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   Sat, September 3, 2005



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Tough being a wrestler
By "Hotshot" JOHNNY DEVINE - SLAM! Wrestling
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Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is just getting up in the morning. A body can only take so much punishment before it involuntarily shuts down.

The list of wrestlers working hurt or fully injured at any time is long and varied. There are literally hundreds of guys out there right now with little problems that turn into big deals. I had that happen to me in the Can Am school a couple weeks ago.

I was in the ring with Matt Duval, the pro body builder training at the Can Am School, and took a relatively simple clothesline from him. When I hit the mat though, my body seized up and my back began to spasm. I thought I had somehow given myself a stinger or pinched a nerve but the feeling was different, as I have felt both before.

Turns out that I had strained a group of muscles in my back earlier that day at the gym and didn't know it. I had been really busting my hump at the gym with an expected TNA return on the horizon and new indy shots coming up and it was starting to catch up with me.

So I have been forced to take a couple weeks off of training and living on a steady diet of Robaxacet (back relaxer) and Advil to function on the odd day. Never having been one for taking medication, I have had a tough time staying on prescribed meds due to the fear I have of being one of "those wrestlers" down the line.

But lately with the injuries I suffered, I have been trying something new and listening to doctors. Who knew that 10 years of university would actually make a guy right? So here's a bit of advice for young guys and too "smart" old vets -- listen to your body. You know what it's telling you and if it tells you to slow down or stop -- do it! Otherwise it will do it for you and none too gently.

August had been a great month for wrestling with two good (SummerSlam) to great (Sacrifice) pay per views and some good angles and matches (Bob Holly and Stevie Richards had a great match on Heat recently) on TV. Things are really picking up steam I think to a major upswing in business for wrestling. They all say wrestling is cyclical and that another high point will come around eventually. Well, I think it may be picking up speed for a really good 2006.

With TNA hitting Spike TV on October 1st behind a strong-drawing UFC show, there is the possibility of a new #2 promotion giving the WWE some much needed competition. And as much as they in Titan Towers will deny the threat of TNA being "competition" they have to be worried about the possibility of TNA taking too big a slice of their pie.

Any fan will tell you that the best recent years of wrestling TV were the "Monday Night Wars" and the competition between WWE and WCW. The angles and wrestling were sharp and edgy and the talent was pushed to perform and deliver. Now, in no way am I comparing the current landscape of wrestling to the Monday Night Wars, but merely stating that any competition brings out the best in all of us. And what I am hoping for is the beginning of an upswing in the North American popularity of wrestling again.

I want to congratulate a couple friends of mine at this time--Rory and Robbie McCallister, otherwise known as the Highlanders on the Ontario indy scene--for their signing by the WWE. These are two great guys and a great tag team, and they will make all their fans proud when they hit WWE TV. And it couldn't happen to nicer guys. Just don't get on their bad side as they've been known to "Turn a groin or two to puddin'!!"

I also want to congratulate the guys in Winnipeg at AWE and their success at getting their stuff on PPV! It's good to see someone in Western Canada (my home) getting something done for a change instead of fighting over terrible venues and the few hardcore fans left after the crap that's come through there. They have some more big shows coming up and I will get the dates of such for everyone up here as soon as possible.

Enough for this week. I will try to have a new column up next week. It's been a little chaotic for me lately and I haven't been very good at keeping up with my responsibilities. But I am focused again and head down, running hard to the goal line.

You can catch me at September 15th Border City Wrestling's International Incident show (www.bordercitywrestling.com) in Windsor, and September 25th's Blood Sweat and Ears show (www.bloodsweatandears.com) in Concord, Ontario.

For any more Johnny Devine info, or any info at all, hit my website at www.johnnydevine.net (which will be getting a facelift soon) or email me at johnnydevine@shaw.ca.

I am also healthy again and am accepting indy bookings at the same email addy so drop me a note and I'll get back to you soon as I am able. I look forward to seeing everyone soon at upcoming shows and hope you are supporting your local indy.

This edition's wisdom: Obstacles are those little things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

Take Care and Stay Hot. If You Don't Like It, Learn To Love It. Because I'm Canadian And Proud Of It!!

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
.


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