Friday, August 20, 2010


This blog is gonna be a story about the day my life changed.

When I first came to SBWA, I was in alright shape. I still wrestled in a t – shirt, but still in alright shape. But the “Bossman”, Kaos made it clear, that if we were going to train people, we had to be in very good shape. So we did every exercise that we asked the students to do. I was getting in better shape, I was feeling good about my self. Hell I even changed my eating habits to stay healthy. My family was paying me compliments, my peers were paying me compliments, and my wife couldn’t keep her hand s off me! Things were good, then, with one bang of my shin, my life changed.

I remember it was the first week of November 2008, I was at another great SBWA training session. I was excited, cause the next day, I was taking a road trip up to Modesto, Ca. to wrestle. Anyway, I was getting a drink of water, when Kaos yells out “ring up!” Everyone runs to the ring, including me. Now I lunge with my foot on the ring frame, metal ring frame. And that’s when it happened. I banged my shin on the edge of the wrestling ring. I t hurt, but it’s happened before, so no big deal. After training, I see that I have a bump on my shin, again no big deal. When I get home, I put ice on my shin, and got ready for my road trip the next day. Sunday comes, and I get up and get ready for my trip. I noticed that the bump on my shin was a little bigger than the day before. Still no big deal. I wrestled that night, and after my match, I take off my knee pads, and notice that my shin was swollen. I still don’t panic. A couple of weeks go by, and the swelling on my shin has not gone down, and it’s starting to hurt, a lot.

Thanksgiving is coming up, and every year the guys on the street I grew up on, come together, and play football. We call it “The Eastmont St. Turkey Bowl”. Now I haven’t missed a Turkey Bowl in four years, but this year, I have to. I was bummed out. I haven’t weight trained, or been to an SBWA training since my injury, and now I’m missing the Turkey Bowl. So finally, I can’t take the pain anymore, so the day after Thanksgiving my wife takes me to the emergency room. Of course before the doctor sees me, they give me blood tests, x – rays, and other tests. I finally see the doctor, and he tells me there’s an infection in my shin, and he has to cut my shin open to drain it. After the doctor drained my shin, he stuffed the hole in my leg with gauze, wrapped it, and sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics, and vicodin. I had to go back the next day for a follow up. But on the third visit, the doctor told me that my blood tests were in, and he informed me that I was diabetic. On top of that he was admitting me to the hospital, because at that point my blood sugar level was too high. I later found out, that if I would have came to the hospital just two days later than I did, I would have lost my leg. So now I’m scared, pissed off, and upset all at the same time, which didn’t help my blood sugar level. I was in the Hospital for seven days. I had a tv in my room, but didn’t watch it really. I mostly just laid in my bed feeling sorry for myself. My wife was the person who told everyone about my condition. My mom was not doing so well at the time either, but she still worried about me, and she called everyday. My brother, brother in – law, and nephews came to visit me a couple of times. Both of my sisters, my nieces, and my god daughter also stopped by to visit. It was hard to have them see me like that. You see to them I was big, bad Robby. I was rarely sick, and even if I was hurt, they would never know it. But this time I couldn’t fake it. It was hard trying to keep my emotions inside. Everytime my family came to visit, I would always fight to not break down. Of course my baby, my wife came to see me everyday. Now in front of her I would break down. Or I would just be so pissed that I would cuss at everything. I know it was hard for her, but yet every day she still showed up. I think she knew that I was just venting, and that’s what I needed to do. I missed my family. My wife, and kids. My son would call me to check on me, and my daughter drew me pictures. It felt good, but at the same time it upset me more, cause I wasn’t there with them. You know, writing this now, I feel sorry for my wife. She had to be a mother, take care of the house, go to work, and still find time to come visit me. At this point, I wasn’t a very fun person to be around, and yet my wife still came, and stayed strong. Supreme and Carnage called me while I was in the hospital, B.C. Killer and I text back and forth. It was extremely hard for me to deal with this. I really didn’t want my family and friends to see me like this. Needless to say, I was in a dark place at this point In my life.

