You may have noticed that pro wrestling is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as of late. WWE just merged with UFC in a sale to the Endeavor firm, creating a $21 billion entertainment company in the process. Their closest rival; AEW just set a record crowd of more than 80,000 fans in London’s Wembley Stadium, and the long tenured promotion; IMPACT Wrestling has just celebrated its 1,000th epic episode. As excitable viewers inevitably flock to wrestling schools in order to try and become the next Hulk Hogan, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, or John Cena—and Brian Myers.
M&F sat down with respected coach and prolific performer Brian Myers to find out how he found success, the advice he imparts, and what it takes to cut it in the larger-than-life world of ‘Sports Entertainment.’
“I feel like I’m in the prime of my career,” says Myers, who at 38-years-old is still considered to be a spring chicken in an industry where Bill Goldberg has wrestled into his 50s, Sting is still going strong at 64, and Ric Flair last wrestled at 73. “This past weekend was IMPACT 1,000, and it was a big deal to me because I was on WWE Monday Night RAW 1,000, SmackDown 1,000, and IMPACT 1,000.” It’s a lofty feat than no other man can boast. (The only woman to complete the same accolade is Trinity Fatu.)
Of course, becoming a pro wrestler and enjoying a long running career that continues to pay the bills are two very different things. For Brian Myers, he’s seen it all during his years of work with WWE, as a top talent in IMPACT, and as a coach at the “Create a Pro” Wrestling Academy in Hicksville, NY.
Myers has officially ‘been there and done that’ when it comes to carving out a successful professional wrestling career. He got started after begging his older brother to drive him to the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY, to watch an Extreme Championship Wrestling show back in 1999. A short time later, the young hopeful received training under ECW’s Mikey Whipreck, and in 2023, having now already wrestled in that same venue multiple times for WWE, he was able to return to the hallowed ground with IMPACT Wrestling and take on two of ECW’s originals in the form of Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno.
How to Create a Pro Wrestler Tip No. 1: Face Reality
In a world that blends action, drama, fantasy and sports, it’s easy to see why newbies have grandiose visions of becoming the next Dwayne Johnson or Undertaker before they’ve even laced-up a pair of boots. But make no mistake, pro wrestling is a highly physical affair that takes thousands of hours to master, and even a relatively straightforward task like running the ropes is far more difficult than it looks on television. “Create a Pro is gonna be ten years old in March,” says Myers. “People still come with no clue what their getting themselves into, which is always baffling to me. People think that wrestling isn’t a real sport so it must be really easy. No, this is just like anything else in life, you have to put in some serious hard work and you reap what you sow … if anything, it’s more difficult, because how many pro wrestlers are out there making a living? Not many, if you think about it … it takes hard work, discipline, and a lot of blood sweat and tears for real.”
How to Create a Pro Wrestler Tip No. 2: Presentation is Key
In a competitive market, standing out from the crowd is essential if you want to make a promoter take notice. “Very early on in my career, or life, I was always a student of the game,” says Myers. “I read an article and some interview with Bret Hart where he said that backyard wrestling wasn’t (legitimate) wrestling, so he said to apply yourself to sports and things like that while you can, and I just took that to heart. I did football, baseball, wrestling; straight through to high school.” As a student, Myers knew that a key aspect of being noticed by promoters was to become as athletic as possible, while working on his presentation so that he would be viewed by audiences as a tough guy that would win bouts. He also became a fan of lifting weight, swearing my by the tried and tested bench press, deadlift, and squat. “I feel like you have to control what you can control,” he says. “My diet, my regime, my look, that’s ultimately super important in the business.” These days, Myers tells M&F that he owns a fully kitted out gym in his home so that he can spend as much time as possible close to his family when not on the road. A personal trainer sends him workouts that he can then perform at his leisure.
In this digital age, social media is another way to gain exposure and this is something that Myer’s has proven to be a master of. “I feel like I have a cheat code,” he shares. Through YouTube, Podcasts, and by sharing his own fandom and love of wrestling memorabilia, Myers has tapped into an audience that he’s able to make instant connections with.
How to Create a Pro Wrestler Tip No. 3: Brian Myers Says, Never Stop Learning
Brian Myers was a quick learner and a respectful member of the locker room. He was able to go from independent debut to WWE TV in around three years. The wrestler was drafted to SmackDown in 2007 and as one of Edge’s body doubles, was also involved in a storyline that saw him help the “Rated R Superstar” dethrone the legendary Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship. A couple of years later, however, creative was failing to come up with new material for Myers, so he took it upon himself to head back to WWE’s developmental territory, known as FCW at that time. For him, it was about continuing to work on his craft and spend more time in the ring.
“I moved myself, on my own dime, didn’t get paid for a year,” he says of his time in Florida. “Even though I was under contract, I pretty much got it all in one video game (royalty) check and my downside (guarantee) was next to nothing. It was a career saving and life altering move that I just did all on my own because I got to go down there and get reps, and work as a singles wrestler pretty much for the first time in my career. I had the privilege and honor of doing promo class with ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes every week for a year. Literally, I didn’t have the confidence to cut a promo prior to that, and after that it altered my career.”
How to Create a Pro Wrestler Tip No. 4: Entertaining is More Important Than Winning
Many pro wrestling fans will tell you, rightly, that the ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon at WrestleMania X was one of the greatest wrestling confrontations of all time, and yet those same people might have to do a bit of mental gymnastics to remember who won the match. While Michaels has found himself on the losing end of that one, he left Madison Square Garden feeling like a million bucks, because he’d arguably stolen the show. In WWE right now, The Miz finds himself on the losing end more often that not, and yet he’s a staple of Monday Night RAW and one of the companies most relevant performers. Myers himself has the distinction of owning a WWE losing streak record with 269 consecutive losses, but the storyline pay-off saw him capture the RAW tag team titles with Zack Ryder (Matt Cardona) at WrestleMania 35. The lesson? The scoresheet is not as important as creating memorable moments when you are a pro wrestler. “People really remember it,” Brian Myers of his time staring at arena ceilings. “Instead of being negative about it I was very positive, and it wound up being legit one of the most fun things that I’ll probably ever do in my career.”
How to Create a Pro Wrestler Tip No. 5: Embrace Different Styles
“The true mark of a pro is someone that travels the world,” shares Brian Myers. “Wrestling is everywhere, and it’s different everywhere.” Of course, pro wrestling is firmly embedded in American popular culture, but the the direction that this artform takes is largely driven by international influences such as strong-style Japanese wrestling and the technical wizardry of British grappling. Myer’s has travelled the world and is well aware of the lessons that he’s picked up on those journeys. “I tell my students all the time: you can’t become a great wrestler and never leave your home town, right?”
In October, Myers will fly to England with IMPACT Wrestling where they are excited to be embarking on their first tour there for several years. The iconic grappler tells M&F that he is feeling an ECW vibe within the current IMPACT product, and says that it is a place for “miss-fit toys” that should have flourished elsewhere, but are finally getting a chance to shine in a major wrestling promotion. IMPACT has international television deals with DAZN and can be accessed via YouTube’s on demand service. They are also on the FITE.tv app and have a weekly show on AXS TV. “I truly believe it’s the most well-rounded professional wrestling program on television,” he says, proudly. “And the people that are watching… they know. I don’t have to tell them.”
For tickets to see IMPACT Wrestling live and in person both in the US and the UK visit: https://impactwrestling.com/events/