By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
5.31.16: National – (Lifestyle): The grapple holds, body slams, and chairs shot to the head, when performed in a professional wrestling ring, are preceded by a necessary, but sometimes ignored, disclaimer: don’t try this at home! Every move executed by a trained professional in the squared circle can’t be mimicked by laymen, but there’s one thing great wrestlers do backstage, or in boardrooms, or even while on the road traveling from city to city, that the average person should aim to reenact: regularly evaluate one’s self, and one’s connection to the world’s inhabitants and, if necessary, reinvent your image and skill-set to strengthen said connection.
In other words, if your gimmick – the character or characteristics you portray in front of people, such as employers – isn’t advancing your life’s interest, freshen up your look, sound, and approach to the public. It took years of observing the business of wrestling to understand and appreciate the patience and self-awareness employed by the many men and women who – in order to maintain the audience’s attention, navigate to the top of the card, and sell tons of merchandise – reinvent themselves decade after decade, shedding personality after personality and adopting new ones, often in stride.
Mr. Paul Levesque – who achieved his greatest fame in the wrestling business portraying Triple H, whose monikers include ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ and ‘The Game’ – is, in real life, an executive with WWE, one of the world’s most popular sports-entertainment and media brands. But before Mr. Levesque, as Triple H, was an American executive and a former multi-time world champion, and prior to his run with D-Generation X, and even before his days in the mid-1990s as Hunter Hearst-Hemsley, a blue-blood from Connecticut, he wrestled briefly in WCW (World Championship Wrestling) as Terror Rising and Terra Ryzin. The gimmick was forgettable, and Mr. Levesque didn’t last long in WCW, which was bought by WWF in 2001. Mr. Levesque’s current position in the global marketplace is two decades in the making, not a result of overnight success.
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Mr. Levesque’s good friend, Mr. Kevin Nash, who acquired much fame in the 90s when wrestling in WWF as Diesel and in WCW under his real name, also spent decades portraying several characters before finding his big footing. Mr. Nash in 1990 wrestled as Steel, one half of a tag-team known as the Master Blasters. He then took on the name “The Master Blaster.” Shortly thereafter, Mr. Nash shed himself of the aforementioned gimmick and became Oz, a lousy character based on the Wizard of Oz. By 1992, Mr. Nash was appearing on television as Vinnie Vegas, a mobster-like character which, at one point, saw him in the same stable as Mr. Scott Hall, who would later become his co-founder of the n.W.o (New World Order), a group of outsiders who aimed to takeover WCW in the late 1990s.
When Mr. Nash exited the WWF for WCW along with Mr. Hall, who in the early 90s portrayed a bad-guy character named Razor Ramon, a equally tall white man, who had spent years as various characters that never made an impact on national audiences, was recruited to be the New Diesel, an idea that sounded good on paper but failed in real-time. The New Diesel gimmick was quickly abandoned and Mr. Glenn Jacobs, who gave that revised character its life, was repackaged as Kane, the younger brother of The Undertaker who was, according to the story-line, burnt in a fire as a child.
Mr. Jacobs, who has portrayed Kane for nearly two decades, was, prior to being the face behind the red and black mask, a fictional dentist named Isaac Yankem. Mr. Jacobs, like many of his peers mentioned in this article, employed a marvelous amount of patience in order to become a headliner and future hall-of-famer.
Everyone, whether they be a fan of professional wrestling or not, can find value and life lessons in the business, more so, in the backstage dealings. Quite often I meet young entrepreneurs who claim frustration due to their dreams not manifesting fast enough. They threaten to give up and instead walk the easy road. And even the elder entrepreneur is sometimes guilty of seeking instant gratification. It has become somewhat normal for people of all ages to want rewards worth 20 years or work though they’ve only invested two years of time.
Patience must be had by those chasing dreams, and to truly appreciate patience, one could observe the business of professional wrestling – how gimmicks are created and discontinued – and try it at home.
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Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
About Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
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