(originally written Jan 08, 2010)

When I was brought up in this business, I learned a lot about respect, and in-turn, I learned a lot about disrespect as well. It’s disrespectful to use someone’s finisher in a match if they are on the same show. It’s disrespectful to fall asleep while someone else is driving to or from a show with you in the passenger seat as navigator, and several others. The rule most commonly violated is “it is disrespectful to use industry terms if you’re not in the industry”.

Now this one, to me, was always common sense, and I never used insider terms until I was actually in the business. Because of the advent of the internet, it appears everyone thinks they are an insider. The issue here is, most of them are not, regardless of how many hours of wrestling they’ve watched. Some non-insiders claim wrestling is their “passion”. Oh, it is? And what you do about it is sit at home watching it on TV/dvd/internet/etc ? If you’re so passionate about it, DO SOMETHING about it. Those of you who are physically able, get out of your chairs, get to a school and TRAIN. And don’t give me this garbge about “I need to finish school first”. No you don’t. You need to finish school, yes, but not necessarily first. Why can’t you do both simultaneously? Don’t tell me it’s too much travel or something like that. When I first started training and wrestling, my tag team partner, Ryan Lockhart, was 13 years old. He went to school, then to high school, played football, and still attended training 4-5 nights a week. He didn’t complain once. Another guy, whom I respect to infinite levels, Josh Daniels, also travelled for training. He was in college at the time, in Syracuse NY, and the wrestling school is in West Paterson NJ. So he’d attend college in the morning/daytime, then drive the 3 1/2 hours+ to training at night, again, 4-5 nights a week. There is zero excuses for someone so “passionate” to NOT be doing something to act on that passion.

Anyway, back to the topic, insider terms. The following is a section of an article Rob Dimension wrote about a month ago, dealing with this very subject:

“Insider Terms – Since the Internet is everywhere and regardless of how much money you make, any moron can have access, Steve (Corino) wanted me to pass this along. Please refrain from messages containing “Insider” terms. Yes, it’s totally hip to call Professional Wrestlers – “Workers” or calling that microwavable Burrito a “Gimmick”, but not to us. We know that you’re a Fan, we hope that you come to realize that you’re a fan also. So, if the notion comes over you to message Steve with “Hey, that gimmick you did tonight, with the Dusty Finish, where you went over, was cool”…think better or be deleted. ”

I believe in what Rob wrote 100%. Have you ever seen a movie or a TV show where someone calls someone else by their first name, and it’s generally not accepted? It’s usually a “you haven’t earned the right (or been here long enough) to call me that” type of situation. It’s a right, speaking that way. It’s a privilege to use the insider/industry terms that us wrestlers use daily. We’ve paid our dues, we’ve broken our bones, to be able to act like wrestlers, to be able to speak like wrestlers, and to be able to BE wrestlers.

And to the people who aren’t in the business, but want to act like they are, or want to use insider terms to pretend they’re actually insiders, what exactly have you done to earn the right to speak this way? What dues have you paid? Have you driven literally 18 hours to wrestle two times in the same day for free? Have you driven 3-4 hours to wrestle for no pay, only to get there and find out the show had been cancelled, which you nor anyone else on the show was notified about, then had to drive another 3-4 hours back home? Have you driven 3-4 hours to a show to wrestle for a specified monetary price that was agreed to by the promoter, only to be paid with a hot dog later? Have you ever vacationed 10 hours away from home, and cut that vacation short by one week because you got a phone call to hurry to get to Pennsylvania to wrestle for $20 because someone couldn’t make the show and you were needed to fill in?

Oh you haven’t?  Well, I have. All of those examples, and about 20 more horrible situations, happened to me. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve been beaten up. I’ve done ring crew back in 1999/2000 with 9-1-1 and “Rocco Rock” Ted Petty at the “Grand Slam USA” shows in South Plainfield NJ (Grand Slam USA was a very cool venue for wrestling). The people using insider terms that aren’t insiders know NOTHING about what we go through, what we sacrifice, what we lose, to do what we love to do.  And that is entertaining you fans.

I know I will probably catch a ton of heat from the exact type of fans I talked about here, but please, before you talk about how I “heeled out the marks with this promo gimmick”, remember who you are talking to, and remember that you are disrespecting me, every wrestler you claim to be a fan of, and the business itself, and shut your mouth. Also, realize this, for every 1 fan that disagrees with me on this subject, there are about 50 wrestlers who agree.

It’s all about respect, folks, and some of you do not even realize that you don’t have any for wrestling or the wrestlers themselves.  And if you think I’m referring to you, then I probably am.