There’s a lot of great feelings in life. Seeing your first child being born, Christmas morning, relieving yourself of a rather unpleasant stomach ache and blowing your beans into a woman and not a tissue. However, there is also another great feeling, which I was fortunate enough to experience today, and that experience is completing your first full day of paid employment after ten months of being told you’re “overqualified” or “inexperienced” for every job you’ve applied for since graduating University.
Now, as an aspiring young writer, working in a hip, modern Mexican restaurant may not seem like a logical career choice, but obviously it was a career choice born out of necessity. So what about our beloved sports entertainers? The WWE alone ‘future endeavours’ seemingly dozens of workers a year, leaving them on the unemployment line, sometimes purposefully for three months. Now, with decent places to ply their trade in worryingly short numbers, more and more former superstars are having to find work outside of the ring, Justin Credible, a former ECW Champion and WWE superstar, apparently working at an Olive Garden (by the way, I’m not mocking him for it, everybody’s got to make a living) being a case in point.
But what of the guys for whom work is always assured? The multiple time World Champions? The stalwarts? The ‘company guys’? The guys who can retire from the ring and into the sunset as a Road Agent or Producer or creative team member without having to worry about trawling through the classifieds or queuing up to claim their unemployment benefits. I don’t know about you but I’d like to see how some of these guys would fare in 9-5 jobs.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I have compiled the following list of wrestlers and professions they would undertake were they not masters of the squared circle. Before you ask, no I’ve not included Matt Striker as a teacher or Kane making a return to his mid nineties dental practice.
WRESTLERS IN THE WORKPLACE
Chris Jericho – Lawyer: With the long bangs and mosher beard a thing of the past, Jericho is no longer a rocker. He’s a smooth talking, suit wearing mastermind. He uses long words to confuse people, much like a lawyer. He dresses sharply, much like a lawyer. He’s a prick (kayfabe), much like a lawyer. Need I say more?
Shelton Benjamin – Struggling actor: Shelton is many things in the squared circle, but one thing he is not, is a great actor. Yet he carries himself as though he’s the most charismatic man not named Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair or The Rock to ever step foot inside a wrestling ring. His early promise in 2004-2005 was the equivalent of a few artsy student films for an actor who quickly develops a cult following which years later is still his only following as his career peters out in the most disappointing manner possible as he kids himself that he’s actually got ‘it’. His bumping from one brand to the next is essentially a struggling actor waiting tables in different restaurants.
CM Punk – Self Help Motivational Speaker: Can you imagine Punk’s infomercials? Millions of rehabbers worldwide (or maybe just Amy Winehouse) wouldn’t be able to empty their pockets quickly enough to buy Punk’s Straight Edge Self Help DVD box set. Before you know it, AA meetings will be attended by solely bald people drinking Pepsi. Punk would then go onto form a cult in the ilk of the Manson Family (he’s already got the beard for it) only with more head shavings and less killings.
Jeff Hardy – McDonald’s Employee: Now this may seem like a cheap shot at a guy who’s taken a TON of them over the past year, but it’s more an observational fact rather than a dig at Hardy. It seems that every shithole has that one guy who at one point in his life was somebody. Every McDonald’s restaurant has a former big shot, and that’s exactly what Jeff Hardy is. A guy who had everything, but blew it. Now he’s earning a living in the minor leagues of TNA who’ll happily turn a blind eye to him injecting heroin into his eyes on national television just so they can say they have Jeff Hardy, a former WWE Champion, on their show. Hardy would probably spit in your burger too. He looks the sort.
Shawn Michaels – Creepy old Bible Belt Preacher: You know the sort. 150 years old, sits in a chair on the side of a dust road yelling at every truck driver that drives past that they’re going to Hell if they don’t repent and devote themselves to the Lord. His hair is gone and his eyes are on their way out, plus he’s got the grumpy old man face to boot with a crooked back and a walk that suggests rickets has taken effect. Add to this his Texan roots and you’ve got yourselves a Grade A religious lunatic. Michaels simply isn’t manly enough to become a cool old Western tough guy. He’s waved glowsticks around for a living for Christ sake. Plus, Taker’s already got dibs on cool old Western tough guy. Once Clint Eastwood dies. Which will probably be never.
So the next time you see the report on Wrestleview that reads BREAKING NEWS: SOME GUY’S BEEN RELEASED FROM THE WWE, don’t automatically think “Well, there’s a place for him in TNA” (although admittedly, that’s always going to be the likeliest solution with any former WWE Talent). Instead think, “hmmmm, I wonder if the guy knows how to rustle up a Mojito?” or “He’s got the charm for telesales at least”. Trust me, it’s more fun than picturing them becoming a sideshow to Hogan’s ego over in Florida.
Of course, if any of you lovely lot have got any suggestions of your own for out of the ring employment for your favourite superstars, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,