Tips From the Stars on How to Become a Wrestler

One of the questions that fans frequently ask most is if there's any advice on how to become a wrestler. Who can better answer these questions than the wrestlers themselves? The links in these sections contain full interviews and, in some cases, even more of our discussion about this topic.

Brutus Beefcake

USA - WWE Monday Night Raw
(Corbis via Getty Images/Getty Images)

"Unless he is 6’8”, 270 pounds, rock-hard, young and stupid, and has a lot of money, I’d tell them to go to school, get an education, and get a job because he is going to wind up on skid row probably. He is going to get beat up, he is going to lose everything he’s got, all his friends, and the chances of making it in the business right now, unless you are somebody’s son or somebody’s cousin or brother, are about slim to none."

Cary Silkin (Ring of Honor Owner)

"The [Ring of Honor] school is in Bristol, Pennsylvania, about 30 minutes outside of Philly where Ring of Honor offices are. It’s run by one of our stars, DELIRIOUS. There are different price levels that you can join the school at. So, in other words, somebody doesn’t have to plunk down $5,000 or some crazy figure. They can come in for a month or two to try it out. We like people that make a commitment and come to the school. There are a lot of guys out there that would love to be in Ring of Honor but it is a very high bar, especially if you are young and just starting. If you go to Ring of Honor’s school, it is a good lead-in to getting to be on the shows."

Chris Jericho

"It’s the same thing for any dream whether you want to become an actor, musician, wrestler, or botanist. If it’s what you want to do just keep your blinders on, believe in yourself, and realize that nothing worth having is easy. If you really want to make it and you really think you have it in your heart, then just go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it."


"Just understand that it is a massive undertaking and you’re only going to get out of it what you put into it. When I started my training, I was at my wrestling school four days a week, two or three hours at a time. I wrestled as many different people as I could to become comfortable with my own skills in the ring and to be able to adapt to the people that I wrestled. Once I started wrestling matches, I tried to work for as many different promoters as I could, against as many different opponents that I could just to get that experience. You’re never going to exceed if you stay within your comfort zone."

Dallas Page

"I'll say: 'Dude, are you willing to live in your car?' And they're like: 'What?' And then I'll say: 'Are you willing to drive 200–500 miles to a gig for just $25?' That's what guys have to do to make it and many guys have that story.

I always think of Christian and Edge. Both of them got some really awesome stories about living the dream like that. Never knowing if they would get out of the independent scene but they loved it.

Would you be happy just working the independent scene because 99.9% of the time, that is just how far you are going to go? So if they're into that and they just want to perform in front of people and they can't live without it, I would suggest getting an education because if you get into right out of high school, you'll have nothing to fall back on."

Dolph Ziggler

"My advice, just like I told my brother [NXT Star Briley Pierce], no matter what you want to do in life, if you work harder than everyone else in every aspect of that job and somehow you still don't achieve your goals, at least you can go to sleep at night knowing that you worked hard at it."

Hillbilly Jim

He said that the WWE is the top of the mountain and that you have to start elsewhere. He recommends that you make a local contact and start wrestling locally. If you are lucky enough to get a call from the WWE, make sure that you are ready because you may not get a second call. He also said that the WWE has scouts that go to many indy shows and they have a big enough staff that see many of the indy wrestlers throughout the country.

James Storm

"You've got to be on the road to be learning and perfecting your craft so that when you do get a chance you are ready. I'm not talking about just learning how to flip and flop. I'm talking about learning how to be a professional wrestler. How to get into the ring and being able to tell a story. You know, everybody at one point of their life can flip and flop. But being able to be a good storyteller, that is something totally different."

Jim Duggan

"I say always chase your dream. But, you also have to understand reality. Have something to fall back on because there are 1,000 NFL football players playing this year. There are 500 NBA players in the NBA. There are only 120 wrestlers under contract. It is a television show and an extremely competitive business. People think that because wrestling is wrestling, it is not competitive. It's a television show and extremely competitive. To get one of those 120 spots, you've got to take me out of my job or you've got to take Cody Rhodes out of his job or somebody else and nobody is going to give up their job."

