Travel downside of wrestling stardom
By GREG OLIVER -- SLAM! Wrestling
Having done only a three-day swing through California with the WWF, a
person gets a new appreciation for the grind that wrestlers go through.
At the beginning of April, I hit Anaheim for two nights for
WrestleMania, then Los Angeles for RAW, and the Smackdown! tapings in
San Jose the next night.
On the flight from L.A. to S.J., it wasn't hard to spot Mark Henry in
first class -- just how could he ever hide? But it took a trained eye to
pick out The Rock
, Duane Johnson, a few seats up, hidden in a touristy
outfit, sun hat pulled well down.
Travelling icognito is obviously easier for some than others.
, being recognized hasn't been a big problem. "Us girls are a
little more blendable," she told SLAM! Wrestling. At the time of the
interview, she was dressed in a jean jacket and wearing a baseball cap
-- hardly the 'WWF Diva' doing photo shoots in the Caribbean.
said that he doesn't get recognized that much. "On the road
it's cool, most fans are considerate," he said. But when leaving an
arena after a show, he will usually try to disguise himself. "Some
nights you're real tired and leaving the buildings is when you get
bombarded the most."
Each of the major federations have people in their offices that take
care of travel arrangements for the wrestlers. Ivory has nothing but
praise for the work that the crew for the WWF does. "We have a great
travel department," she said. "They're very organized. Usually weeks in
advance we have tickets for the next shows."
For Billy Kidman
, things can get to be a bit of a blur. "I never know
where I'm going or where I've been. I just have to keep looking at the
booking sheets to see what's going on," he said. They key is just not
letting it get to you. "Sometimes you get ready to snap when you're on
the road for 10, 12 days in a row."
WCW has a phone line for wrestlers to call to see what upcoming shows they are booked on.
The travel from town to town does offer the wrestlers a way to get to
know each other. Ivory had a good laugh telling about the trip from San
Antonio to Los Angeles that the crew did before WrestleMania. They were
booked of a Southwest flight, and on Southwest flights there is no first
class section, so everyone was crammed in together, businessman beside
Jet lag is an obvious enemy for any wrestler travelling on a plane a
lot. "When you run so many hours, and odd hours of the day, usually very
late at night, when you have time off at home you can't function normal
your family," explained Storm, who indeed lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. "You are always tired and trying to catch
up on sleep."
Sleeping on the plane is a good skill to have, said Storm. "The ability
to sleep on planes is the biggest help. They are wasted hours anyway -- try
to catch up on your sleep then."
Both Storm and Kidman had the same pet peeve about travelling -- people
asking for autographs when they are eating.
"I just hate when people, when you're in the middle of chewing your
food, people come up and ask for your autograph," said Kidman.
"I do hate when people want to shake your hand when you are in the midst
of eating," said Storm. Another annoyance are the professional
"I draw the line when people want a pile of pictures signed," said
Storm. "I hear people sell them on Ebay and that bugs me. If you want a
momento, great. Don't try to make money off of me giving you my free