Back in the old days (yes even the 80's) it wasn't easy getting into the wrestling business. It was mostly word of mouth or men and women who have met wrestlers in the gym and if the wrestlers felt like you wanted it bad enough they'd recommend a trainer to toughen you up. Some of the best wrestling trainers nearly took out a wanna-be wrestler and wanted to see how long it took him to quit and how long can he last in the ring doing conditioning drills and ring work. Some trainers were wrestlers themselves at one time or another and some were better as trainers and some were great wrestlers and trainers.
The conditioning is a very brutal process, one wrestler went through NFL camps and said wrestling training was far more brutal. Another wrestler quit the first day but then came back and began one of the greatest careers in the business, even one wrestler was a Navy SEAL and found training as a wrestler was worth the price. You see it takes much more then physical ability to bring something to the table in the ring, you need character, poise, charisma and you need a body that people want to see along with how you present yourself as a character.
Here are a few trainers that have helped pave the way for some of the greatest wrestlers in wrestling history:
Hiro Matsuda- Trained Hulk Hogan
Eddy Sharkey- Trained Road Warriors, Jesse Ventura and Bob Backlaund
Verne Gangne- Trained Iron Sheik, Ken Patera, Ric Flair, Verne's son Greg and Ricky Steamboat
Stu Hart- Trained the Hart Brothers (Bret & Owen), Greg Valentine, Superstar Billy Graham & Chris Benoit
These trainers took these men to limits most of us can't fathom and look where they are today (with the exception of the late Hawk, Owen & Benoit), they went on to have some of the greatest careers in wrestling. Nowadays on the internet you can find schools all over the country, in canada and abroad. Some schools cost way too much, some cost too little without ever stepping into a ring and some even cost when you don't train at all. Very very few schools give you hands on training and some even require experience as much as 2 years in the ring. To get to the WWE or TNA takes hundreds of matches, psychology in the ring, mic work and most of all a good character to sell as a product.
Back in the early 2000's WWE Tough Enough started a new trend of reality TV but began to show what training in the ring looks like when up-in-coming superstars are thrown into the ring and trainers will find out who stays and who doesn't. The first couple seasons were ok and had good trainers such as Al Snow who was trained by a couple of the Andersons (Ole & Greg). The winners went onto a moderate career but a couple didn't last long due to either injuries or wanted to persue other career oppertunities.
Now theres a new season with a new host and trainers in the names of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Booker T, Bill Demott & WWE Diva legend Trish Stratus. Austin as the host takes on 14 contestants including 1 Current Miss America and they all have one thing in common and thats being the next WWE superstar & Diva. I have a feeling this season aside from tensions, craziness and pissing off trainers these new contestants are in for the ride of your life. They will live together, eat together, train together and everything else inbetween (hopefully none of that Real World shit). After seeing the first episode I knew how great this show will be and plus you get to see Stars that have revolutionized the wrestling business and know a thing or 2 about getting their asses kicked in the ring so I don't see a whole lot of sympathy from Austin or Booker so it should be very interesting to watch.
If you feel you want to get in condition like an old scohool pro wrestler like early steamboat or Ric Flair back in his training days in minnesota or better yet like the great legends Karl Gotch & Billy Robinson then look here and if you find yourself on Tough Enough you'll pass the conditioning with flying colors and work on the other things. Also if you don't want to be a wrestler and just wanna get yourself in awesome shape then here are a few links to look at that I personally recommend.