Jimmy Hart

"I just remember something Dick Clark once told me. He said that if you ever want to be in this business, whether it is entertainment, or anything, just remember that if you dress like you are in the audience, then one day you will be sitting in the audience. That is why all my jackets are colored. That is why the megaphone was colored. When Vince brought the megaphone back for me from Japan and said this is going to be your new gimmick. Take this and bring it to the ring with you. He let me paint it up, fix it up, do whatever I wanted to do to it."

Jimmy Snuka

"I tell everyone don't do what I do, you have to go to school and college and then if you still want to be a wrestler than, train, eat right and go to it."

John Cena

"It's just like acting or professional sports. 1% of 1% of people that try out for it will actually be able to say that they make a living off of doing it. If you're more prepared to tackle life after wrestling, then it will actually better your career in wrestling."

Kevin Thorn

"Go to school. Get a college education. Find a real job. Once you figure all of that out, if you still want to become a professional wrestler, go ahead. That way, you can always have something to fall back on."

Lilian Garcia

"If you want to make it as a wrestler to the WWE they’re a lot of schools that you can go to start training. Above everything, if you’ve got a certain craft that you’d like to do then you would have to get good at that craft. Whether it’s singing, whether it’s wrestling, or whether it’s announcing, you need experience and to gain as much experience as possible. For me, I did radio. I did hosting shows. I did commercials. I did voiceovers. I did jingles. So all of that prepared me for when the opportunity came about I was able to do the ring announcing."

Ken Kennedy

"You have got to work hard. You’ve got to get into the gym. You’ve got to train. You’ve got to watch tapes. Ask questions of everyone around you. Be a sponge and never, ever take no for an answer. Keep trying. Send tapes. I’ve sent lots of tapes and I’ve gotten rejected a lot of times. But I never gave up. I kept trying to improve and take constructive criticism. You’ve got to be able to take criticism in this business too. If you can’t take criticism then you are dead in the water. Because you are always going to continue to learn stuff and you are always going to be criticized for your work."

Maria Kanellis

"I would say that you have to love wrestling. You have to love the fans. You have to love going out there and performing. Beyond that, the crap that you're dealing with going to airports all the time, the stuff you have to deal with all the time, wanting to do stuff in the company, or wanting to win the championship. You just have to love what you do. Above all else, that would be the thing to get you the farthest and give you the best enjoyment out of it."

Mick Foley

"It's not a business that offers much of a chance for success and it offers an incredibly high chance of being injured and disappointed. I think that the best advice that I can give people is to approach the business itself realistically. To not base their entire feeling of contentment and achievement on whether or not they make it as a pro wrestler. To come into the business with a Plan B all lined up."

Nikita Koloff

"I would just say and suggest that if they really have a genuine desire to make it happen, then the key word is perseverance. They are just going to have to be prepared to persevere in their pursuit of that goal."

Road Warrior Animal

"Here’s what you have got to do. First of all, get your butt into the gym and work out. Get as big as you can. Get as strong as you can naturally because you are going to have to deal with throwing bodies around the ring. Just don’t try to be some Joe Schmoe off the street or some skinny kid trying to get into the ring because it is not going to work."

Rob Van Dam

"It's hard to go about it by yourself. It's best if you have some friends to go with and split the costs of the car, the gas, the hotels, and all that. And work your way up and always try to stand out and try to be better than everyone else on the card every night whether it is a small card in front of a small crowd or a big crowd in front of a humongous audience."

Shelton Benjamin

"If you are going to learn it, learn it from someone who is good at it, not from a local yahoo who went to a couple of classes and decided to get a promoters license, opened his own school, and is just going to rob you. The other thing is to have a backup plan. Get an education first. You’re going to need something to fall back on. Even if you do make it, one wrong move (makes snapping sound) and you’ve got to hang it up. So always have a backup plan."

Ted DiBiase Jr.

"First of all get an education so you have something to fall back on. That is one thing that I am very glad that I did. I have a college education. If I got hurt and was not able to do this and if Hollywood did not want to accept me as an actor, then I have got somewhere to go."