Wow. I don’t miss doing that at all, but least not (during) the dead of winter. This is the second floor, this is where we would come to train. This obviously is a new door, this used to be an old, beat up wood door and this was kind of the entrance way. I’m going to sneak in here and see what we got.
There’s a wall there now so there’s no gym here obviously in what is now an office building. We used to come in, walk down the hallway, the gym was down there and this was the second floor. You can see some of the original brick here and it’s bringing back a lot of memories, good memories.
Adam and I have known each other since sixth grade, we became friends because our love for wrestling, we wanted to be wrestlers and that was our bond. Just doing this was like fulfilling what we’d always talked about as kids, it was exciting and we were there for support to help each other. He picked up things faster than I did and I picked up some things faster, but he had been doing it for a while. I had a little bit of an advantage right away because I already visually had seen him going through some of these motions, so that helped me and I could talk to him and ask him why they were doing certain things. It made it easier for me to pick things up, so that was important as far as my training went. There was already some guys that were seasoned that were doing shows. So I got to tag along with them and go to local, small shows in front of 100-150 people and watch the shows and see how they’re performing in front of people because it’s different when there’s actually a crowd there to get the emotion out of the crowd that you’re looking for. These smaller shows, to me you learn those tools to take the people on the ride that they’re going to see throughout a wrestling match to get the feedback and get the response because that’s what you’re working for. Your ultimate goal is to give the people a show, to evoke a reaction whether they’re cheering or booing you.
I was learning these tools here and I was picking the brains of guys that had been doing shows and yeah, they’ve all gone on to have pretty good careers and like I said, I still keep in contact with most of them and have a good relationship and consider lifelong friends.
My goal was to just get as much ring time as I could, I felt like if I was getting ring time in front of a crowd I was getting better every time I went out there and was to try to wrestle with people that were better than me so I could get better and to try to figure out what my style was going to be. I knew the ultimate goal was to get to WWE, that’s what I wanted. That’s what every pro wrestler wants is to get to the pinnacle, but I knew it was going to be a long road and this is before the internet. This is before social media, so it was hard to let people know what you were doing. My goal was to wrestle on all these smaller shows in Ontario, Michigan, upstate New York and Pennsylvania. I was starting to get booked on all these smaller shows in these areas, they would get coverage in wrestling magazines and they used to do like a recap in these magazines. They would show what was happening in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and they would have little write-ups of the people that were on the show and what the matches were. In my mind if people opened that magazine, saw me wrestling in New York, Michigan, Ontario, Manitoba, wherever it was, then I know this guy, he wrestles all over the place, he must be good. That was how I was going to get my name out there and try to get the proper traction I needed to keep moving forward to eventually get to WWE.