Hi, I’m Ryan Nemeth. You might remember me as “Briley Pierce” the mouthy, know-it-all, former WWE Developmental Tag-Team Champion, or as “Grandma Dottie” the sexed-up octogenarian from @TheGoldenGals. As part of a creative installment plan for my crushing student loan payments, I’m now required to write a blog for PWMania.com. Enjoy.
“From Layman to Professional Wrestler: A Journey Worth Seven-Hundred Words (Or Maybe Slightly More)”
A person doesn’t simply decide to “become” a professional wrestler. It’s not an instantaneous transformation that occurs overnight. One does not wish really hard and wake-up the next morning a wrestler. No, in fact, depending on the person, the transition from layman to wrestler can be a tediously long, drawn-out process with many starts and stops, ups and downs, smiles and tears, backward moves and forward moves, and so on and so forth. I provide here, Dear PWMania.com Reader, some of my journal entries from when I first started my formal training at Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, Kentucky. Although by no means am I declaring myself to be the model professional wrestler (anything but, really), and I am certainly not proclaiming my training to be “only way” or the epitome of a professional wrestling education, were there such a thing. I am merely presenting to you these autobiographical clippings as a way to show the very real transition one goes through as he or she stumbles along the road to becoming a professional wrestler. All I ask of you, Dear Reader, is that you keep an open mind and that you welcome any insight my hastily written journal entries can provide.
As with many adventures, my story began with leaving family and friends behind and moving to a new, foreign land. I often kept touch with loved ones via handwritten letters. Here is one such letter written to my mother. As you will notice, I kept my correspondence very brief; this letter is particularly concise and to-the-point. However, it is as informative as it is affectionate: you, Dear Reader, will undoubtedly be able to feel true familial compassion as it emanates right off the page. Ah, the soothing ache of years long gone and loves long past.
The people one meets in the world of professional wrestling are awfully unique. The cast of characters seems to be a wildly varied mix of athletes, vaudevillians, actors, buxom beauties, grifters and circus showmen. As I made my way through those locker rooms I- a shy young man with innocent and hopeful blue eyes, somewhat of a “square” really- must have seemed just as much a quiz to them as they to me! In this journal entry I detail some of the puzzling new characters I met along the first steps of my saga.
Wrestling is a trade rife with physical contact and, thus, injuries are unavoidable. I now present to you, Dear Reader, a troubling piece. In this passage I reconcile the fact that I must miss a day of training due to injury. To a spry, taut, young wrestler-in-the-making, such a decision is almost impossible to stomach. Surely my internal struggle will bring tears to your eyes, much as it did to me then as I wrote it.
A truly great wrestler has just as much theatrical talent as he has athletic prowess. I am confident that you, Dear Reader, can easily conjure in the halls of your mind an unlimited number of colorful characters from past and present that you think of as “professional wrestlers.” The strong man, the villain, the hero, the high flyer, the rebel, the masked mystery man- all of these and a great number more comprise the eternal roster of professional wrestling archetypes. Even as a young student, fresh to the game, I was faced with the struggle of discovering my own “in-ring character.” This journal entry details just that struggle.
There is nothing more nerve-wracking to a new wrestling student than the promise of a first match. One’s metal is truly tested. Unfortunately, all the behind-the-scenes training in the world cannot prepare a person to wrestle a real match in front of a real crowd. Such a momentous event can be as horrifying as it is electrifying. I will neither waste your time nor your attention, Dear Reader, in attempting to describe in mere words the tremendous experience that my first match was. Rather, I direct your eyes to the following journal entry, written immediately after.
Such are the triumphs and follies of a fledgling in-ring competitor. Of course these selections were taken from my very early and naïve beginnings in this most unique arena. Alas, Dear Reader, I hope they allowed you a different vantage point from which to view the art of professional fake fighting in shiny underwear.
About Ryan: Ryan Nemeth is former WWE NXT Superstar “Briley Pierce.” He is the author of the humorous novel I Can Make-Out with Any Girl Here (available on Amazon.com) and contributing at PWMania.com. Follow him on Twitter @HotYoungBriley.
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