WWE Journal Entry: My Story of Becoming a Professional Wrestler

By Bleacher Report Featured Columnist: Jon Fisher

Ever since I was a little kid, all I ever dreamed of was becoming a WWE superstar. Growing up watching Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Shawn Michaels, I believed in my heart that a small guy like me could make it.
There was this one moment that hooked me for life. I watched the first Wrestlemania and that just blew me away. The adrenaline rush and excitement overtook my soul and I knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

In the back yard, my friends and I always practiced moves on our trampoline and even on the ground sometimes. Money was tight other years. No matter the circumstances, I persisted along with heart and passion.

We even had our bed sheets set up just like a curtain. My one friend brought his radio over and we had our own entrance music.

Each day passed and I felt like I was getting closer to the ultimate goal. I’ve been practicing my moves and it looked as if the next step in journey was to test out the Indie scene. Only a high school graduate, I had a choice to make.

Instead of college, I chose my true addiction: professional wrestling.

I mean, I had experience in middle and high school, so it isn’t like I was completely oblivious to the sport. Moving on to the indie scene, it was a culture shock.

 

Everything I believed it was became a rude awakening. My body wasn’t prepared for the constant beating and travel. Not to mention I worked a night job on the side to make ends meet.

At this time, my parents didn’t believe professional wrestling was a responsible way to live a life. I was on my own at the age of 19.

A few months into the indie scene, I became acclimated to my surroundings. I had the people I enjoyed working with and vice versa. Naturally, I was the underdog, because most competitors were much bigger than me.

Unfortunately, the wear and tear of my body finally caught up to me. During a match on a cold Saturday night, I was minutes away from defeating Steel Cobra, until I went for a suplex and my leg gave out.

The MRI revealed the next day that I tore my ACL. I was on the shelf for about a year.

Going through my head, I contemplated quitting. The people who didn’t get injured and were out there every night getting one step closer, while I sat and was painfully hurt physically and mentally.

I looked in the mirror depressed, full of hatred and said to me, “You can do this.”

A year past and I was back in the squared circle. Now 21, this year felt like the year to break through.

 

Doing show after show, I was starting to hone my skills. My favorite part was my high-flying set. I felt as if I was on top of the world.

After a couple of months, a man approached me about working for the WWE. I was completely blown away by his offer. Never in a million years, did I feel that I was good enough for the biggest wrestling promotion in the world.

I witness guys like Batista, Triple H, the Rock, John Cena grace the stage with a bodybuilder persona. I was a small high-flyer, so why would Vince McMahon want me? Only so few small guys break through in this business.

In a heartbeat, I accepted his offer and I was on my way to Florida to perform in FCW, the minor leagues of the WWE.

There was one problem though, instead of using my name, Vince created a name for me. I wasn’t too keen on the idea, but I didn’t have a choice really. Jason Steele was my name. I kept my gimmick, so it’s no tragedy.

I busted my butt in FCW, working every match like it was my last. I saw most guys spend a lot of time in FCW, just about a year, but they called me up after about five months.

Reactions were limited at this proposition. I said yes, not knowing the journey ahead of me. 300 days on the road, missing loved ones and sleepless nights were included in the package deal.

 

My debut match was on Friday Night Smackdown. I was set to face the Great Khali in a squash match. I didn’t know what to think. Why would they bring me up just to get crushed?

Sticking to my guns, I kept my mouth shut and the giant pinned me in a matter of minutes. One squash match turned into months of humiliation, as I was what’s known as a “jobber.”

That term to me was a bad enough word, but to be associated with such a label hurt me. I was always taught that battling through adversity will make you stronger. Thus, I continued on.

After a few years on the main roster, doing backstage segments and random interviews for WWE DVD’s, I got a call that I would be put in a feud for the Intercontinental Championship.

My eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas. I saw guys like Chris Jericho grace the belt and it was an honor to be able to hoist such a prize. The feud was against Rey Mysterio. I was even more gracious, because I could now showcase my unique wrestling style. Although, my mic skills needed work.

