By Greg Anthony
For those who aren’t familiar, a goof is a term we use to describe the “un” in this business. The untalented, the unknowledgeable, the uninteresting. The guys who don’t treat wrestling as a craft to be learned or even at times a business at all. The ones that buy a ring, buy a pair of boots (sometimes) and think that makes them professional wrestlers. Now in todays wrestling, the goofs, unfortunately, outnumber the boys. However, don’t think that goofs are new to this business. In fact, as long as there was a business there was a goof to be the counter culture.
I have a few guys that cut their teeth back in the territory days that I call upon when doing research for articles such as these. With the Jeremy Wood tragedy, the light has finally been shined on the unprepared. I had a hunch, so my question to some guys who mentored me and now I call friends was “Were there goofs back when you started?”. It was almost rhetorical, the answer was “yes”. What I didn’t know was some the very recognizable names that at one time were considered goofs.
One veteran told me that it wasn’t that every outlaw show had nothing but goofs. Looking back, they actually had some good workers, it was just they weren’t as good as the 13-14 man crew that the main territory supported. There were always guys that just didn’t get “it”. Now here we are 2010 and the business is as accessible as its ever been. With internet, shoot interviews, wrestling roundtables, books and many resources to learn wrestling theory to be a goof in this day and age you have to be as resistant as you are dumb.
I have tried very, very hard to be a positive voice in this business. The guys that have no reason being in the business, let alone running their own show when they call me I try to help. Try to give them worthwhile advice to help their little corner of world succeed. More times than not it has come back to bite me ass. Not too long ago a young man contacted me about getting into the business and wanted my honest opinion. I told him like I tell everybody go to reputable trainer, like a Harley Race. Someone that has a track record of getting guys a look in WWE. Not long after that he contacted me and said some local was going to train him for only $500.
I could be cynical, selfish and well typical but I choose to keep helping. Goofs are always going to exist. Trying to exterminate them from the business all together would probably be a losing battle. The only way to win is to take all of us that are trying our best to make something out of nothing and band together. Sink or swim, either you can be viable, helpful, positive influence on our business or you pale in comparison to your competition. That, in my opinion, is the only way the business can not just survive but strive.