Despite what some people thing, professional wrestling is one of the hardest and most grueling sports in the world. Yes, the results are pre-determined, but, as so many wrestlers have said in the past, you can’t fake gravity, and, eventually throwing yourself at the floor 300 nights a year catches up with you.
Over the past decade, the performers in WWE have been taking more and more risks, and they don’t really buy in to the old-school mentality of less is more. The bar is constantly being raised, and, sometimes the wrestlers feel that they need to do things that may end up shortening their careers in order to have a memorable moment, or steal the show.
One of WWE’s most beloved superstars, Daniel Bryan, is a perfect example of someone who took more risks than he needed to throughout his career, and now he’s paying for it, as his wrestling future is in doubt. But, taking big risks and working a physical style is something some wrestlers feel like they need to do to get noticed. Mick Foley is probably the most famous example of someone who did things that no one should ever even attempt to do in an attempt to get a big reaction from the fans, and to get a thumbs up or pat on the back from Vince McMahon.
Booker T is someone who knows a thing or two about the wrestling business. He has 20-plus years of experience inside the squared-circle, and he is someone who, even at age 50, still moves great and, if he has to, can still get into the ring and have a good match without absolutely killing himself to get a reaction from the crowd.
On top of being a color commentator for WWE’s RAW show, Booker T also runs his own professional wrestling school, where he’s trying to teach his students the art of story telling in the ring, and to minimize the amount of big risks they take on a nightly basis.
In an interview with The Troy Show, Booker T talked about his concern for the longevity of today’s wrestlers, specifically naming Dean Ambrose as someone who he thinks may not last very long if he continues to wrestle the way he does.
“I look at guys like Dean Ambrose, and they throw caution to the wind every single week, and I go, ‘wow, how long will these guys be able to do this?’ I lasted 20 years. I don’t think a lot of these guys will be able to last that long. I think these young guys need to think a little bit harder about how they’re going to perform. They’ve made it. I could have done the Harlem Hangover until I was 40… People just didn’t want to see that, they wanted to see me perform.”
Booker T wasn’t known for being a big risk-taker during his career, and that helped him sustain a relatively injury-free 20 year career. Of course, when you’re a full-time wrestler for two decades, there’s almost no way that you can avoid a pain-free retirement, but, while Booker T was active, he never was put in Daniel Bryan’s current position, where he was left to contemplate his wrestling future, and to possibly be forced to change his in-ring style due to injury.
[Image via The Houston Chronicle]