That’s another thing I noticed. If you couldn’t talk or bench press a truck, a main event wasn’t in your future. For this reason, it became my personal crusade to put smaller guys on the mark, along with HBK.

 

After four months of back-and-forth action, I finally won the belt at SummerSlam. I finally reached another one of my dreams. This beats the paper belt I created out of macaroni art in grade school.

Creative was high on me as champion, so they said a long reign would be in my favor. Indeed it was, five months to be exact. I went through talent after talent. Feud after feud, I was finally inching closer to my ultimate goal.

It was time for the Royal Rumble and I dropped the Intercontinental Title at the previous Raw show. Before the pay-per-view, we found out who was going to win and go onto headline WrestleMania.

On the drive to work, I didn’t believe it to be true. There was no way I could win the Rumble. As I stumbled through the door, one of my friends approached me and asked if I heard the news.

I shook my head and was curious. He told me they picked the winner for the Rumble. Those same eyes lit again. I sprinted into Vince’s office and on the poster-board, I saw my name.

I cannot explain the emotion that rushed through my body. It was as if a rollercoaster started at my head and down into my toes. I won the Royal Rumble. I actually did it. As I through the last man over the top rope, I just cried.

Bawling my eyes out, with streamers falling from the ceiling, I wept in happiness. I was about to enter a world where my dream started back in the days of childhood.

There isn’t much to comment in between the Rumble and the Grandest Stage of them all except for my adrenaline high every day. I was feuding with John Cena, who will hold the title at WM. Everyone counted me out.

That’s what made my crusade for the WWE Championship even more special. If I defeat him, I will have taken down the proverbial beast.

The day finally came. It was the day of WrestleMania. I entered through the door of the building and I couldn’t breathe. Full of emotion, I laced up my boots and prepared for the main event of the biggest wrestling spectacle in the world.

It was time. My match was about to begin and the director cued my music. I ran through that curtain like I practiced all those years ago. It was finally time. The bell rang and finally, I was here.

The match lasted 45 minutes. There was no blood. There were no chair shots or hardcore paraphernalia. Only pure wrestling. Cena went up for his standard finisher, but I reversed it into my submission finisher.

He broke out of it after 20 seconds of fighting. The ref pulled me off and Cena charged at me. I avoided the clothesline and jumped of the ropes to hit the lionsault. 1…….2…………………………..3!

The whole arena was screaming my name. I couldn’t move for a second. Life stopped. For years on end, my dream was to become the WWE Champion like many other small wrestlers before me.

 

I realized my dream. Through adversity, I pushed through. In times of sickness or injury, I worked 1000% harder to get back.

On this day, I lived my dream.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I realize it was pretty long. This was my first shot at fiction. I would love your feedback and I would appreciate any comments that I receive. Have a great day everyone!

“For the benefit of those with flash photography….”

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WWE’s Conscience: A Fan’s Tribute to The Undertaker

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The Undertaker, the seven-time World Champion and the WWE’s Last Outlaw, has become one of the most beloved WWE Superstars in history.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably asking yourself, “Rize is an Undertaker fan?” “Isn’t this the same guy that worships the likes of John Morrison and the high flying genre?” “How could he possibly be a fan of the Last Outlaw?”

Excuse my nostalgia as I would like to take you back to a special moment for yours truly. It’s 1996, like any normal kid at the time, I found myself glued to my TV screen, as I pale guy with a zombie like demeanor made his way towards a wrestling ring.

There isn’t a grave to keep this fan away. (personal)

As I observed, my older sibling rebelled in the guy’s appearance (mark out), I was instantly amazed by this Superstar, but it would soon be overcome with another emotion.

FEAR (the one emotion synonymous with the enigma known as Undertaker)

The theme that echoed the sound of a bell signifying a departure of this life didn’t help my state of mind. Who (or whatever) this man was, he exposed my fear like no movie featuring Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers ever could.

This was the first time I’d ever witnessed Undertaker (and pro wrestling for that matter).

