The Hermit Position: The Complexity of Respect

So it’s time for another Hermit Position, another column where I tell you my thoughts on the wrestling world. Looking back this past year, I’ve told you my thoughts on Progress wrestling, import wrestlers, great wrestling academies (part one that is, part two slightly delayed, I will get to it) and a lot more in the hope of giving you a good read or maybe having you think about a bit more about wrestling.

Normally I do this in the comfort of my own home, relaxing, sitting with my can of Irn Bru, my phone at the ready and I begin to type. But today, today is different, right now I’m on a Citylink bus capping off a weekend which I have travelled over eight hundred miles in little more than two days after attending two fantastic wrestling shows, Target Wrestling and Caithness Pro Wrestling.

If I’m being honest right now, I’m tired and mentally exhausted. Now bear with me, this isn’t going to be a “woe is me wrestling fan story” there is a point to this statement. Now, over the weekend, I travelled from my work, to Glasgow to Carlisle and back again then to Thurso and currently back again, barely having time to relax as mentally on these travels you think about anything while you’re travelling and end up never being able to relax.

This did have me thinking about one point though, I regularly travel across the UK for wrestling shows, admittedly not always this distance and within such a short time, that aspect is new. What about the wrestlers who do this consistently? Who, within three days or maybe more, will journey all over the UK doing what I’m doing right now and more often than not wrestle more than one show or one match in a day and afterwards are more than happy to sign autographs, take pictures and chat with the fans.

So as I’m sitting thinking about this, would I be able to do that after the amount of travel I’ve done? Honestly, perhaps not. I can only imagine what it’s like to be a wrestler making the journey then entertaining the fans then making that journey back home, as I’m on this bus alone I can understand why wrestlers travel together on occasion, maybe to save money or to have people to talk to on the journey home to distract them from the mind-numbing boredom.

It must be exhausting and emotionally taxing doing this sometimes I can imagine. I mean, right now I’m struggling with the manoeuvrability of my seat as I’m starting to look at the statuses of some of the wrestlers I have on Facebook, this is before the Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW) Fear and Loathing event at the SECC in Glasgow. I can feel myself grin as I’m reading what their saying, they’re excited, they’re nervous, they know how important the show is and they are ready to kick ass. In the last three years plus I have seen many of these wrestlers who are talking about the show, many will be part of it and many will be part of the resulting aftermath due to its success.

Fixing my seat, sitting back, I think it is definitely is worth it. I mean you travel for a sport you love, to earn a living doing something you love and the payoff? More often than not it may not it may not end in a massive show like Fear and Loathing but sometimes, just sometimes, there is something that will make it worth it whether it be the fans? the show? the match itself? the money? I’m sure there’s something that it makes it all worth it.

Case in point, as I’ve said, I travel to see wrestling shows and sometimes I do a report on them as well, so, a few weeks ago I travelled down to Alpha Omega Wrestling in Morecambe. I’ve mentioned that promotion a few times in my columns previously because in the last year I’ve grown to like the product, love the action, even began to know the people who work there and, in many ways, would happily call them my extended family. On occasion when I travel down there I’ll stay overnight before a show, see the sights in Morecambe and talk to the team. This time I asked if they needed a hand setting things up before the show and they gave me the chance to help set up the ring and other aspects of preparing for an event.

It was an amazing experience for me, now some of you may be sitting reading this going, “really? Setting up a ring is amazing?!”, now if you have set up a ring numerous times or part of a ring crew in a promotion then yes, I can expect that reaction but if all you have been is a fan and all you have is a fundamental respect for the industry then yeah it’s an amazing experience.

Sure you see pictures of how a ring is set up, normally attached to a memes saying, “wrestling isn’t fake” but when you help build a ring you see exactly what wrestlers put their bodies through. You already know that the canvas isn’t soft but when you physically help build the platform that the wrestlers can entertain the fans on then you have a more realistic idea of what they go through with every move they do.

On those days I helped, I certainly learned more about the industry than I could have dreamed and developed more respect for not just the wrestlers but the ring crew as well who help build the ring before and after the show who normally go un-noticed by the passing fan.

And what’s the point of this column I wonder? Reading it over, possibly having respect for the industry, not just the wrestlers themselves but also the team who work behind the scenes as well. Both sides a fundamental part of the wrestling event to bring their very best to produce a great show but then again I haven’t even spoke about the importance of a referee is during a match, well, I have a story about that but that’s for another column.

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