I'm always shocked how many closet wrestling fans there are out there. You know who you are, whether you comment or send me an email offline to tell me the reality (emails allow you to stay in the closet). The way it usually comes up for me is the fact that a former college roomate of mine and the best man in my wedding is the brother of the Undertaker.
Nothing draws out the closet pro wrestling fans like that throwaway comment.
And if some slightly greater exposure than normal to the pro wrestling game through the years has taught me anything, it's that the WWE works like any entertainment company does, and a lot of times it looks like any average company.
For example, a wrestler name Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Triple H) has emerged as the organization's Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events. It's a real job and has limited the amount of wrestling he actually does. Check out these clips from an interview with Triple H on Grantland:
Triple H on how he got connected with decision makers that ultimately drove his career into management:
"Starting a year after I got to the WWF, Vince would say, "Hey, you have an opinion on this, what's your opinion?" And I'd give Vince my opinions. Sometimes he liked it, sometimes he didn't, but we kind of established that working relationship so that when Russo left in the middle of the night to go to WCW, I went to Vince and I just said, "I understand how creative works. You can't bounce ideas off yourself. So if you want to bounce ideas off me, I'm happy to just hear you out and give you my opinion. Not saying you need it, just saying it's there."
So two days later, my phone rang, and Vince said "Hey, pal, you got a minute? You talked to me about bouncing around some ideas. Can I run a couple things by you? See what you think?'' And that started it. Shortly thereafter, it was, "You want to start coming to production meetings? I could really use you in there." And I've been doing it since probably '98, '99."
More from Triple H on why his co-workers (read: other wrestlers) didn't get jealous of him gradually growing more involved:
"There were guys that looked at it like, "Well, that's bullshit." There were a few guys who went to Vince and said, "Hey, I'd like to be involved like that too." What they didn't get was — I'm not trying to put myself over, but there's a level of additional work that comes with it. So when everyone else's call time is one o'clock, I'd be there at 10 o'clock. Even if we had to drive in from the last show and I got in at four in the morning, if I told Vince I'd be at that production meeting at 10 a.m., I was at that production meeting at 10 a.m., bleary-eyed but ready to go. And those other guys would do that once or twice and be like, "Well, I'm not doing that. I'm not making more money from that, no one's paying me extra." I never looked at it that way. I've heard this saying before: Success is not a destination, success is what happens along the way. I dig what I do every single day. Everything else takes care of itself."
Pro Wrestling. Your company. It all comes back to discretionary effort, often for periods of no extra pay, to advance. Share with your kids and the closet adult fans you know who are hooked on pro wrestling.