My first day…
Words cannot begin to describe how nervous I was to start this journey. It was very out of my comfort zone and a small part of me wanted to turn around and go home. For starters, I am a bit of a germaphobe who doesn’t like other people touching me, especially if I’m not comfortable with them. Wrestling involves lots of different people touching you and there is no way around it. So you’d think I wouldn’t be okay with it. But I didn’t want to be a quitter, especially at something that is so me.
My wrestling journey starts at The Australian Pro Wrestling Gym, where the training is held at Fit 4 All Gym in Penrith, NSW, training with Leigh Leslie and Diego Retamales. I walked in and saw the advanced class training, and a bunch of curious newbies watching them, and again I saw another opportunity to turn around and leave. I was even messaging a friend in the carpark, asking her why the hell I was doing this. But Leigh caught me, asked me if I was here for wrestling. I nodded my head, and stood awkwardly as we watched these people wrestle around with each other.
There was no turning back. I was locked into it now. After the initial sign up to the gym and to APWG, it began. At the beginning, there were about 12 of us eager to learn. Leigh inducted us on the general basics of pro wrestling and also what to expect when it comes to indy wrestling in Australia and around the world.
One of the most important things I took from my first induction week was the etiquette of respect in the wrestling business. You don’t just turn up, wrestle, and then leave. You get to the venue hours beforehand, help set up the ring, and do anything and everything you can in assisting to make sure the show goes as smoothly as possible. Also, when you turn up to training or to an event, it is imperative that you shake everyone’s hand and introduce yourself if necessary. Again, not a fan of touching people, especially shaking hands
because hand shakes transfer the most germs between people so this was very out of my comfort zone, but I had to get used to it.
We didn’t do too much physical work on the first day. We learned the basics of a lock up – again, out of my comfort zone, especially getting so intimate with someone I had literally just met – and also the framework of taking back bumps and front bumps.
In my opinion, if you want to be a great wrestler, you need three things: athleticism and the ability to wrestle well, microphone skills and cutting excellent promos, and a great character and the ability to play said character effectively. Kurt Angle had four of those three.
While Sable will always be my favourite wrestler, when it comes down to the whole package, I can comfortably say that Kurt Angle was the best professional wrestler to ever step foot in a ring, and will probably always be the greatest. People will argue and say that The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels or Bret Hart are the best, and arguably so, but in my opinion, Kurt Angle trumped all of them. Kurt was well-rounded and was good at everything, not just certain things.
If someone were to ever ask me who my dream opponent would be, I would say Kurt Angle. He could honestly wrestle a broomstick and put on a five-star match. My favourite match of his would have to be him vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 21. Watch it for yourself and try argue with me that Kurt isn’t the GOAT.
Stay tuned to my wrestling journal, as week two of my introductory course nearly made me break down in tears.
– by Nikki