This week the Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley) reflect on their lives as professional wrestlers.
What makes good entertainment?
It's like trying to figure out what the best food is, or the best video game, or the best movie of all time. A completely subjective concept that doesn't have an absolute answer. Everyone is brought up and raised with different conditions, experiences, and random occurrences that make them who they are and how they perceive every aspect of life. That makes us all individuals. One external event viewed by two different people will create two completely different experiences. We live inside our mind and how everything relates to us specifically.
Pro Wrestling is one of the most unique forms of entertainment. For me personally, I started watching at a very young age and was hooked. The over the top characters yelling at my TV screen, having issues with each other and then settling it in the ring fighting. Such a simple concept, but it works. It's an art form to me that combines common aspects of entertainment and presents them in a very uncommon way. My journey through life included Pro Wrestling as a big part of it, my mind was very tuned into it growing up and I believe that is why I got to where I am today. Life is what you make of it, and this is what I created for myself. I wanted to be a part of the entertainment that entertained me for a large part of my life.
Everyone is different, but we all try to entertain you, the fans, in our own way. There is a saying that has been around the wrestling world for a long time: The best characters are a reflection of yourself, with the volume turned all the way up. And it does make sense, turn what comes naturally to you into something larger than everyday life. The Motor City Machine Guns are a couple of working class, Rock and Roll loving, anti-conformity, proud natives of Detroit who have a very dry, exclusive sense of humor and like to make fun of people and things for what they really are. All of that has a connection to who we really are as people, and that's why it works for us.
Some people love us, some people hate us. There is no right or wrong, just the connection to the people we entertain. And that's what makes good entertainment in my opinion, connection.
I started wrestling for TNA in 2004. Aside from a brief hiatus where I went to Japan for the better part of a half year, I've been with the company ever since. I've seen a large number of people come and go, but more importantly, I recently realized that I've been with TNA longer than I was in high school. To me, that's nuts. I'm going to be 27 years old in a couple of weeks, and it hasn't really hit me how quickly time flies, especially when you're having fun.
Really though, I've been lucky to have a great core group of friends in the wrestling business. This blog details how long I've known some of these guys. To a reader who's totally unfamiliar with our product, this may be the most blasé posting I could make.
But to those who actually DO follow wrestling, it may make you realize that when people say wrestlers are like family, it's in part due to the fact that we've known each other as long as we have. Sharing hotel rooms, having adventures overseas, drinking, eating, laughing, etc.
Chris Sabin, AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, Eric Young - 8 years. Frankie Kazarian, Homicide, Samoa Joe, Desmond Wolfe, Jay Lethal, Amazing Red, Hernandez - 7 years. Doug Williams, Brian Kendrick, Abyss - 6 years.
Just looking at that alone, it's a pretty significant chunk of the TNA roster. I'd like to think this amount of time allows me to know everyone's weaknesses in the ring, and also in their hearts.
But seriously, you're only as old as you feel.