William Regal is all about creating a pro wrestling textbook on his new podcast “The Gentleman Villian”, and this week, he provides a valuable lesson to talent. Regal took a moment to speak about his colleague, Jim Ross, who Regals says gets painted in an unfair light when, in all actuality, the Boomer Sooner is aiming to be proactive.
“He gets people who criticize him for calling them out because he says that’s not a good pin,” Regal says of his longtime colleague. “Well, he’s trying to help you, he’s not trying to hurt you. He’s trying to help you by saying you need to tighten your pin up,’ or, ‘That’s a lackadaisical armbar there.’ Perhaps if you learn how to do it well, he could talk about it and then put you over.”
Regal knows about helping talent as it was part of his job working with WWE NXT, and notices a primary problem that currently goes across all wrestling locker rooms.
“You talking about the feelings I had when I was a teenager, I sometimes get that when I look around the building and I see people on their phones all day long when you’ve got one day a week to try to get better,” Regal said. “I would be trying to get better. I would be asking or trying to learn something, right? You’ve got enough time on your own to chat with people or do something else on your other days that you’re not at work. You should be trying to get better. I don’t care one way or the other, it’s entirely up to you.
“My job, where I came from in NXT, I would politely go and talk to people, ‘Maybe you might want to invest a bit more time into this, and then maybe you’d be better at it instead of complaining about everything,’ right? This isn’t a fair job, so take all that out of it. Sometimes it works out — it doesn’t matter how good you are — sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.”
Regal, like a lot of legendary talent in the business, has been one to pay his dues, and he, himself, has always been a student of the game but has pulled plenty of elements from outside of wrestling to add to his presence in the ring, at ringside, during promos, and behind the commentary booth.
“99% of us who have got to anywhere in this job or had a career out of it have had to put a lot of time and hard work into figuring it out. If you spend all your day messing about on your phone when you could be asking people and learning [from] people, that’s a problem to me. It is and it isn’t. It’s one of those things that I had to shut off in my brain,” he said. Regal is all about helping talent to get better, but two aspects that he holds higher than anything else are sincerity and a willingness to learn.
“I’m gonna say this out loud: don’t come to me asking me just because you think you gotta ask, because I will see through you quicker than you wished I could, and now that I’ve said that out loud, in my old job, it was my job and I would help everybody. If I think you’re just asking me now, ‘I better go and pretend that I’m asking,’ don’t waste my time because I’d rather be helping somebody who cares,” he said.
Regal brings up an interesting moment that took place while he was down in NXT and brings up one unnamed women’s wrestler who approached him and some familiar colleagues during the big time of transition for the black and gold brand.
“There was a point last year where one of the ladies who always asks questions and always tries to get better came up to myself, Samoa Joe, and Fit Finlay who were all [sitting] at a table, talking to each other. I looked around and she said, ‘Why don’t you go and instill some wisdom into somebody,’ to the three of us and I said, ‘I don’t want to interrupt their phone time.’ It’s about the priorities of you getting paid to get better at your job. Perhaps you should be getting better at your job, not trying to read about how good you are. Leave that until you get back to your room that night.
“I am open-minded and I am not like an old wrestler and do not want to go back to that, but you still got to put the time in to get there,” he said.
A lot of the talents in Regal’s Blackpool Combat Club lead by example when it comes to being on their phones. It’s very rare when you see the likes of Brian Danielson, Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli or even Wheeler Yuta be active on social media.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit “Gentleman Villian” and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
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