On the second to last edition of the Gentleman Villain podcast, co-host Matt Koon shared William Regal’s “dos and don’ts” of professional wrestling, including getting an education, seeking guidance, and the importance of rolls. Excerpts below:
On learning from more experienced pros and developing your skills: “It takes a lot more work to be a WWE superstar than a few pro wrestling holds and throws. You must develop all your skills, and that usually comes from help from more experienced pros. I never had to be told to ask for help and guidance. Never to this day stopped working on my skills. Sitting around texting, playing games and whining will get you nowhere. No one owes you a living.”
On the demands of the wrestling business: “Firstly, know what you’re getting into. Pro wrestling is a very physically demanding business. If you can’t stand pain, hard work, or lots of traveling, don’t waste yours or everybody else’s time.”
On the importance of an education: “Get an education before anything else. I try not to be a hypocrite as much as possible, as I didn’t get one. But I’ve been very fortunate to have a career. You are only one injury away from the end. And pro wrestling careers are not going to be as long as they have been in the past. So educate yourself, for your future.”
On the importance of learning the basics, especially rolls: “So that I don’t come across like a miserable old git, I will happily give you some free advice to up and coming pro wrestlers. Find a school with a good rep and a trainer who has a great pedigree. Learn the basics properly. If the school you train at doesn’t emphasize rolls — forward, backward, right-arm leading, left-arm leading rolls — as a huge part of your initial training then you are being short-changed and put at risk. Accidents happen when falling for a living. But when it’s second nature to roll, you’ll have more chance of saving your neck. Very important. I see many people coming from many supposed schools who aren’t taught rolls as a priority. It’s beyond me that people are taught to fall before roll. Until it is second nature for roll, you shouldn’t be taught to fall.”
If you use any of the above quotes, please credit Gentleman Villain with an h/t to 411mania for the transcription.