All I knew about diabetes was all the bad things. People with diabetes go blind, lose limbs, and sadly die a slow death. This scared the sh!t out of me! The whole time I was in the hospital, I had diabetic specialists come to educate me about what diabetes is, and what I can do to keep my self healthy. What started to turn my spirits around was when the specialist started telling me the hard part was changing what, and how I eat. But when I told them my eating habits, they told me that I’m ahead of the game, and not to change what I’m doing. So, the day came when I got to go home. When I got home, the first thing I did was call Kaos. The whole time I was in the hospital, I didn’t contact anyone from SBWA. Like I said before, I was in a dark place, so I didn’t really want to talk to anyone. So when I got home I knew I had a task to confront. I talked to Kaos, and I told him my whole ordeal. “Bossman”, told me that he was happy to hear that I’m doing ok. I told him I would be showing up to training that Saturday, but not to train. Just to show up, and give moral support to the students. When I shoed up to training, I was greeted by the whole SBWA family with hugs. It was good to see everyone again. I haven’t been around for a few weeks, so it felt good to be back. Kaos acknowledged my weight loss. I went into the hospital at 220lbs., and came out at 189lbs. Hospital food will do that to you.

I still was healing from my initial shin injury, so I couldn’t really do much. After a coule of weeks my doctor cleared me to start working out again. When I came back, I came back with a chip on my shoulder. Well, that’s the way I worked out anyway. So I was back in the weight room, and back to SBWA. I got my body into good enough shape, that I started to fell confident enough to start wrestling shirt less. Well that’s a little personal story of the way things can change your life. I look at things different now. I know now that you don’t get diabetes just cause your overweight. You can get diabetes just cause it runs in your family. My mom, and my uncle are also diabetic, and I’m sure members of my father’s family are diabetic as well. I read that Latinos, and Native Americans have a higher percentage of getting diabetes. I’m both so it got me. But it if you have diabetes, it doesn’t mean a death sentence. If you take care of yourself, eat right, and exercise, you can actually reverse diabetes. That’s my goal. I’m doing really good right now. My blood sugar level readings have been the same as the readings of someone without diabetes. I’m still keeping up my healthy eating habits, and a steady work out regimen. I’ve even won a couple of championships since coming back. I really want to thank everyone who showed support, and sent well wishes to me in my dark time. I thank my family for always being there for me, I love you all! Thank you to the SBWA family for being in my corner, and for helping build myself back up. I will never be able to repay, or thank you enough. To my kids, thank you for just being you. Being around you kids, and being your father makes me want to stay healthy, so that I can see you both grow. I love you both. And last, but not least. I have to thank my wife. For being strong through all this, and helping me get back to where I am today. I couldn’t have done it without you. I love you lots!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Spot Light on Robbie Phoenix part 2

So I showed up to the XPW office that was located in Van Nuys, Ca. I walked in and was greeted right away by Kevin Kleinrock. He led me into an area where there was seats set up. I looked around and saw the set where Kris Kloss and Larry Rivera sit on the XPW TV show. As I sat down, I noticed four other guys sitting down. I didnt talk to any of them at first. Then Dynamite D walked in. He handed all of us a brochier that basically told us the schools cariculum. Then D went over the cariculum verbally. After D explained the cariculum, Supreme, who was there as well, gave a speech. I would go on to hear this speech plenty of times throughout my career. But I always get fired up after hearing the speech, even to this day. After the speech, we walked into a small room where the wrestling ring was set up. I looked around, and man was this place small. There was very little space around three sides of the ring, and on the fourth side there was no space at all. Because, the ring was up against a steele mesh fence. On one side of the fence was a wrestling ring, on the other side was aisles and aisles of porn.

Dynamite D and Supreme climbed into the ring, and decided to treat us to an exhibition wrestling match. The match wasnt long, but it showed us where we could be if we started training. So now D is about dismiss us, but not before he and Kevin could collect a down payment from each of us. So I gave Kevin a check for $500, and D gave me a list of things I would need for class. As we said our good byes, D informed us that class will start in two weeks.

