It has recently been said that the WWE is looking at not only amateur wrestlers, but also footballers and other athletes to come into the developmental territories and learn to be professional wrestlers. The argument is that these guys are already physically fit and strong and so in order to become wrestlers they would only have to learn to bump (and there’s a fun thing!) and apply and take the various moves.
Then you have TNA which has brought in Rampage Jackson, a legitimate MMA fighter, in order to be a ready-made wrestling superstar, with talk already out there of other older or not-as-good-as-they-think-they-are MMA fighters ready to see how Jackson goes before jumping onto this odd bandwagon.
Well, I’m going to posit that the powers that be are looking in the wrong places. If they want ready made athletes all set to become professional wrestlers, they should be looking at Australian rules football.
A little back story. In Australia there are 4 main football codes. By far the most popular in terms of TV viewership, ground attendance, etc is Australian rules. Fluctuating behind them is rugby league, which has its ups and downs, mainly because league players just can’t keep themselves out of trouble and the league hierarchy has a habit of condoning things that turn casual fans off. Then you have, about on an equal footing, rugby union and soccer. Soccer, however, does have the third highest participation of any ball sport at junior level in Australia (behind cricket and netball). Soccer is also claimed to be the most popular sport in the world, but McDonalds is the most popular restaurant and last year 50 Shades of Grey was the most popular book, so popularity certainly means an awful lot.
(Of course, if you just want someone to pretend they’re hurt, then soccer players are the way to go…)
So, I am advocating that if any cashed-up promotion wants to fill their roster with ready-made athletes, then they should come down to Australia and watch some Australian rules footballers. Rugby players could all be well and good as well, but, in general, you’d end up with a wrestling promotion full of Steven McMichaels and Meng/Haku clones which would, to be honest, be quite dull.
So what do the Aussie rules players have to offer?
Well, first, they don’t wear pads. At all. No helmets, no pads, just some pretty flimsy clothing. So when they tackle and bump, they tackle and bump hard.
What about agility and speed? They can run and dodge, and keep a ball under control, because they have to bounce it every fifteen metres or so while other guys bear down on him.
Then you have the ability to jump. And not only get up high but also control themselves and then land and continue on playing.
And, of course, there’s the ability to fight, which is what wrestling is all about.
So there you have it. Some simple reasons why I think wrestling promoters should be looking at Australian rules footballers as a potential source of talent.
And that is also the theme of my latest novel. So if there are any publishers out there who want to read a comedy based on just this premise, please shoot me a message and I’m open to all offers.
And that’s the view!
DISCLAIMER: I have been accused in comments and by email of not knowing what I am talking about when it comes to professional wrestling. So these simple thoughts are merely those of someone who has been watching wrestling for more than 30 years and has been stepping into the ring as an appallingly underskilled indy jobber for nigh on 20 years, who was a former state level gymnast and was one of the worst boxers in the history of the sport. I apologise for knowing nothing.
Tags: Australia, wrestling