These days it's not uncommon to see wrestlers using their real names (or a secondary name) on their social media accounts as a way to potentially open up their brand beyond pro wrestling, or for a particular promotion. A few days ago, Impact Star Jordynne Grace was asked about more wrestlers doing this and she responded, "Transitioning into a new era where wrestlers can accept they're playing a character and don't have to 'live the gimmick' I'd imagine."
This was picked up by Jim Cornette, who has a different mindset when it comes to how pro wrestlers should portray themselves to the public, wrote this in response, "Translation: I've never been trained properly/taught respect for the business, I'm just a play rassler who wants to be on reality TV, I don't have the talent or determination to make people believe in me & draw money, just do moves. That's what whoever Jordynne Grace is, just said."
In response to Cornette, Grace wrote, "The sooner we stop trying to make wrestling something it's not, the better. I know I'm ready to respect the common sense of fans. I was trained by people who have the same mindset as Jim, but I want wrestling to excel in today's current modernization of it."
Enter Lance Storm, who asked Grace more about how bringing in a second name will help modernize the pro wrestling business. Below is the conversation the two had on Twitter on this topic, then stemming into a discussion about if wrestling is a sport or not.
Storm: "Legit question. How does interacting with fans under a different name than they know you by, modernize the business? Pink interacts with fans as Pink, many entertainers have professional names they use in public, not just wrestlers. In my opinion, using two names just creates confusion."
Grace: "I also said to create two different profiles if you want to interact with fans in character. Ultimately, wrestlers should have the freedom to do whatever they want with zero judgement from wrestlers who don't necessarily agree with their specific way of doing things."
Storm: "I'm not judging, I'm discussing and I don't see how this has anything to do with wrestling pretending to be something it's not or modernizing. In my opinion, it's about creating a known name and identity and establishing that. I have just become aware of who you are in the last year, and when you changed the Twitter name I saw a tweet and said 'Who the hell is Trisha' and almost unfollowed you not realizing it was you. It damages your identity."
Grace: "Fair - it is new, but I think it is going to become extremely common to go by our real names in the coming years, especially for those people working different characters in multiple promotions. Personally, I did it as I'm trying to branch out into other avenues. The part about wrestling pretending to be something it's not was in reference to someone saying wrestling is a sport. The modernization part was about how we interact with fans on social media on all these different platforms. Like three conversations rolled into one tweet."
Storm: "Wrestling is a sport, in every sense of the world. Pairs figure skating is a sport, hell, ballroom dancing has official sport designation. You and your 'opponent' are on the same team for the day but you are very much competing in a sport."
Grace: "What are we competing for? In figure skating you're competing in front of judges and the outcome isn't predetermined. I understand the analogy of them both being choreographed. I am 100% behind making wrestling an Olympic sport with people judging the match performances."
Storm: "The crowd is a judge, your booker is a judge, your promoter is a judge, your agent/producer is a judge, the top guys in the company are a judge. Every production meeting every creative meeting score cards are compared and your future is on the line."
After reading through the above conversation, Xavier Woods gave his thoughts on the secondary name topic. Woods has for awhile now used "Austin Creed" in conjunction with his UpUpDownDown YouTube channel.
"I can't speak on this topic for all professional wrestlers/sports entertainers, but I know that in my situation I do not own the name 'Xavier Woods.' This means that I cannot perform under that name once my career with WWE eventually comes to an end. At some point, Xavier Woods will not be able to shake his hips as well, won't be able to throw pancakes as far, won't be able to get beat up by the giants that he works with and still be able to work. At the time (dear God, I hope it's no time soon) I will have to walk away from Xavier Woods. I've seen many people before me finish their careers and then be at a loss for what to do in the next chapter of their lives.
"This thought has always terrified me and that is one of the main reasons that I hustled to get through school while still wrestling. I believe that this current generation of performers is doing their best to learn from the mistakes that those who came before us made and are making attempts at using the technology available to us to do so. I love video games, so I created a YouTube channel about them.
"I chose to use the nickname 'Austin Creed' on the channel in order to begin building that brand. When the Xavier Woods chapter of my life is done, I want to make sure that the next chapter of my life already had a few pages written. By building Austin Creed at the same time I've already, hopefully, set myself up to be able to work and pay my bills doing something that I absolutely love outside of wrestling that makes me happy."
Translation: I've never been trained properly/taught respect for the business, I'm just a play rassler who wants to be on reality TV, I don't have the talent or determination to make people believe in me & draw money, just do moves. That's what whoever @JordynneGrace is just said https://t.co/WhLEKwvTN4— Jim Cornette (@TheJimCornette) July 27, 2019
The sooner we stop trying to make wrestling something it's not, the better. I know I'm ready to respect the common sense of fans. I was trained by people who have the same mindset as Jim, but I want wrestling to excel in today's current modernization of it. https://t.co/bqK6nOTcne— Trisha Parker (@JordynneGrace) July 27, 2019
Before reading. I am aware that I need to charge my phone ??— Austin Creed will hurt you in Wheel of Fortune (@XavierWoodsPhD) July 27, 2019
And I also am very much enjoying this civil discussion and think that more people should discuss things rather than angrily internet yelling at each other about them. @LanceStorm and @JordynneGrace are cool. pic.twitter.com/GnuOnrLEXR