Friday, February 24, 2012
Vince Hates Us All Vol.10- "Wrestling ain't a hobby" um, yeah for most it is!
(The views expressed here do not reflect those of the other writers of WrestlingNewsCenter.com nor "Hollywood" Jimmy Blaylock....they are those of Gene Jackson ONLY! However, most will find these views hard to dispute or disprove but feel free to try if you'd like)
Ok, so this is something I've heard debated for a long time and quite frankly it annoys me. I figure I will chime in my 2 cents on the topic for what it's worth since I've seen it come up recently on message boards, facebook statuses, twitter, etc.
I've read where people will say, "Pro Wrestling is not a hobby, if you view wrestling as a hobby then get out of the business!" Now, first off I agree with PART of that sentiment....people should treat wrestling as a business and respect it as such. You should honor your bookings, be professional, respect your peers, and do your best to carry yourself as a professional wrestler and give the fans what they paid to see. However, the fact of the matter is....if you can't do this for a living, i.e. you can't pay your bills and support your family on what money you make as a professional wrestler and you have to have a "real job" for your actual income...then guess what tough guy...you've got a f***ing HOBBY! Hobbies are what you do for enjoyment and pass the time when your not WORKING....you know on weekends and maybe sometimes during the week. Does this diminish what you do? Does that disrespect the "business"? NO, it's just a hard fact of life. Pro Wrestling is now a hobby for I'd say 80% (probably more actually) of the people who do it these days. The reason for that is...first off most promoters don't treat it as a business anymore, THEY treat it as a hobby and therefore they don't make any money which in turn means the wrestlers don't make any money. Now, that's just one of the MANY reasons wrestling is no longer a profitable business...there are literally HUNDREDS of reasons why and there's tons of articles and shoot interviews on the web explaining that so I'm not even gonna begin to tackle that issue but the fact remains no matter what you say, pro wrestling is now merely a hobby for most anyone who does it that doesn't have a contract somewhere.
Heck, that doesn't even always mean anything.....there are guys with WWE developmental contracts who have to wait tables during the week to pay their bills.....there are guys on TV for TNA who still have "real jobs" because they can't get by on what little they get paid since they don't tour regularly. Again, it doesn't mean people in the business shouldn't respect it and treat it seriously....they absolutely should but don't kid yourself into thinking it's more than a hobby or that you're gonna "make it" because odds are you won't simply because there aren't that many places to "make it" to and you now have to fit a very particular mold to get there which most indy wrestlers simply don't fit, myself included. The first step towards fixing things would be for promoters to stop using guys who have no business working in front of a crowd just because they work cheap or for free. I may not be an athlete or the best "wrestler" in the world but I know how to entertain people and I understand the wrestling business and what we're out there trying to accomplish. It amazes me to read and hear stuff online or sit in dressing rooms and listen to guys who have no f'n clue about the business and have no business being in front of paying customers running their mouth about "what's wrong with the business", completely clueless that THEY ARE what's wrong with the business. It's sad really, so much so that I nearly quit for good a few months ago but I realized their are still some promoters out there who are trying to do right by the fans and have a good show and again while I'm not the greatest in-ring wrestler, I can go out there and entertain the fans and add something to the show.....I'm even taking my own advice and getting better gear which is an area I've always been lacking in.
So, in closing just to recap I do feel that pro wrestling is a hobby for most by definition simply because if you can't make a living at it, it is in fact a hobby...but that doesn't mean you can't strive to be the best at it and work towards one day making it your career but for now enjoy your hobby and help others enjoy it as well whether they are in the ring with you or paying to see you do what you love to do.
ALSO....thanks for everyone who has emailed me, Facebook messaged me, or Tweeted me about the Eddie Gilbert column, your feedback is appreciated!