Wavell Starr column

As a professional wrestler, I interact with a very diverse crowd of people and eccentric personalities. One common personality trait that resonates throughout the business is an appreciation for humour.

The professional wrestling industry has a strong a “rib” culture. A rib is a practical joke.

A very basic rib that is quite common is when you have two rookies working with each other, one as the “baby face” (good guy), and one as “the heel” (villain). When young guys prepare for matches they often over prepare and tend to try to script and choreograph the entire match something the veterans discourage.

The only way to develop a performer’s intuition is to go out there and learn to read a crowd, rather than to try to get them to follow you.

The rib is set up before the match approaches when the booker (the person that arranges the matches for the card) informs the rookies that the card has been changed and that they will be working with someone else and that all that preparation they did was for nothing.

The veterans all get a chuckle when they see the panic over come the poor rookies because this has happened to all of us at one point in our careers.

Sometimes when a crew takes to the road in order to maximize the amount of matches on the card they hold a “battle royal” for the main event. In this match, everyone on the card is in the ring at once. The winner is the last person in the ring after everyone else has been thrown out over the top rope.

A well-known booker’s rib is to inform two different rookies that they are supposed to win the match. The fun comes at the end after everyone has been eliminated except the two that are expecting to win the match.

It’s pretty funny watching them go through this confusion and at times getting mad at each other but eventually they come to a mutual understanding and figure out who will win and who will lose.

Another rib that we all go through at one time or another (or several times) is the infamous ring entrance music error. The crowd loves the action and everything about the show. Now it’s your turn to hit the ring and steal the show.

All the preparation will pay off in moments when you burst through that curtain. The ring announcer states your height, weight and your name and the crowd anticipates your appearance.

The music hits, and a slow romantic ballad from the 1980s filters through the speakers. The crowd is visibly confused. You face the challenge of trying to get these people who at the very least are skeptical to your choice of ring entrance music to cheer for you. That is not always a feasible task but it manages to get the crew to laugh pretty hard every time.

The best rib I have ever heard of involved a wrestler who was ribbed by his wife.

Sometimes different provinces/states have commissions that regulate pro wrestling events.  It’s often standard procedure to have a doctor clear you in order to perform.

The wrestler went to the doctor and underwent the necessary tests and received the forms that included blood work. He left them in his vehicle.

The next day the wrestler’s wife pulled out the forms as they were driving and asked “why would they need to test you for Chlamydia?”

The wrestler was dumb-founded and couldn’t understand why it would be on the form. He said, “I have no clue! I didn’t even know they were doing that. In fact I don’t think they did.”

She showed him the form and said, “Well it’s checked off here in the boxes of what they were testing for so the doctor must have had a reason,” and showed him the requisition form.

Sure enough the box was checked off. The wrestler was stuttering and stammering for a few moments before she decided she better let him off the hook and admitted that she had checked the box herself when he wasn’t looking.

That ladies and gentlemen, is a well-played rib that deserves acknowledgement.

Keep up with the latest news from Wavell Starr on twitter @wavellstarr and “like” his page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TheWavellStarrShow



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