Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to Survive Running Away with the Circus – Opening Act

By Banner Hemweigh

Recently my editor called me into his office with a proposal. Go check out professional wrestling, and tell me what you see. I was naturally appalled and offended. I’m a football girl; there was no way I’m going to enjoy what I see. But with an open mind, open attitude, and a gracious tour guide, I was able to navigate the traveling circus that is professional wrestling, and come out with the bare bone facts about this pseudo sport.

Here are the facts. The Hypokritis Wrestling Exposition is the biggest professional wrestling promotion in the world, and boasts a billion dollar budget. Through merchandising, pay per view sales, and live events on an international scale, they have managed to leave behind the bargain basement approach that was once the staple of professional wrestling. This is high velocity, high gloss, high impact entertainment creating a different kind of celebrity as is demonstrated by the many websites, magazines, and diverse fan base it holds.

With that in mind, I begin to feel out the rest. My first issue is the one that everyone tends to focus on. It’s fake. Yes and no. The outcomes are predetermined, but the hazards are quite real. I believe its best explained by the current HWE heavyweight champion, Dominique ‘Dangerous’ Dutton, also known as 3D by wrestling fans. 3D is the stage name of Keith Daniels, a man who has lived his life in this business making the best of what he finds. Upon expressing my views about the validity of the action in the sport he calmly says, “You can’t trick gravity.” Point taken.

With that main deterrent gone, I can now get into the mechanics of this activity, which is in fact a sport. I know; I was surprised to discover this as well. But my able tour guide, Keith Daniels, who is an art enthusiast, ex-stunt driver, and 9 credits shy of a Bachelors of Art in History, was very specific about the definition of the word sport. And it applies to this sport completely.

What I found was a lot of talented individuals with a dedication to one thing and one thing alone, a great show. The basis of the sport is a show; an athletic competition that is meant to appeal on more than one level. Like any show, the truth of the affair is behind the scenes. There are stories of triumph and tragedy, chaos and discord, constant lobbying for space and screen time. Pushing for better stories, better angles, and always, better merchandise. It’s like Hollywood on steroids, in some cases literally, and without the security of a standardized union job.

Over the next 5 days I will be detailing my journey with the biggest traveling circus the world has ever seen. Through the eyes of a vaunted legend, the reigning champ, and the inheriting daughter of an empire, I’ll pull back the curtain, and reveal the magician for all to see.

From Make Mine a Heel by Suenammi Richards
Barnes & Noble

"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."

-Geeky Girl Reviews

"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