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Bateman: Like being one-dimensional? Consider pro wrestling

By Oliver Bateman

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After relying on a combination of “hardgaining” and “Hydroxycutting/shredding” to reach… After relying on a combination of “hardgaining” and “Hydroxycutting/shredding” to reach your target weight of a ripped 220 pounds, you’ve probably found that you’ve achieved all deserving purposes in life. But before you reach for that hangman’s noose or 200-count bottle of GHB, pause to consider an exciting career in a field that has made stars out of thousands of other ripped 220-pounders: pro wrestling.

Unlike amateur wrestling, which demands a high degree of athleticism from its competitors and probably isn’t rigged, pro wrestling in its purest form entails little more than pantomiming kicks, punches and belly bumps. Besides learning how to take “bumps,” “juice” using either razor blades or “hardway” (i.e., by getting punched in the big mass of purple scar tissue on your forehead until it begins to bleed, à la Dusty “The American Dream” Rhodes) and set up “spots” — three skills you can master for less than $3,500 during a six-month course at former WWE superstar “King” Harley Race’s wrestling school — the technical requirements for a successful pro-wrestling career are minimal.

You will, however, have to develop a great gimmick, one that will enable you to “build heat” and thereby “get over” with the crowd. A quick survey of successful wrestlers from the last three decades indicates that you needn’t be the least bit subtle or cerebral about this. Since anyone who would pay as much as $1 to watch this lurid spectacle is obviously not the most carbonated soda in the cooler, you’re going to need to invent a one-dimensional character who makes it personal and thus causes such fans to take it personal.

Start with your personal appearance. Most of the top stars resemble Creed frontman Scott Stapp, a singer of such prodigious talent that we wouldn’t hesitate for even a second to label him the voice of our generation. To achieve Stapp’s dynamic and instantly recognizable look, you should begin to grow your hair out. After your hair reaches your shoulders, either bleach it blond or get some silver highlights. In any case, apply a tremendous amount of product so that your hair always looks wet and then complement this ’do with accoutrements like an earring (remember to pierce the appropriate ear, depending on your preference!), a huge wallet chain, enormous chest tattoos of logos from popular brands like “Harley-Davidson” and “USA,” steel-toed motorcycle boots and a jean jacket that’s been crudely tailored to serve as a jean vest.

Following your physical transformation, figure out the rudiments of your act. If you’re going to be a bad guy, determine what the fans like and ridicule those things. If you can find a way to mock Harley-Davidsons, the United States, guns, trucks, East Coast Choppers, beer and the American flag (“Old Glory”), you’re on the right track.  Stand in front of a mirror and practice a speech like this one:

“Listen up, you pumpernickels! I’m here to tell you that I’m your mental superior, and also that the USA is terrible. Did you hear that? The USA sucks, and everyone in it is a nitwit! You’re all just a bunch of mopes who cling to your Harley-Davidsons, ‘Old Glory’ flags, guns and beer. After you’ve watched me wipe the floor with this gung-ho alcoholic redneck idiot you all love, I’m going to pull down my trousers and make him kiss both cheeks of my butt right here on live television.”

That last line is really important, because wrestling fans love “angles” (i.e., storylines) where one wrestler has to kiss another wrestler’s butt. These challenges can result in the predicted outcome — the losing wrestler kisses the other wrestler’s butt while the crowd roars its approval — or else an incredibly obese wrestler kept around solely for moments such as these can run in, save the wrestler who is about to be forced to kiss his victor’s butt, and then proceed to give the victor a taste of his own medicine (also causing the crowd to roar its approval). In either case, the fans get what they want and everyone goes home happy.

A good guy also has to act like a bad guy — or at least like a tough guy — while still managing to stand up for beer, guns, the USA, “Old Glory,” hunting and more guns. In the old days, good guys had to follow the rules and not hit people with steel chairs or force their vanquished opponents to kiss their butts, but times have changed and “antiheroes” are the new heroes. Everyone cheats, and the pretend “referees” ignore this malfeasance because even the otherwise-ingenuous fans know the fix is in and are just waiting for a butt-kissing or a big “spot” that involves one wrestler throwing another through an announcing table and onto a Cadillac Escalade. A sample good guy interview would go as follows:

“You know, I was hanging out at the [ranch, mobile home, bar] in my hometown of [Snake, Rock, Bear] [Creek, River, Canyon] and tossing back a few cold ones when I found myself savoring the fact that that stupid hockey puck I’m due to fight tonight will have to pucker up and kiss my butt cheeks. I sure hope all the mascara and lipstick that pussified, anti-American turnip green is wearing doesn’t mask my distinct aroma, because back in [Snake, Rock, Bear] [Creek, River, Canyon] we don’t have running water or a strong tradition of taking baths.”

Once you’ve developed your gimmick to the utmost, you can focus on discovering a memorable catchphrase. Calling people “hockey pucks,” “turnip greens” and “pumpernickels” is one way to go, but if you’re looking for a killer line, we have it on good authority that our own creation — “Hey daddy!” — is still available. No matter where your pro-wrestling career takes you, though, you’ll most likely be glad that you decided not to end it all.

Oliver Bateman is the head trainer at the Moustache Pro-Wrestling Club of America. Watch some of our classic matches at moustacheclubofamerica.com and keep up with all of the latest wrestling rumors at http://twitter.com/#!/MoustacheClubUS.

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Bateman: Like being one-dimensional? Consider pro wrestling