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   Wed, January 26, 2005



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COMMENT





A Devine debut: Training
By "Hotshot" JOHNNY DEVINE - SLAM! Wrestling


Well it looks as though SLAM! Wrestling has some room for a new columnist, and who better to fill the space than a guy who never has a shortage of things to say? Namely me. So starting now I will be gracing SLAM! on a (hopefully) weekly basis with my thoughts, insights and ramblings as I see fit. As I sit and think of what to write I am struck by the logic of the old adage -- start at the beginning. So I will.

For my first few columns I will address what it takes to get started in the wrestling business and give my thoughts on the right and wrong way to do things. There are always different ways to go about any task but these I have learned are the tried and true methods from personal experience and the experience of friends and co-workers.

First, GET TRAINED. And that doesn't mean by just anyone, or by watching tapes. It means going out and finding a reputable school and trainer. Someone who knows what the hell they are talking about. If your dream is to make it to the big time and be on TV every week, try to find a trainer that has done just that. If you just want to work the indys and maybe make and extra buck or two just for the fun of it as a hobby, then a guy who already does that will suffice as a trainer. But if it is your intention to be great, then get trained by someone who is/was great. Experience is everything in this business. And you can't fake experience. The best way to do this is look at the guys you idolize and see where they trained. If you want to be like them then train like them. I liked the Harts and Bulldogs and thusly trained in the Dungeon. You should do the same.

Second. Get in the gym. There is nothing worse for a show than two 150-pound guys wrestling their hearts out, but ultimately looking ridiculous. The whole premise of this business is the suspension of disbelief. How can a crowd believe the toughness and athleticism you are trying to show if they think they could take you in a fight? If you can't afford to get in the gym you probably won't be able to afford to be a wrestler. It's a fact. This business costs a lot financially, mentally and physically. Shoot, I have gone broke -- as have many others -- trying to live their dream. But for now if you can't afford a gym membership start working out at home, or try to get a part time job at a gym and get a free membership. I worked in gyms for five years part-time so that I wouldn't have to pay. As do many others. Oh, and don't forget to eat! Eat! Eat! Eat! As much as all us midgets will try to deny the truth, size does matter. If you are skinny now, just get it in you. Doesn't matter what it is just eat it, pack on that weight. If you are a fat guy, eat lean. Do cardio. As much as it sucks, the look is more important than the talent right now in the biz, so get to work!

Well, I think that should do it for this week. It's a good start till we get more aquainted with each other. I promise you there will be very little political b.s. in this column and I will always try to shoot straight. If you have questions, comments or concerns please feel free to email me at johnnydevine@shaw.ca for now. (The email addy will be changing shortly.)

I hope you enjoy what's to come and you give me your feedback, but as always, IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, LEARN TO LOVE IT! WHY? BECAUSE I AM POSITIVELY DEVINE!

EDITOR'S NOTE: "Hotshot" Johnny Devine's column will run on Saturdays on SLAM! Wrestling. Be sure to visit each week!

For more on Devine's career, see his biography in our Canadian Hall of Fame
.