About Me

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Since 2005, and over 800 entries, the orginal purpose of this BLOG has never changed. I consider it to be a personal letter from me to my extended family of fans, supporters, and friends. I ALWAYS encourage your emails, comments, suggestions, and questions. Be Blessed! ~Percy

Friday, March 18, 2005

Following Your Dreams...

Many know my thoughts about the Wrestling Internet these days. There are only 2 or 3 message boards that I respect and visit now and then, and I rarely post there. On the other hand, there are only 2 or 3 Wrestling Internet news sites that I also frequent. I came across the following article today at, www.1wrestling.com

Taylor McKnight's message really hit home with me, as he is speaking of the same dream that I had over 30-years ago. For those of you that share the same dream, I think you will enjoy his heartfelt words. I don't know Taylor, but I have emailed him privately and expressed my personal thoughts to him. I have copied and pasted the article here, but you can see it for yourself at: http://www.1wrestling.com/news/newsline.asp?news=22047

By: Taylor McKnight 3/18/2005 12:11:58 PM

Ever since I heard the words of Shawn Michaels on Raw 3 weeks ago, something inside me has been stirring. I haven't been able to sleep, food has no taste, and when I do sleep, my dreams are always the same: Just a long continuous vine of personal wrestling memories, twisting in the wind as I wander helplessly through a faceless crowd, all the while Shawn Michaels words echoing again and again in my mind. It doesn't go away, not at the ATM, in line at Mcdonalds, or watching television, I can't escape the mind bending torture I've been putting myself through. Of all the long, drawn out promos that have grazed my ears, it was a simple 3 words that changed my life forever. "Just Take It".

It wasn't the first time I heard those words. I heard them about 3 years ago, living in a hotel room in Valdosta Georgia. As the television flickered in a dark, over sized closet I called home, Vince Mcmahon spoke to a national audience, and the industry, when he said "If its in you, and you want to get it out....all you have to do is reach up: reach up dammit and JUST TAKE IT!". I knew then why I hadn't been sleeping, or why I could walk 5 hours in one direction, and never feel tired. It didn't matter how far I went, I was standing still. It didn't matter how tired I was, I was living the wrong dream. I packed my stuff the next day, went to Adrian Streets Skullkrushers, and never looked back.

Every wrestler knows that moment. That one, defining moment, when they stopped being a fan, and were no longer content to stand in the crowd and cheer their favorite superstar. That moment, when every pop becomes like a dagger in your stomach as you sit in the front row with your sippie cup of diet Pepsi staring at the lights, and wondering why they aren't on you. That one defining moment when anything and everything else just melts away, and your waking, sleeping, and dying obsession is to be the very best in the profession you've chosen. That profession, the one and only choice, Professional Wrestling, the greatest sport ever created, is like a drug all in itself, and once its inside you, you never escape its sweet, torturous, perfected nectar.

"Just Take It". 7 days after I heard those words from Shawn Michaels, I did the hardest thing I've ever done, saying good-bye to my family, at the worst possible time. For years, Wrestlemania season has been the favorite of my grandfather & I. We've been together for every Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Barely Legal, Starrcade, Victory Road, and every show in-between. If baseball is the sport for father and sons, then professional wrestling will forever be known by me, as the sport for grandfathers, and grandsons. Leaving cut through me like a blade, but i knew I had too. Unless your a sports entertainer, and willing to put on a dress and sing in the middle of the ring, Connecticut isn't a place to further your career. I knew the change i had to make , and watching my family disappear in the rear view mirror was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But i did it for one thing....the buisness that I love, and the slim chance I may succeed.

But sacrifice isn't a new word in wrestling, and mine is no more moving, or special then anyone else's. Guys like Paul London, Christopher Daniels, and Samoa Joe have been recent examples of hard work, strong never die attitude, and over all love of the sport. The side you see of those stars on a weekly basis showcases their talent, drive, and ability to work a camera. But what you don't see, is the men inside those athletes, who everyday give up the things most people take for granted, in order to keep the level of success they have set personally for themselves. I am nothing compared to them, and climbing into the back of an overstuffed Uhaul to watch the light disappear with the close of a door, I had 8 hours in the bumpy stuffy dark to dream someday I could be even half the men they are. It takes a special kind of person to be a professional wrestler, and even more special to be successful. Now a days in wrestling, its damn near impossible to g! et noticed.

