Wrestler  What They Do

Just the Facts

Athletes and Sports Competitors Career Video

Insider Info

dot"My job is entertaining crowds from across North America with my wrestling ability and charisma," says Eddie Osbourne. Osbourne is a professional wrestler who runs a wrestling academy.

"Professional wrestling is no different than, say, figure skating or Dancing with the Stars on TV," says Kevin Knight. Knight is a professional wrestler who owns an independent wrestling association in New Jersey.

"It's entertainment, and the show consists of music, lights, costumes and characters. But wrestlers and figure skaters and dancers are athletes of the highest order, just like football, baseball and basketball players," says Knight.

dotWhen in the ring, professional wrestlers compete physically using real moves that have been practiced to reduce injury.

They follow a pre-determined plot and are in character when in front of an audience. While the moves are designed to reduce injury, it is possible for wrestlers to suffer serious and life-altering injuries. It is therefore important for wrestlers to be in excellent physical condition to reduce the chances of injury.

"All prospective wrestling students and current wrestlers must be in good physical condition," says Knight. "You must weight-train three to four days a week and you must be in the ring three to four days a week. You must maintain a healthy lifestyle and develop good nutrition habits."

Melissa Maughn is a professional wrestler for a wrestling association. Of the physical requirements, "For women, it's a bit more relaxed," she says. "You don't have to be a powerhouse but you do have to be in shape. You don't need to be a bodybuilder, but it's very physical in the ring and you have to have some sort of toughness about you."

dotApart from performing in the ring, wrestlers have a number of other duties and responsibilities. "That all depends [on] what the promoter wants from you," says Curtis Mckellar. Mckellar is a professional wrestler who works for a wrestling association.

"They can range from setting up the ring to putting up posters for the show," he says. "Especially when you're first starting out, helping put up and tear down the ring is part of what we call 'paying dues,'" says Maughn. "You may be asked to ring announce, do camera work, work at the merchandise table or be security," she says.

dot A professional wrestler can find work anywhere in the world, and will usually go where there is paid work. Therefore, travel can be a big part of the job.

"There are wrestling events all over the world," says Osbourne. "To find work, you need to train hard and then look for promotions to work for in your area or [within] the distance you would be willing to travel to wrestle."

Knight says that while the main goal of a fully trained wrestler is to work for a major organization such as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), they can find work along the way with other independent organizations across the world. Apart from being physically demanding, wrestling requires its athletes to invest a lot of time in their career.

"It's something that requires 25 hours a day, eight days a week," says Knight.

At a Glance

Participate in wrestling matches for entertainment purposes

  • Wrestling is entertainment, but also hard work
  • Full-time wrestlers spend a lot of time on the road
  • Injuries are common so you should be in good shape