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.

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