Philadelphia Wrestling trip
This marks my fourth USA trip, the second time I’ve been to Philadelphia. I picked Philadelphia because theres more high quality wrestling based here than anyway where else I’ve ever seen. There has been some fun stuff that happened and some less than fun stuff (see the end of the blog), but I’ve defintely enjoyed it.
Since I’ve been here I’ve been training at the ROH school with Delirious. The school hasn’t been open to the public, but they were nice enough to let me train with them anyway. You’re not gonna find better training on the imprtant stuff (ie the basics) than there. Hearing about the amount of hard work that goes into everything they do, including stories from the schools past is always great too eg Bryan Danielson never produced a single student while he was head trainer because his training was just too brutal for people to hack. While CM Punk was trainer student weren’t allowed in the ring for 6 months. Before that it was just calisthenics outside the ring for hours. When a group of rookies didn’t go to do ring crew for an event (which meant the on show talent had to do it) at the following training the rookies had to do sprints and squats in the snow, shirts off, and then be chopped by Davey Richards several times before going inside. The show they didn’t go to was in Canada, at least a 16 hour drive.
I’ve also been training with the Chikara school with Mike Quackenbush. This place is so different to anywhere else I’ve ever been mostly due to the influence of lucha libre. Having someone actually explain lucha and how it can make sense is always an experience. Though there are a bunch of guys currently getting ready to debut, so the classes have been focused on the psychology of story telling, and what else could you ask for in a pro wrestling school? Even besides the actual wrestling, Chikara was awesome because of how they market themselves. Not only do they have tons of social media working in their advantage at all times, but they know exactly how to put their bits together in order to attract peoples attention and hold it.
I was also given the opportunity to work for Chikara which was a highlight of the trip. Easily one of my favourite companies to watch, getting to work with the Ant Colony, the Batiri, the Bravado Brothers and FIST is something I’d never imagined I’d be able to do and I was glad I could represent Australia on that platform as only a couple have before me. Being backstage was tremendous. Had one of the best wrestling talks with Marchie Archie I’ve ever had about character psychology. The guy is a genius and if you don’t know who he is, you should find out.
Now its almost time to come home and I’ll miss it here, but I also can’t wait to be home. Though apparently Marty Jannetty is going to be at Chikara training next week so theres still that to look forward to while I’m here.
Fun things that happened
- Hearing a 5 minute comedy routine from Mark Briscoe on the diversity of toilets
- Watching Roderick Strong’s dad (Who is an Elvis impersonator for a job) sing a 45 minute set being backed up by Shelton Benjamin and Prince Nana amongst others
- Kevin Nash seminar, he told me I clearly had an all american amateur wrestling thing going on and should get a wrestling singlet (Kurt Angle style) instead of trunks, then my timidly informing him that I’m Australian.
- Riding around an old folks community in a golf cart, drinking beer with Grizzly Redwood
- Going to New York and seeing the building where Home Alone 2 was filmed.
- Drew Gulak pulling over mid highway and telling Shazza Mckenzie to get out of his car when he found out what the tattoo on her wrist was.
- Cheesesteaks bitches.
- The guy who have Spaceboy his wrestling name being on the Wrestlemania package.
- Telling Green Ant in the ring I’m gonna crush him like an ant, causing Fire Ant to visibly lose his fire.
Less than fun things that happened
- Getting a free PT session from a hot trainer, only to throw up 20 mins into it
- Being lost in Philly at 1am because I forgot to check how to walk home from the station and then having it start sleeting
- ROH ring crew randomly taking until 11am the morning after the show to finish
- Driving to and from Florida in a truck (25 hours each way). Though now Sean Carr in my head is a true man.
- Missing a free Fit Finaly seminar because I slept through my 2 alarms.
- Ernie Osiris. (Love you buddy)