Wrestling in the Heartland: Trying to make it big
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The four corners of a wrestling ring hold more than just a battle between athletes.
It also holds several people following their dreams.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of professional wrestling,” one fan said.
“I’ve just always been a fan since I was a kid,” another added.
“Wrestling is one of my favorite things,” a third fan told us.
A women’s champion, Rahne Victoria said the start of her journey for the gold started at a time when she didn’t think it was possible.
“I honestly didn’t think I had the athletic ability to do it,” she said. “I wanted to be a valet, I wanted to give that a shot, I went to wrestling school, told them that and told them that but said maybe someday I’d like to be a wrestler, and they said, ‘okay, you’re starting training tonight.’”
Wrestling in overalls and with her hair in a braid, Victoria shared her mission is wanting more women to be seen for what they can do inside the ring.
“I’ve been fighting for them, and when that shifted to not fighting for myself anymore to fighting for my team and my people, that’s a big highlight to me,” she explained.
Jeff O’Dell is spending his 20th year in the business as a manager.
He said the mat of the ring is harsh.
“There’s a lot of misconceptions about wrestling ring,” O’Dell said. “Let me break down the construction for you, it is a 16 x 16 metal frame with 2x8 wooden planks with 1-inch piece of foam padding on it and a canvas. It’s very hard, it’s unforgiving and your brain rattles around in your head. It hurts a lot. It’s very real, it’s very dangerous and kids should definitely not try this at home, adults should not try this at home. Unless you’re trained, nobody should step into that ring unless you’ve had 6-12 months of wrestling training.”
“You think it’s going to be easy, but it’s absolutely not,” Brendan Schmuelling added after his first day of wrestling camp.
Schmuelling agreed with O’Dell and said, “Some people think it’s fake or phony. It’s absolutely not. I just went in there any busted my butt, so I’m all hurt and I’m banged up.”
Although this is his first day, Schmuelling said this is his dream.
“Hopefully, in a major wrestling promotion. Hands down, maybe tag team champion, I don’t know, anything,” he said.
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