needs to be your catchphrase.
CALLER [01:10:07] I think, yeah maybe. [phone rings]
CHRIS [01:10:17] I want to thank that young wrestler for calling in. Feel free to not use my idea. I could tell you were nonplussed by it. That’s fine. You’ll come up with your own thing. And I hope it brings you to the heights of superstardom. Thank you to Jared O’Connell and Harry Nelson in the booth. Thank you, Shellshag for the music. Want to know more about me and when I’m out on the road. Chrisgeth.com. If you like the show, go to Apple podcasts, rate, review,subscribe. It really helps when you do. We’ll see you next tim. [transition music]
CHRIS [01:10:46] Next time on Beautiful Anonymous. [transition music] I understand that you all immediately stripped down to complete nudity and got into a bathtub together.
CALLER [01:10:57] Woo, yes we did.
CHRIS [01:11:03] Pardon, pardon me for reiterating. I feel like for anybody listening this, I’m asking the same questions. How does that feel comfortable?
CALLER [01:11:15] I feel like there aint nothing that another woman God that I know God. They got titties, I got titties, they got vaginas. I got vagina. So I’m just like you know what, we’re in Miami, YOLO. Let’s just get naked.
CHRIS [01:11:27] Yeah.
CALLER [01:11:27] I mean, I can’t even lie. I would be last one to get naked.
CHRIS [01:11:33] We all got titties an vaginas let’s all get naked.
CALLER [01:11:33] I’m good, I don’t want to get undressed. And they’re like, ‘Come on. Come on.’ And I’m like OK.
CHRIS [01:11:40] And you’re going out to a club tonight.
CALLER [01:11:43] Yes. We are ready to get shwasted.
CHRIS [01:11:49] That’s next time on Beautiful Anonymous.
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