Suenammi Richards Romance Headline Animator

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How to Survive Running Away With the Circus – The Conclusion

By Banner Hemweigh

When I researched fan sites, books, and magazines, I noticed that no one really talked about story and plot lines.  The focus was always on the people themselves. The fan base is curious to know these people, not the basics of the sport.

For a decent amount of the world, somehow these characters have transcended the ideas that have always made professional wrestling a joke among other professional athletes. Were I covering professional wrestling strictly for the athletic appeal it would hold very little paper, and very little ink.  But that is because I’m a sports writer, and the things I would focus on bear no weight in the competition that is actually being waged.

The feats that are conducted are very athletic.  The physical and muscle control of most of these performers is inspiring to behold.  So it isn’t the nature of the physicality of the sport that makes me say this.  It’s the nature of the degrees of success.  They aren’t rated by numerical terms.  Success is gauged by crowd control. We aren’t talking stats and numbers; this is about emotion.  This is not to say that most athletic competitions aren’t emotional.  They are, but you cannot break down the field of professional wrestling to cold hard brass tacks.  The true scope of this is not as cut and dry as a football game where there is an absolute winner, and an absolute loser.  What is being achieved is failure for some, and success for others; which if done well, is success for all. 

The storylines should be critiqued like television sitcoms.  The performance should be rated by those knowledgeable about delivery, timing, and the physical challenges of a ring performance.  The quality of show production should be gauged by members of like entertainment vehicles, and rated as such.

Should professional wrestling be covered like a sport?  No. However it should be covered as an alternative form of live theatrical entertainment that just happens to be a sport.  Which is exactly what it is.

I found myself comparing what I saw with the circus.  A very suitable analogy when you consider all of the parts that constitutes a circus; part drama, part skill, and always loads of artistry.  The biggest difference is public perception.  After all, no one questions whether or not the tight rope walker is actually on a tight rope.  No one asks if the trapeze artist is truly using a trapeze.  Wouldn’t it be nice if no one questioned whether or not that man just jumped off of a ladder?


Professional wrestling is a part of American culture, just like football.  The swarms of fans, the dedicated workers, and the billion dollar revenues don’t lie.  And while I am not qualified to cover it, there are people out there who are.  What I would like to see is someone covering it properly to garner the respect it deserves.  Because, in the words of my favorite professional wrestler 3D, “whether you like it or not, it’s the best thing going.”

From Make Mine a Heel by Suenammi Richards

"I liked this story. I'm not a big romance fan, but first this writer knows her stuff about football, Texas culture, and pro-wrestling. Second, the romance sucked me in. I wanted these two to get together because I genuinely liked them. This story is a Powerslam for any romance/sports fan!"
@alchemyofscrawl - Coral Russell

"I have to say I am a professional wrestling fan so this book really caught my interest as soon as I read the description. I very much enjoyed this book and definitely most likely will be reading it again at a late date."


"This isn't a garden variety romance novel featuring sports or wrestling. Ms. Richards has provided the reader with plenty of colorful characters that are dealing with sad, if not tragic, circumstances (racism, child abandonment, ethnic prejudice, drug abuse, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book."

-The Book Diva

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to Survive Running Away With the Circus – The Performer

By Banner Hemweigh

Keith Daniels is one of the most respected men in his field these days.  He is always greeted when he arrives; his word in the ring rates as law, and no one second-guesses him.  There isn’t a performer that is trusted more whether in the ring, or out of it. He stands a stunning 6 feet 9 inches tall with the athletic versatility of a triathlete in a 280 pound frame.  He has a natural charisma that hums off of him, the diction of a scholar, and if that isn’t enough, he ain’t bad on the eyes.  He’s also the biggest, baddest heel professional wrestling has ever seen.

According to HWE statistics, on average roughly 30% of a live audience will actively jeer a character that is a successful heel, or ‘bad guy’ character.  In industry speak, it’s called heat, and it is the initial response of an audience that knows you’re coming out to see them. For a face, which is the standard ‘good’ guy, it’s called pop, and the pop ratio is relatively higher, roughly pushing towards the 60% mark. It is very hard to generate enough emotional distain to convince a crowd to waste the energy to boo you when it could be used cheering on their face.  These are factors that alter nightly, by locale.

