In 1980, I was wrestling full-time for Mid-Atlantic . I was young, and still fairly new to the business. Many of the more experienced wrestlers would offer us advice, and we would always take their words to heart
I will never forget what Dory Funk, Jr. (former NWA World Heavyweight champion) told me: “In order to be a pro, you have to look and dress like a pro.” Dory’s words have always had a big impact on me and my career, and I have always tried hard to live up to those high standards.
When I wrestled for Jim Crockett, he demanded
that all his wrestlers look professional — a cut above the rest. Trunks had to be clean and well-maintained, boots had to be polished and in perfect condition. If you did not adhere to these rules, I assure you there was hell to pay. There is nothing worse for a young guy to do in the business than making the boss angry!
But these rules were not out of line in any way. Actually, they are ones to live by, for it shows you take pride in yourself and what you do. I can assure you, a promoter is much more willing to hire the guy who takes care of himself, rather than the slob who throws his gear around. The way you present yourself is a strong indication of what kind of person you are.
You should always shower, brush your teeth and put on deoderant before a match. I assure you, nothing is more offensive to an opponent than somebody who stinks to high heaven, and you WILL hear about it. Even if your gimmick is that of a slob, like Mankind of Bastion Booger, you still need to maintain proper hygeine. This is just a basic common courtesy.
Don’t wear boxers or briefs under your tights — they wad up and look terrible. Some of the young guys do it today, perhaps because they don’t know any better. Undertights are specifically made for the ring, and that’s what you should rightfully have on. The same goes for boots or any other gear. Certain things are made for the ring, and others are not acceptable. Trunks and pro boots are made to wrestle in, and jeans and sneakers are not. Again, it’s part of looking like a professional.
The reason we make custom gear is because the pre-made gear never fits correctly. Every body type is different, and when your look is a big part of how you make your money, it pays to get exactly what your build requires. Even without a trained eye, you can see who purchased pre-made gear and who had it custom-tailored. No major star out there would ever think of getting anything that has been sitting in a warehouse, and I suggest you follow suit.
It used to be that a new wrestler was instructed by the old guard on how to buy attire and take care of themselves, but that seems to not be the case any longer. That is why I have taken it upon myself to pass this knowledge along to you, and I hope you find it useful as you start with your career in the wonderful world of professional wrestling.