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Sacrifice For Dreams 12-16-02

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Sacrifice For Dreams
by
Lekisha F. Oliver

Imagine the following scenario.

While waiting for a 2AM flight home to Nashville from Los Angeles, the cell phone lodged in your fanny pack rings and it's your wife that you have not seen in three weeks. The children are just waking up and asking where's Daddy tonight and why can't he be here? While listening to that phone conversation, she says that Daddy is on his way home for two days.  Hell be home for the birthday party for a child who sees him once a
month, if lucky. While looking down at his daily planner, he sees that the morning after his son's fifth birthday party, he has to fly out back across the country to work.

This is the life of a wrestler. Not all the lights and photos can come close to what really happens. Never being home due to business travel, living out of a suitcase and praying that time will allow more than four hours of sleep before having to drag to yet another autograph signing.

The traveling, the touring, and the wrestling can take a major effect on a person. Working, at times, over three hundred days in a year, sometimes weeks at a time, the life of a professional athlete is not all the glamour and the glitz that it is portrayed to be.

The injuries that these individuals suffer can bring tears to the eyes of the doctors, especially when telling them that their career is over or that if they even consider another step into the ring, it may be your last. However, some wrestlers take that chance to have one more night in the spotlight. One more night with their name up in lights. One more night of main eventing that one particular show.

But is this all worth it?

For example, Shawn Michaels comes to mind. After his run in the sun, one injury compounded into his retirement for over four years. The lower back injury that supposedly started with
Steve Austin made Shawn and his family consider the chance of retirement. However, he not only stayed home with his wife and child, but he became a new man. He saw how he was without
the WWE. But one more run in the sun. This is what draws the guys back. Time after time, the chance of the big time run.

Another person comes to mind. Diamond Dallas Page. When he checked with his doctors a few months back, he was told that he should not wrestle again. He went to several different doctors and decided to put off wrestling for his career and his wife Kimberlys acting career. Will Page return? That is uncertain. But wrestling is in his blood.

Wrestling is like a drug, some say. And its not only the lights, the fans, the cameras, or the money, its the feeling of stepping through the curtains to show how much a person can make a difference in others lives. That is one major reason why people stay in this business, like Terry Funk, until they cant walk or have to literally be pushed out of the business for their own welfare.

However, WWE has been the pentacle for many careers. This company moves from town to town night after night, which causes some serious wear and tear on the talent.

But that is one price to pay when reaching that pentacle. The hopes and the dreams of making it to the "big time" is worth all the injuries and the lonely nights. The ones who make it to the top know that certain sacrifices must be made.

How does one make it to the top? Unless being lucky enough for Tough Enough, the workers must work long hours to train, to learn and to perfect their craft. These hours are spent in the rings with well-seasoned veterans and hungry rookies to make the most of their physical attributes. Once the craft is deemed good enough for an audition, a dark match, or a tryout match, is arranged.

Talent scouts from the WWE or NWA:TNA come to the local independent show to check out the local talent for a hopeful position in the WWE's development organizations, one of which  is Ohio Valley Wrestling. If the talent sought is what the company is trying to achieve, a contract will be sent. However, it is still more time before getting to television. If the talent scouts see anything that needs to be fixed, physically, athletically or mentally, the development camp is where
these wrinkles are to be ironed out. It could take weeks, months and even years before getting the call. When getting the call, some have compared it to winning the lottery. But this lottery, like any other, you have to deal with the consequences.

These individuals work night in and night out to make all of us happy. However, sometimes the sacrifice they have made has clouded their minds. The insight of how they have gotten there has taken a step away from their reality. But that is a different column for another time.

As for this column, Im closing out to say, that not only did Armageddon show that their sacrifices are paying off, but that the WWE and the talent are willing to do just about anything to make the business as successful as possible. Thats how I feel about this column. I do not try to be what I am not. Im straightforward, and honest about all the details that I send off. I know how I got to where I am. That is by good people like my readers and my wonderful editors. To all the readers of
this column, feel free to email me at lekisha@wrestling-online.com

If you liked this column and the others, feel free to vote for me at
http://www.wrestling-online.com/cgi-bin/2002awards/poll14.pl

Send any comment or questions to the above address. Have a wonderful week.