On any given night, in any arena, anywhere in the world, Keith Daniels as 3D will generate heat that is closer to 50%. This average is said to only increase after he has been talking for 30 seconds or more, a ratio that insiders call ‘outrageous’.  Like all things there are exceptions, but with the truth of professional wrestling being broadcast, it’s harder to generate actual distain.  Everyone knows you’re acting.  So how does he do it?

Teddy Rogers recalls meeting a ‘skinny, scrawny 15 year old’ wanting to be trained to wrestle.  Now he refers to this same man as a gift to the industry. Teddy has an idea of what makes Keith Daniels the man that he is.

“Something in that boy that you don’t find everyday.  Is it will, spirit, drive.  Boy has more charisma in his pinky finger than most guys have in their entire bodies; more athletic ability than an Olympian, and I still can’t find anything to compare with the amount of heart he has.”

When asked when he knew he was ready for the ring, the champ is humble.

“Some days it’s when I got through my first televised match without a missed cue. Other days it’s when I finally convinced Teddy to start training me.  But most days, I’m still waiting.  It’s hard to determine ready for a field that is constantly in flux.” 

The man known as the selfish mouthy 3D comes off as unassuming.  The intelligence of the man is evident in his speech.  His respect for his peers and contemporaries pours out of him at every opportunity.  And his love for the fans is inspiring.

After the pay per view in his hometown of Dallas, TX, I conducted a final interview with Keith Daniels, and asked him to sum up what this profession has done for him.


“It’s provided more than just a paycheck.  It’s given me focus when I don’t have it.  Clarity when I can’t think clearly.  It’s shown me the levels of myself that I didn’t know I had.  I wasn’t always a good person, but I am a better one today, and I know it has a lot to do with what I choose to do for a living, and more importantly, how I choose to do it.”


From Make Mine a Heel by Suenammi Richards

"I liked this story. I'm not a big romance fan, but first this writer knows her stuff about football, Texas culture, and pro-wrestling. Second, the romance sucked me in. I wanted these two to get together because I genuinely liked them. This story is a Powerslam for any romance/sports fan!"
@alchemyofscrawl - Coral Russell

"I have to say I am a professional wrestling fan so this book really caught my interest as soon as I read the description. I very much enjoyed this book and definitely most likely will be reading it again at a late date."


"This isn't a garden variety romance novel featuring sports or wrestling. Ms. Richards has provided the reader with plenty of colorful characters that are dealing with sad, if not tragic, circumstances (racism, child abandonment, ethnic prejudice, drug abuse, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book."


Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to Survive Running Away With the Circus – The Payoff



So why do this for a living?  A profession that endears criticism, seems to have lackluster benefits, and a more than challenging pace?  For love of performing was the number one answer. And the ability to make your own way best stated by Teddy Rogers.

“Does this sport show a boy what he’s made of?  Yes.  Does it grind up boys that aren’t made of enough up?  Yes.  Does it reward those who are tough enough?  Every time.  Not many things in this life have that kind of return anymore.”

The opinion is that for those that see it out, there is no other way to live.  What I found was a culture of respect, trust, and value that is sometimes lost in other professions, but is a necessary element in this one. Over and over again I was told stories about the tragedies of life, and what hole was filled by this business from individuals who may have found themselves in much more tragic circumstances had this not been an open option for them.

Sheryl Cassidy shares a very similar view of the profession with ring legend Teddy Rogers, and views the business as having an open door policy.

“This place is for freaks and outcasts, the common man, and the uncommon one.  The parts of society that the upper crust likes to pretend don’t exist.  Here the American dream still lives.  Anybody, from any walk of life, any background, any ethnicity, any creed can come, and if they are willing to work hard they can achieve whatever they want.  The world is open here, and we turn no one away unless they prove they are unwilling to work hard”



From Make Mine a Heel by Suenammi Richards

"I liked this story. I'm not a big romance fan, but first this writer knows her stuff about football, Texas culture, and pro-wrestling. Second, the romance sucked me in. I wanted these two to get together because I genuinely liked them. This story is a Powerslam for any romance/sports fan!"
@alchemyofscrawl - Coral Russell

"I have to say I am a professional wrestling fan so this book really caught my interest as soon as I read the description. I very much enjoyed this book and definitely most likely will be reading it again at a late date."


"This isn't a garden variety romance novel featuring sports or wrestling. Ms. Richards has provided the reader with plenty of colorful characters that are dealing with sad, if not tragic, circumstances (racism, child abandonment, ethnic prejudice, drug abuse, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book."