Initiations: Bonded By Blood

Just like a fraternal order, or a so-called “secret society” – professional wrestling in Great Britain had it’s own so-called initiations. Just like becoming a “made man” in La Costra Nostra, or let’s say becoming one of the hierarchy in a motorcycle gang – there was one thing we all shared in common. It was like a “blood in – blood out” kind of thing. It didn’t make the slightest bit of difference how many matches you’d had under your belt. As far as Max Crabtree was concerned, you were not entitled to call yourself a professional until you had spilled your own blood. You had to bleed. It was the only way to be accepted into that community…

Catching up with my old wrestling coach/ teacher/ mentor: Mike Weaver. Reminiscing about the good old days. Talking about scurfing, shooting, and stiffing people over a few pints.
Catching up with my old wrestling coach/ teacher/ mentor: Mike Weaver. Reminiscing about the good old days. Talking about scurfing, shooting, and stiffing people over a few pints.

I started out the old school way. I worked as a jobber. Took beatings every night, and I never complained. Eventually I started to gain a little respect, and that’s when I think things started to change for the better…

This was a way of paying your dues. Earning respect. A way to prove that you were made of the right stuff. I never complained about it. I just took it on the chin – like a man. Always returned to the dressing room, shake my opponents hand, and say “thank you for the wrestling lesson”. It was the correct way of doing things. Some people have come through the back door – so to speak, but not on Mike Weavers watch!

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People at my day job – or at my local pub would ask me if I had to take an oath on the bible, like it was like becoming a Freemason or something like that. I’d just laugh it off. In reality it was nothing like that, but what happened on the road stayed on the road. I’d always protect the secrets of the game. I’d do this a lot with TV and Radio presenters – who’d ask me if the game was fixed. I’d give them a gentle demonstration by applying grovits, double wrist locks, chicken wings. They were all very painful catch wrestling holds, and very effective.

Sadly the whole veil of secrecy has been lifted away from the business. A pity really, because the mystery and the mystique of the business has gone away with it. They were special days. 😀

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