The two weeks went by rather quickly. In order to train, I had to work out a deal with my supervisor at work. Training started at 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. My usual work schedule had me start work at 6 p.m. Luckily I had a cool supervisor, and he let me start work at 9 p.m. During the two weeks before the start of training, I had gone out and got the things that I would need, per Ds list. I got amateur wrestling knee pads, and some white athletic tape. I used the same wrestling spats that I still had from high school.

On the first day of training, the first thing D had us do was fill out a release form. The release form stated that XPW would not be responsible for any injuries we get from wrestling training. Then D put us through some stretches to help limber us up, and to make sure that we do not get hurt or injured. The next thing D showed us was rolls. We did forward rolls, backward rolls, rolls with the right arm, and rolls with the left arm. Dynamite D was extremely knowledgeable about wrestling, and the mechanics, the reason, and the history of everything he taught us. D stressed technique on everything we did. And even though D explained how doing the rolls correctly, and getting the technique down would save us in our wrestling career, I never appreciated that until I actually started wrestling. And for as many great wrestlers Ive worked with, well theres a few shitty workers Ive had to be in the ring with. Theres nothing scarier than a guy who doesnt know what the hell hes doing, and basically tries to dump you on your head. But thanks to Ds training I have avoided serious injuries.

After we learned the rolls, D put us through some cardio drills. Cardio was another thing D stressed to us. If you dont have air, you cant finish the match. D always told us. Some of the drills we did, I was actually familiar with from my football days, drills like up downs or Greenbays. Up downs is a drill where you run in place, then when the coach or trainer blows the whistle, you drop face down flat on the ground, then pop right back up. Two other drills we did that was from my football days were squats and lunges. Now, like I said I was familiar with these drills from when I played high school football. But, it had been a few years since Ive played football. So needless to say, I was pretty soar after those drills.

Before I started training for wrestling, I worked out with the weights, and did some running, so I wasnt totally out of shape. I knew training would be hard, but not as hard as it actually was. I think my classmates didnt think training was going to be as hard as it was, because they didnt seem prepared. I guess thats why Im still wrestling today, and theyre not. One guy whos name escapes me right now, was real short, and didnt seem to be in any kind of shape. He wasnt fat by any means, but you can tell that he didnt weight lift or run. So when he went through the drills, he blew up very quick. The guy was a little older than the rest of us. He decided to be a pro wrestler at 32 years old. There was also two best friends in my class. One guy was a short, skinny, long haired kid named John. And his friend was a big sloppy fat kid named Matt. John was actually able to get through the drills with some ease. But his boy Matt had troubles getting through the drills, and actually puked(haha). The next guy in my class was a guy named Jose. Jose was about my height, and thinner than me. And looked to be in good shape. You can tell that Jose worked out with the weights. Jose and I became pretty good friends. I still keep in touch with him. Jose also got through the drills with no problem. The last guy was a tall skinny guy named Brett. Brett started out in very bad shape, but later worked hard and got into good shape. Later on in our training, D actually pulled Brett and myself aside, and told us that Brett and I were two of his best students, and if we can help him with the training of other students. That was, and still is one of the highlights of my wrestling career.

Anyways, back to the first day of training. So after all the stretching, warm ups, and drills, I can safely say that the whole class was real soar. But D put us through some cooling down stretches, then D dismissed the class. I was extremely soar, and I still had to go to work. I know most people would have not gone back, but I was raised old school, where it was no pain, no gain. So if I wanted to be a wrestler, I had to suffer through the soarness, bumps, and bruises. And you know what? I would do all over again. Well I hope you enjoyed my story, and journey to becoming a pro wrestler. And if you have any questions, or want to hear any stories, just ask me when ever you see me, or hit me up on myspace. I just want to take this opportunity to thank the man who is responsible for me achieving my dream. Darren Dynamite D McMillan. I miss you, and love you. I would also like to thank the Santino Bros. Kaos and Mongol for allowing me to tell this story, and for allowing me to give back to what D did for me, and also for allowing me to be a part of the SBWA.