Hey Wrestle Talk fans! Usually when I’m working on getting you the latest wrestling news, a question pops up on the email that gets my direct attention. Today, I want to answer a question from Mark J. in Breezy Point. He asked, “What is life like for a wrestler after their career has ended? Is it like the movie ‘The Wrestler?’”
Mark, that is a great question, and based on my experience talking with former pro wrestlers who have retired and left the business, a majority of them said there was a feeling of emptiness. The feeling of not being the center of attention, for that 10 to 15 minutes, when they were out there performing. In part, wrestlers are larger than life individuals, that have fans and sign autographs. Then, when that attention is no longer there, they miss it, they want it, and they need it. Now, the majority of wrestlers go on to do well after their careers have ended. Some moved on to acting, some open businesses, and some are still involved with pro wrestling and attend autograph signings at live shows and events.
For those who were very successful with their careers and were also smart with their finances and have saved their money, life after pro wrestling can be a very fruitful one. The wear and tear wrestlers suffer on their bodies puts a heavy toll on their overall health. Many wrestlers have retired with numerous lingering injuries that have required them to have multiple surgeries. So, retirement is that time for them to enjoy the rest of their lives with family and friends. Then, there are the unfortunate ones that no matter how successful they were, they unfortunately left the business not financially stable. Some also left with serious drug and alcohol dependencies. Many continued working in the business on the independent scene, trying to survive and, as for many of them, wrestling was the only profession they knew. Many did not have secondary trades or skills to fall back on. They continued hitting the towns and going on to the next show.
Whether it was for the lack of money, or the roar of the crowd, leaving the business does cause a void, and many miss that attention, and they don’t want to feel like they were forgotten. Wrestling is a performance, and the ring is the stage. Pro wrestlers tell a story with their bodies, and people pay to see two individuals, whether they are Heels or Babyfaces, and they pay to see a story be told. The ring becomes home, and fellow wrestlers become family members. Is the movie “The Wrestler” a good portrayal of life after wrestling? Well, the movie portrays an aging wrestler, who has surpassed his prime years, and still struggles to remain relevant, and make enough money to pay his rent. One thing that is for sure is the star of the movie, Randy “The Ram” Robinson, craved the stardom and he couldn’t let it go. For many of us, wrestling is our passion that we can’t easily let go. But, as time goes on, acceptance kicks in, and the transition from active wrestler to retired wrestler becomes more manageable. One thing that never leaves and always remains is the memories…
If you have a question or comment, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and have a great weekend!