How to Get into the Pro Wrestling Business (Without Wrestling)

The truth is, not everybody has the body build, personality, or stamina (physical and mental) to be a professional wrestler.

Luckily, there are many ways someone who loves pro wrestling can get involved in the business without being a full-time wrestler. Most of these jobs require the same level of hard work and devotion that the wrestlers have.

Let’s take a look.

1. Referee

This job is not as easy as it looks. First, you have to learn to get bounced around the ring like a full-time wrestler. You need to be demonstrative, so even the people in the back row can understand your instructions to the wrestlers. You also need to be discreet enough to give cues to the wrestlers without the audience hearing you. Finally, you have to be ready for anything. I have refereed a grand total of three matches in my life. During that time, I was punched in the face and thrown out of the ring twice. None of that was “supposed to happen.”

2. Manager

Like a referee, you have to be willing to take a small amount of punishment in the ring. You have to be a good talker, singing the praises of your wrestler without calling too much attention to yourself. You have to interact with the audience, doing whatever you can to get them emotionally invested in the match. One word of caution: it’s very difficult for a guy to make it big as a manager these days, as the major leagues are more apt to use curvaceous women in that role.

3. Promoter

If you’re the promoter, you get to be the boss – but you also have the hardest job. The promoter has a million things to do to pull off a successful wrestling show. The promoter needs to book a building, a ring, a DJ, a light person, announcers, referees and wrestlers.

He also needs to get the word out to the public that the show is taking place and provide a lineup that will entice fans to plunk down their money. On the day of the show, the promoter has to field questions from everyone during the countdown to the opening bell. It’s not easy to get all of this done while turning a profit. The good news is, you will be the most satisfied customer, since the entire show will be just the way you like it.

4. Booker

This is the guy who decides who will wrestle whom, the time of the match and who will win. Often, the promoter will do this job as well. Other times, he will have a trusted lieutenant handle the booking tasks. In addition to booking a good show for that night, the booker need to develop long-term feuds and plan who will win the championships and when. The booker often has to deal with last-minute cancellations, as well as disgruntled wrestlers who don’t feel like losing. It’s hard for the booker to be everybody’s friend.

5. Event staff

If you really want to be around a wrestling show, you should be able to find a way to help. Some of the tasks that need to be done include posting flyers for the show, writing the program, and selling tickets, concessions, merchandise and programs.

6. Camera crew

I am good friends with a family of wrestling maniacs who got involved by filming and editing the shows for different wrestling promotions. I know this isn’t something everyone can do, but it illustrates how you can be creative in getting yourself a shot on a wrestling show.

7. Announcer

Anyone can sit behind a mic and talk about a wrestling match. However, it takes hard work to be a really good announcer. I used to sit in the arenas with my little tape recorder and announce the matches. It took a few years before I was good enough to do it on a real show. When I got the chance, I was able to stick with several promotions because I worked out a lot of mistakes on those tapes. Some things to remember are …

  1. Learn all of the wrestlers and all of the moves.
  2. Explain to the fans why these two guys are fighting.
  3. Cultivate your own style. Don’t be a cheap knockoff of a famous announcer.
  4. Show your love of wrestling and have fun!