For a lot of us from the older generation, it’s perhaps odd that so many younger folks are buried in their phones so much of the day. Now I’m not ancient mind you. I was a teenager during the Attitude Era and the rise of DX and Steve Austin, and the first time that the internet really had an impact on what was happening in the pro wrestling ring for me and my peers, was when the crowd knew that both Brock Lesnar and Goldberg were having their last match at WrestleMania 20…booing them right out of the building.
The crowd was ‘in the know’ that night and both us watching at home and the wrestlers in the ring knew that there was a shift happening in the business…dawning the internet and social media age of pro wrestling…an era that most likely will never die down.
It sure was a pivotal moment, as we saw the influence the internet would have moving forward on the industry, and boy were we right about that.
But these days, the cellular phone, as it were, is a different animal than I used to be. Heck, you can read an entire book on a phone these days, let alone complete an entire day of work.
I know what you’re saying: ‘Old news grandpa!’
Maybe so, but I’m still in my late thirties and it still seems strange to me when people have their heads bent so low in a cell phone that they look like pink flamingos taking a drink at the pond.
And I mean as a pro wrestling journalist, sports and food writer, I’m pretty much online every day, 7 days a week…but when I’m at the gym or having some down time, the phone is off.
A man who shares my point of view is William Regal, it seems. Regal of course is a legendary wrestler. He now manages the Blackpool Combat Club in AEW, but before that he had an incredible career in WCW and WWE…a worker and master of the sport, no doubt.
He also spent time teaching and coaching younger wrestlers at NXT…something he did for quite some time before his WWE release.
We know he’s tough and a tough as nails teacher at that; anyone who’s seen footage of him training students at the performance center knows that….
He also has a podcast (“The Gentleman Villain”), and it is on that podcast that we hear his inner thoughts on the business and this time around, we heard his thoughts on cell phones and how much time young talent spends on the devices, when he feels that perhaps they should be trying to hone their craft instead. Here’s some of what he said on the matter:
“I sometimes get that when I look around the building and I see people on their phones all day long when you’ve got one day a week to try to get better…I would be trying to get better. I would be asking or trying to learn something, right? You’ve got enough time on your own to chat with people or do something else on your other days that you’re not at work. You should be trying to get better. I don’t care one way or the other; it’s entirely up to you…
My job, where I came from in NXT, I would politely go and talk to people, ‘Maybe you might want to invest a bit more time into this, and then maybe you’d be better at it instead of complaining about everything,’ right? This isn’t a fair job, so take all that out of it. Sometimes it works out — it doesn’t matter how good you are — sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t…99% of us who have got to anywhere in this job or had a career out of it have had to put a lot of time and hard work into figuring it out…
If you spend all your day messing about on your phone when you could be asking people and learning (from) people, that’s a problem to me. It is and it isn’t. It’s one of those things that I had to shut off in my brain…I’m gonna say this out loud: don’t come to me asking me just because you think you gotta ask, because I will see through you quicker than you wished I could, and now that I’ve said that out loud, in my old job, it was my job and I would help everybody…
If I think you’re just asking me now, ‘I better go and pretend that I’m asking,’ don’t waste my time because I’d rather be helping somebody who cares…There was a point last year where one of the ladies who always asks questions and always tries to get better came up to myself, Samoa Joe, and Fit Finlay who were all (sitting) at a table, talking to each other. I looked around and she said, ‘Why don’t you go and instill some wisdom into somebody,’ to the three of us and I said, ‘I don’t want to interrupt their phone time.’…
It’s about the priorities of you getting paid to get better at your job. Perhaps you should be getting better at your job, not trying to read about how good you are. Leave that until you get back to your room that night…I am open-minded and I am not like an old wrestler and do not want to go back to that, but you still got to put the time in to get there…”
-via Wrestling Inc. (Transcription)