“I still love professional wrestling,” Winston said leaning back in his Lazy Boy and reaching for his pipe and tobacco. It’s been about twenty years since my last match but sometimes I still miss it. I mean I don’t miss waking up and feeling like I’ve been run over by a semi or all the hours spent travelling, but I do miss the pure adrenaline rush of performance art.”
“Tell me more about your career as a pro wrestler, Winston,” Garry said while petting Winston’s dogs. “Life as a pro wrestler is certainly much different than working a nine to five job,” Winston said. “You spend a lot of time on the road. I only had a handful of matches in the WWE. For most of my wrestling career I worked the independent wrestling circuit.”
“What was the biggest difference that you found between the WWE and the independent wrestling promotions?” Garry asked.
“That’s easy,” Winston answered. “The money. The second thing would be the lack of job security in independent wrestling organizations. And then there was the travel. Professional wrestlers spend a lot of time travelling whether they work in the WWE or for the independent promotions. The fact is you spend a lot more time travelling between wrestling gigs than you actually do wrestling,” Winston said packing some high grade pipe tobacco into his Sherlock Holmes meerschaum pipe. “
Winston owned five pipes that he kept in a wooden pipe holder that his ex-wife had given him as a present for one of his birthdays.
“We almost always car or van pooled as wrestlers. The big difference was that in the WWE the wrestlers could afford new, roomy SUVs. Some of the top talent even had Hummers. In the independent promotions the wrestlers usually travelled in an uncomfortably packed van or a rusted out car that was at least twenty years old. Vehicle breakdowns between gigs was common. It wasn’t unusual to have to leave our stalled car and thumb a ride the rest of the way to a wrestling show.”
“Wow, That doesn’t sound like too much fun,” Wally said.
“Actually, it was, most of the time. You see when I was a much younger man I used to work factory jobs. That kind of work is total drudgery for eight hours per day.
When I first began my wrestling career, you never had a boring day. There was no way of accurately predicting what was going to happen on any given day or night,” Winston said.
“Plus, you have to remember, we were young then. We could tolerate a lot more physical and mental abuse. I could go on for days telling you guys wrestling stories from my past. But let’s continue with that tomorrow. Friday Night Smack down is just starting.”
The two boys and Winston had a good time watching Friday Night Smackdown. Winston provided an entertaining and educational running commentary on the matches, and explained the differences between present day wrestling and old school wrestling.