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Professional wrestling may be "choreographed," at least in part, but it isn't painless. That's the first thing anyone hoping to become a wrestler should realize. While the question of how much of the sport is unscripted and how much decided upon in advance has spawned innumerable arguments, the one common denominator is the wrestling crowd, which always wants to see a lively show.
In other words, a professional wrestler must be an athlete, the same as a professional football player or boxer. Unlike high school and college wrestling, which provide a wide variety of weight classes, there are very few small professional wrestlers. Mexican wrestling provides some variation in weight, but the American sport is basically heavyweight on the male side (205 pounds plus).
This obviously eliminates many of those hoping to become a wrestler. Moreover, since a wrestler's physique is very much on display, the more muscular the torso, the better the chances of its owner being invited to join one of the elite wrestling associations. Women are also welcomed into the business, but not if they're carrying extra weight.
This alone is reason for anyone hoping to become a wrestler to pay close attention to diet and physical development sooner rather than later. It is also helpful to be a fan before trying to become a participant. If wrestling is your thing, watch as many TV matches as you can with an eye toward seeing exactly what the competitors are doing.
The Internet is full of schools that promise to help you become a wrestler, and the tuition can be pricey -- often upwards of $2,000 US Dollars for two months training. Find one that is well-recommended, and use that as the baseline for your progress. Make sure the school has actually produced wrestlers who have gone on to perform professionally.
Wrestling is a drama as well as a sport, and some of the more successful professionals have actually taken voice and acting lessons. Is your personality and/or appearance more suited to a villain or a hero? Have you envisioned a character that fans will love or hate? To become a successful wrestler means slipping into an alter-ego with which you feel comfortable.
Unless you have already made a name for yourself in some other sport or, perhaps, as a medal winner in the Olympics, chances are good that you will have to work your way up through the ranks to become a wrestler in the public eye. You might seek out one of many small "independent" federations in your area. Another way of breaking in is with "dark matches," which are staged before a televised event to get the crowd excited.
As for whether pro wrestling is real, it will seem real to you the morning after a match, when you count your bruises. The difference between a superstar and a wannabe is often no more than what cities you appear in and whether you travel by bus or by plane. It has its rewards, but it can be a rough life on any level. The fans wouldn't have it any other way.