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The Undertaker’s profound effect on me lead to me avoiding WWF programming and finding WCW as a worthy alternative.  Picking up Sting, DDP, and Booker-T as favorites along the way, I chimed in on WWF RAW at least three times.

Funny thing is, each time, I’d find myself staring at my TV screen, enamored by the one and only, Undertaker.

Some occurrences would be the infamous crucifying of Stone Cold Steve Austin to the kidnapping of Stephanie McMahon. When World Championship Wrestling folded in 2001, I viewed my first WWF pay-per-view in WrestleMania 17.

To my surprise, the satanic, sinister, undead being known as Undertaker had undergone a character change.

In a highly contested match with Triple H, I observed the new Undertaker. He seemed taller, his skin was normal and his attire seemed as if he’d been apart of a biker gang.

In the months that succeeded WrestleMania 17, I’d become accustom to Undertaker and his superiority over most of the WWF Superstars.

This type of Superstar only comes once in a lifetime.

Undertaker is the first form of professional wrestling to ever cycle my train of thought. Despite my obsession with others, Undertaker will always be a favorite amongst yours truly.

Why?

Undertaker is an all-around great superstar/human being.

Unlike his colleagues from the 90s, Undertaker has stood the true test of time. The Deadman has remained in the WWE (WWF) since his debut in 1990. Over 20 years of the strenuous life of WWE Superstar hasn’t pushed Undertaker to the edge of retirement just yet.

In the process, maintaining his reputation as a loyal WWE Superstar. Numerous Superstars have come and gone since 1990(Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, The Rock, Austin) while Undertaker has never left the WWE since his run began.

I think Triple H said it best. “16 years ago, I walked into that locker room for the first time. It was filled with Legends and future icons of this business. I saw one guy that stood head and shoulders above everybody else. One guy that I could clearly see was the glue that held this all together. I watched that guy do things that no human being should be able to do. I watched him duck tape a flack jacket to himself because he broken every rib and still was going to the ring that night. I watched him wrestle with broken bones, torn ligaments, and I watched him crush one entire side of his face and wrestle the next night.”

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“He did it not because he was told to or because he had to because that’s who he was. I learned that if I should pattern myself after anybody in this business, it should be that guy. He represented everything that the WWE was and should be.”

Can YOU adapt?

Despite having a number of attributes, Undertaker is famous for his ability to adapt. The Last Outlaw debuted as a power house that was glorified for his speed and renowned striking ability. At his size, it’s not walk in the park to obtain as a great in ring technician.

But the sight of a 300-pound man diving over the top ropes onto Batista can change the thinking of any fan.

Besides this, Undertaker has added elements of MMA and submission wrestling to his arsenal. With the inclusion of the Hell’s Gate, Undertaker has seemingly cheated ageby discontinuing the use of the choke slam and Last Ride.

Simply put, Undertaker can tell a story in the ring like no one (besides HBK) can.

The ultimate sign of respect, dedicated to the world of pro wrestling.

If not anything featured in this article, every pro wrestling fan must respect Undertaker for kayfabe. In case you missed my point, Undertaker possesses the greatest gimmick in the history of professional wrestling.

Undertaker has never brokenkayfabe. Despite the potential to make millions of dollars through promotional or other potential business deals. Instead, Undertaker decided to retain his character and refrain from opportunities of financial gain.

For this, Undertaker will always have my utmost respect.

Eulogy: A fan’s final goodbye

I apologize if you were expecting more, but this is a one of a kind tribute to Undertaker. Now that his time in the squared circle is coming to an end, I found it appropriate to commemorate the career of the Deadman with this article.

Looking ahead to the future, I realize that Undertaker has one more match left in him. WrestleMania 28 will truly be epic. The night the Deadman cemented his status as arguably the greatest wrestler of all time.

In closing, I must its going to be extremely difficult to watch the WWE knowing you’ll never witness Undertaker destroy another opponent.

So it shall end, as it began.

With the irreplaceable ringing of the bell tolling the end of a life (career), but ain’t no grave can hold his body down.

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