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Wrestling 101 - Part 2

1. What is a wrestling ring made of and roughly how big is it?
-A wrestling ring is usually either 18' X 18' or 20' X 20'. Some of the smaller feds have rings as small as 12' X 12'. The smaller venues need smaller rings. The 18X18 or 20X20 is the standard. I believe ECW uses 18X18 and WWE uses 20X20. I am not sure about WCW, but I may have read somewhere that is was 18X18. The ring usually consists of a thin covering, usually canvas or nylon, a thin foam padding, usually around and inch and a layer of plywood. The bracing is either made of steel or wood and there is a spring, similar to a coil spring on a car, that gives the ring the spring in the mat to pull off dropkicks and moves like that. Also there is often a microphone under the ring to catch the noise of the blows to ring.

2. What are the ring ropes really made of, and why do they look different in the different feds?
-Most ring ropes are either plastic-covered steel cables or plastic-covered actual ropes. WWE uses rope, while WCW, ECW and Japanese feds uses steel. In Europe, some feds actually use bare steel cables. Mick Foley was wrestling Vader in Germany and he did a simple head tie up in the ropes and ended up severing his ear, thus ending up with the sporty, earless look he has now.

3. What is the deal with the "creative control" we are always hearing about?
-Creative control is a section in a wrestler's contract that lets him or her have a final say in all storylines and or titles and match finishes that have a say in his/her career. This is why you see many wrestlers rarely lose, even though their work-rate has been failed significantly or they are visibly injured. Originally, this was a favor to an older and respected wrestler, but this has been abused of late for wrestlers who are beyond their prime and refuse to believe that they are not the star they were in the mid '80's.

4. I want to be a wrestler, what do I do?
-First off, it is best to have an athletic background. This will make it much easier for you. Second off, have a plan to do something in case the wrestling thing doesn't work and have something you can do when you get out of wrestling. Only a small percentage of trained wrestlers actually make it and remember most wrestlers are done by the time they hit 40. You still have a lot of time left in your life once you finish wrestling. Next is to find a school that is reliable, successful and nearby. Many wrestlers have been successful by moving to suit a wrestling school, it is advisable to stay close to home. Plus you can always mooch a meal off of the parental units when you're near home... Once you have found a good school, work hard, keep your mouth shut and obey the rules of the trainers. And get used to it, you will be following rules for a long time. Remember, most wrestlers who maintain a good physique have to follow a strict diet and maintain a stringent work out schedule. Something else to remember, work hard. Almost always, hard work will be rewarded. Check out the wrestling schools page as well to find a school near you.

6. Why is Mick Foley not working in the ring anymore?
-Mick has had many severe concussions in the past few years and has been suffering the typical signs of post-concussion syndrome. It was best for Mick and his family, for him to leave the ring and follow a career that was less harmful to his health. Mick has taken over the role as commissioner and is surely helping out backstage when he can. Mick has hinted that he may return to the ring, but for all intents and purposes, the match at Wrestlemania was his last.

6. So really, were Nash and Goldberg shooting back then?
-A "shoot" is something that is unscripted in wrestling and for all intents and purposes, real. Nash and Goldberg were saying things that were probably true and from the heart, but they were certainly prompted by Russo and WCW behind the scenes people and they were both encouraged to speak their mind. Indirectly, there were subtle things that especially Nash said that have been dissected at the other sites that showed Nash has thoughts about his future, the WCW and the current state of wrestling. Goldberg's speech was heavily edited, so perhaps much of his stuff went too far. Our old friend Matt "Mountaineer" Marcus told me one time, if it is on TV, it is a work, and I tend to agree. About 95-99% of the time, if it is on TV, it is a work.

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