"This is what I want - I'm not married, I don't have a family" - Greg James finds out what it takes to be a professional wrestler
28 June 2016
"I get to the hotel 1, 2, 4am and I have a meal ready, which is either a protein shake or a salad and I watch Vikings” - Life at the top of the Championship
At his first stop-off in Albany, New York, Greg spoke to reigning Women's WWE Champion Charlotte, daughter of wrestling legend Ric Flair.
While being put through his paces with a workout by the former personal trainer turned pro wrestler, he asked how gruelling the schedule really is.
"Home is Orlando, Florida. I fly home Wednesday and land around 12 and leave every Friday, so I’m only home maybe six days out of the month.
I mean, this is what I want. I’m not married or I don’t have a family… so all my time and emotion. [can go into this] I mean think of the guys, they have kids, they have wives and they have to sacrifice and not only that but the wives have to sacrifice – I mean, it gets lonely at times."
So what makes anyone want to do it?
Greg spoke to Canadian wrestler Sami Zayn about what it takes to become a pro-
"It hit me one time on a European tour, we were all at the airport together and I looked around and I realised: you know what, everyone here, once you actually make it to this level everyone here is a wrestler in their heart of hearts or grew up loving wrestling or was born into the business, through family.
So I always just say that the wrestlers - we're just fans that took it too far. We didn't know where to stop. It was fine for everyone else to just watch a show, we had to be in it - we're sick that way."
"I call concussion a hard sneeze" - nothing fake about a head injury
Greg asked Enzo and Big Cass, a huge-character, cartoonish tag team, about the physical demands of the job. Enzo was severely concussed in the ring during the making of the documentary and was just coming back into performing-
"I don't remember a damn thing about that concussion. I don't know what you're talking about. I was just running the ropes out there for the first time in a little while and that was one of those days, today's one of those days. Things were tight man, it's like running into a wall. But you know, this job is physically demanding, if you wanna do it.
So the people that you see on a television show, there are a very select few of people in the world that can do what we do. They're the cream of the crop and the reason why is cus they're tough enough to do it."
"I love reality TV and that was one thing that sucked me into wrestling because there's a storyline"
Fans were asked about wrestling and what it means to them- why people not only enjoy performing in it but we love watching it.
Inevitably, it turned to authenticity-
"Everyone uses the 'F' word - 'is wrestling fake?' - to me, the 'F' word for wrestling is 'fiction'.
You don't leave an Avengers movie and say 'oh, that was fake'. You don't go to see Swan Lake and go 'those weren't really swans.'
So why do people do this with wrestling? I think it's curious and something that a lot of people should re-examine about their own perception of things.
Several years ago you would get made fun of if you were seen out in public reading The Incredible Hulk. But now it's cool to read superhero comics. I think that wrestling is right there, that zeitgeist is about to happen."