By Ryan K. Boman, Editor in Chief
Through the twists and turns of the sports entertainment universe, an old adage always seems to ring true: There’s only two things that really matter in the wrestling business – The money and the miles.
For years, pro wrestlers have been traveling those highways and byways, as they make their journey to greatness. One of the rites of passage for every wrestler is the hours spent on the road with their compatriots, either discussing the business or engaging in a little revelry.
Whether traveling on the straight and narrow or taking a darker turn, a grappler’s mode of transportation may be just as important as his finishing maneuver. And make no mistake, many a finish or angle has been discussed during those cross-country caravans.
Somewhere between Portland and Phoenix, with empty beer bottles serving as floor chimes, anything can happen. Pit stops at gas stations and strip clubs accompany the traveler, as he stops off at a laundromat somewhere to wash his gear. Somewehere along the way, he can pull over and take a nap, or kill some time by listening to the radio.
And, for those wrestlers with a ‘rat problem’, the car can also be a good meeting place to do a little extermination, if you will.
So, the automobile has a trusty and important place in the wrestling world. It’s sort of like a mobile office of every wrestler, but it also serves several other purposes, as well.
For example, one wrestler told me that he loved to leave the house as late as possible, so he didn’t have to waste time waiting around at the arena. For him, the car was essentially his soup kitchen. He would get dressed in his wrestling garb and grab a drive-thru bite to eat while in transit.
It worked for a while, until he apparently got a little messy on the way to a show.
Arriving late but in his gear, he quickly laced his boots and did a few hurried warmups. Upon entering the ring, the crowd’s reaction let him in on an unnoticed stain on the crotch of his tights. He had been sunk by the sauce on his sandwich. Humilated, he decided that his vehicle probably wasn’t the best place for his pre-match meals anymore.
There’s one other thing for sure: No matter what kind of car you drive, you can never have enough of them in professional wrestling.
A recent trend in the sport is that feuds are won and lost by how many of your enemies’ vehicles you can destroy. Everything from a limousine to a Lexus has been crashed, crushed, and concreted in what can only be called auto abuse.
With all that destruction, you would think everyone would have gotten in on the act, but ironically, Sparky Plugg never crashed once on WWE television.
Then, there’s that other kind of car. The one that sits out on a lonely parking lot, surrounded by nothing but faint yellow lights. Like a single star in the night sky, it’s much more than just a simple means of escape. With salty skin and an aching body, the wrestler tosses in his bags and turns the key. The familiar feel of the steering wheel will keep him company for now.
When the last mile marker sign rolls by and the trip comes to an end, there’s an air of relief with any wrestler coming off the road.
For as much as that car may provide him with transportation, shelter and even a little entertainment…every good wrestler knows when it’s time to go home.