Thursday, July 30, 2009

A random question.

Why is religion usually the next big "work" that wrestlers get into when they retire or fade out?


Ron said...

(I should be working on book revisions, but I'll take a stab at this)

I have actually thought about this a lot back from when a former wrestler started regularly coming to my church back home to sing and preach. I never actually saw him raise any money openly for himself, and I don't know if anything was going on behind the scenes or not in that regard, but I did find it fishy.

I think that the type of religion they get into is telling. I haven't seen many wrestlers running off to seminary to become Catholic priests or heading for Rabbinical schools to become leaders of Jewish congregations. These responsibilities are pretty doctrinaire and have a very strict governing body; tomfoolery in these churches would get them in deep trouble and they would be easily found out. Most wrestlers that I have seen get active in religion do so in evangelical denominations...denominations that generally, as a rule, do not require any sort of formal ministerial training and are not tightly controlled by a religious association.

These churches are primarily driven by personal emotion that comes from a good service. I myself am from an evangelical denomination, so I am not trying to cast aspersions through my characterization of them, but I think that these churches are centered a lot on personal conviction. I think that many of the wrestlers who get involved in these churches have the skill set necessary to manipulate these emotions through their mic work to get their way. In many ways, I think they are playing to a different (or perhaps the same) crowd in the same way.

This is again not to judge anyone, but I think it would be easy to stay in the kayfabe of religion in order to work the congregants, just as they work a crowd at the armory. I have long thought that that fool Robert Tilton who you see when you flip through the channels reminded me a lot of a wrestler the way he hoops and carries on.

Nate said...

Ah, so in effect, it's no large jump to cut face promos on Satan, the biggest heel in the universe?

I am quickly reminded of Tri-Cities wrestling legend Iron Cross and his "wrestling ministry." Didn't he use to hand out tracts to the crowd?

Rev. Joshua said...

Yeah, the general hucksterism of religion and wrestling leads to an easy crossover, so without the aid of a confession it's impossible to tell who is legitimately interested in spreading the word and who is there for the money or the captive audience and the attention that they no longer receive now that The Wrestling has dried up. Plus, regardless of the reason for being there, you probably have a lot of wrestling fans in the congregation of a southern church giving you the opportunity to talk about the glory days with parishioners after services.