How does one become a professional wrestler? Is there a school or a training camp that you can go to or are all these tall, muscular men specially bred on a remote farm somewhere in the Midwest?
Well, training for professional wrestling is a lot like training for any other professional sport – with a few extra steps, of course.
A sports background, in general, helps
Many professional wrestlers have started their careers in other sports, switching to wrestling later. Dean Jonathan Muhtadi – Mojo Rawley – for example, joined the WWE after being injured while playing with the NFL team Arizona Cardinals, Tim Wiese was a goalkeeper in the German soccer league Bundesliga before joining the WWE, Bad News Brown (Allen Coage) was an Olympic medalist judo heavyweight before stepping into the ring, and WWF legend Lex Luger, born Lawrence Wendell Pfohl, played professional football for the CFL team Montreal Alouettes and the NFL team Green Bay Packers before making his way to the ring in 1985 (where he stayed until 2007).
Professional wrestling is a combination of the athletics of Greco-Roman wrestling and theatrical performance. As such, the best way to start training for professional wrestling is to take up the traditional, Olympic-style sport.
Many schools and universities in the US have their own wrestling teams – joining one of them may be the first step.
Aside from the techniques used in the ring, pro wrestlers have another standout trait: their muscular bodies. So, having ample muscle mass, while probably not being a requirement per se, does help.
Prospective pro wrestlers can start building their bodies individually, of course. This has many pitfalls, though. Instead of reading your way through myriad blog posts and articles debating the pros and cons of resistance training, you can hire a personal trainer to guide you through the process.
There are many wrestling schools focused on professional wrestling, many of them run by former pro wrestlers. Joining one of them is perhaps the best way to learn the specifics of the sport. These cover everything from the basics – like cardio, the basic moves of wrestling, and such – and later, on specific elements that you can use in the ring.
Depending on your physique, skill, and training, expect to be a pupil at one of them for at least a couple of years.
Finally, here’s one of the most important steps to take: find a mentor, a coach with hands-on experience in professional wrestling and as a professional wrestler, to help you find your way into the ring of a promotion.
One of the most important things to keep in mind about professional wrestling is that it is a team sport. The opponents facing off in the ring, shouting profanities at each other, and seemingly beating each other into a pulp, are actually teammates working for a common goal: entertaining the crowd.