Caught in a struggle between hollywood and real wrestling, people constantly tell me that wrestling is "a wasted, dying franchise", and wonder why it remains to be the first thing i breath when i wake up. The answer is simple: I refuse to write wrestling off just because a few stupid media nanamuffins decided that it was no longer "trendy". It was never about trend to those of us who were in love with it, it's about passion. So many great men have struggled, bled, and died giving this sport the life it has today. I was proud to cramp up in the back of that Uhaul, because it reminded me of Mick Foley, who slept in his car nearly freezing to death every weekend, just to get up, take an ass kicking, and drive home. He had his teeth knocked out, his ear ripped off, and every important bone in his body broken. But he kept coming back for more until he finally made it. He put himself through torture, through grief, near death, just to chase the chance of someday being the person he saw everytime he closed his eyes.

There is no way, that something coveted that much by someone, fought for that hard, that gallantly, could be a "wasted, dying franchise" no matter how bad the ratings may be. Turn off the lights, take away the cameras, and there will still be people standing in the crowd, staring at the 18 by 18 foot squared circle, waiting for the magic that can only be offered by the worlds greatest athletes, known as professional wrestlers. That's reality, and everything else is just the bullshit that comes along for the ride. Adrian Street always taught me, if there's ten fans in the audience, you should work twice as hard to make sure there are 20 next time. Size doesn't matter, only heart.

Another guy that believed that, was Owen Hart. While I only met Owen briefly in the last months of his life, his career long example set a trend that I've desperately tried to follow. Watching his matches were like poetry in motion, dating all the way back to his Stampede battles with Tom Billington, all the way up to his final battle in my hometown, against Brian James in the Hartford Civic Center. Owens matches spanned across a unique time period in pro wrestling, right in the middle of obscurity and oversized popularity. Despite the diverse trends, crowd sizes and paychecks, every match Owen Hart delivered was 100 and 10 percent, and cannot be dated by the time period it took place. Anyone who saw his non televised "rematches" against Bret Hart, know that he gave every bit and even more, whether the cameras were off or not, whether there was a full crowd, or not. So to listen people talk about the buisness dying because of low attendance, is unabashed wimpism. Owen Hart gave his life trying to give back to the fans that supported him, and he lost more then most of us ever have. Anyone who takes that for granted and lets it be for nothing, deserves a cold hard slap in the face.

If it comes down to my last breath, I won't let people forget the legacy that was spoon-fed to us, built on the back of the athletes who helped build it from the ground up. This the legacy of pro wrestling, that not only influenced my career, but has given life, hope, and dreams to people around the country for as long as it's been around. No matter how hard the "mainstream" tries to silence that legacy, people won't stop talking about it.

They won't shut up talking about Christopher Daniels excellence, or how Paul London and RVD should join "UUA" (Under Used Anonymous). They won't shut up about guys not getting their due, while over used, stale politicians run this business into the ground by slapping an ignorant label on it just to attract a wider, more ignorant audience.

Climbing out of that Uhaul, I had alot of emotions stirring. Sitting now 2 weeks later in this tiny room I call my new office, crouched up on my floor typing for the first time since I left, I am proud to say im a professional wrestler. Vince Mcmahon and Shawn Michael's words may have stirred me, but its everyone's example...from Jeff Jarrett to Tommy Dreamer, that drives the point home. As I rinse my dish of romein noodles, lay my pillow on the wooden floor, and stare at the ceiling, im dreaming a new dream. In the past 2 weeks, I've given up my family, my friends, and my home..but I know that's just the first step. Pro Wrestlers for decades and decades, have been giving up that, and so much more, in order to preserve and keep alive the greatest sports franchise in the world today. Its just now, that I can finally, truly, appreciate what they've gone through to give us this opportunity.

Im not ashamed to tell you, that laying here with a crick in my back, and sore, stretched muscles, I couldn't be prouder to be in the same business as the men i've mentioned.. With the men and women who are out there every night living this crazy dream, it's their example that continues to drive me, and every other wanna be star, to be better. I've discovered what every wrestler at some point realizes. It's better to chase a dream you only have a small chance of catching, then to stand still, and let that dream slowly catch up to you.

Feel free to send you comments or complaints to tmacbooking@aol.com, and I'll do my best to write back to everyone.