WrestleMania season of the year is here. Yeah, that’s a yearly WWE event and equivalent to Super Bowl Sunday for a pro wrestling fan. This time of year the aspiring pro wrestler begins to get that bug.
There are a few good training grounds for beginners in the New York City area. Those who rent space and own facilities are prepared for the rush. After WrestleMania Sunday, the inquiries begin.
Like boxing, after a major blockbuster, there is an itch to get started.
“They come and go,” Joe Bellini said about students who give it a try at his Warriors Off Wrestling training space in the Fun Station USA entertainment facility located on Victory Boulevard in Staten Island.
He got that itch as a youngster and later got trained by WWE Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz in Brooklyn at the legendary Gleasons Gym. But after working the independent circuit, and not getting the big contract, it was time to stay in the business.
For a fee of $150.00 per month, no down payment, 25 students that are regulars get the opportunity to perform in front of a crowd. They show their skills at monthly shows with schools and churches as venues in the New York area.
Yes, this is a training ground. But they perform as good as some of the talent seen during nine hours of televised pro wrestling per week.
“We drill,” says Bellini. “Film how to take a shoulder tackle, walking through footwork. Real big here on safety and fundamentals. They come from Brooklyn, the Bronx, New Jersey and Staten Island.”
This week the next step was in progress for Warriors Of Wrestling (WOW) as they are known. They are preparing for their next show March 6th, at Saint Finbar’s Catholic Church, a parish on Bath Avenue in Brooklyn.
And it does not matter how many are there because the students of the craft, talent in the ring, get another opportunity to showcase their skills. It’s not WWE talent and the names Brock Lesnar or Roman Reigns.
They go by the names of Mike Harvey, Tony Booze, Vinny Pacifico. There are a few females also, not the WWE Diva, but looking to go that route.
On the March 6th show, former WWE superstars, Gangrel and Demolition will be in the ring. They, of course, will be giving the WOW talent that significant boost of confidence and some tips of the trade.
And this is a business. Again, not the WWE, but training grounds like this and you never know what the future holds.
“Hard to run a show and put on a match,” Bellini said in between training a group about the holds and submissions. “I have to worry about everybody, the doctors, the athletic commission.”
The New York State Athletic Commission does not license the talent. In years past they made sure to collect revenue on those fees. Instead, they charge promoters to run a small show.
Bellini, in other words, does not make a profit. He will be at the venue in a few weeks there to promote his students and provide them with exposure.
“They kill us,” he said about the commission and their fees.
Understand, though, a licensed and experienced doctor must be present for safety precautions. In years past, tickets were accounted for with a manifest and that is a thing of the past. Regardless, organizing a small show, assuring that everything is properly in place, that is a major task.
So at the training facility, in the far end is a wrestling ring. You hear the pounding of bodies hitting the mat. And watching these guys take those bumps is a part of their game
They get bruised, injured. One student watched the training. On the sidelines,similar to a ballplayer, he is itching to get back in the ring in a few weeks after sustaining an injury to his shoulder.
Out of character, they are like you and me. All pro wrestlers are in a way considered athletes with an understanding this is also known as sports entertainment. They follow a script and at times will deviate.
They learn in their training facilities. Outcomes of what to expect in a few weeks? That remains to be determined. This is pro wrestling and anything is possible which adds to the suspense.
And it all starts for Warriors Of Wrestling at Fun Station.
Contact WOW for more information about training and upcoming shows: Warriors of Wrestling.com
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