Pro wrestling is a grueling career. They put their bodies on the line every night. It’s far from the office job me and you have. Muscles are pulled, bones broken, and bruises the size of our faces happen on a daily basis. Training is tougher than we could imagine. So as you can imagine, downtime is vitally important.
We ourselves all need a hobby to keep us occupied and transport us away from thinking about typing all day, or perhaps painting or driving. So, it’s no wonder people who get beaten for a living need it too.
No matter what the combat sport, athletes thrive on getting away and doing their own thing. You only have to look at Floyd Mayweather and his lavish pastimes to see that. And at TNA it’s no different.
Following a night of rough and tumble on a Wednesday evening, many of TNA’’s superstars like to get away, including the head honchos themselves.
Let’s take a look at the organization’s finest athletes and what they get up to in their spare time.
Of course we’ll start at the very top with Dixie Carter, the President of TNA wrestling.
She’s been a staple behind the scenes of TNA for well over a decade and has helped with the sharp rise of TNA around the world. She’s brought the likes of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff to the corporation as well as Bobby Lashley. All of which of course takes some negotiation.
So naturally she has plenty of hobbies, and you might be surprised to learn what they are.
There’s no doubt that wrestling is a masculine sport. It sees muscular men put themselves to the test non-stop. So you’d think it may rub off on the women that involve themselves in the sport. Not Dixie.
No, Dixie is an avid shopper and loves horses, enjoying the hobbies which every little girl hopes to have when they grow up.
Naturally, we’ll get to see all this should the rumored reality TV show around the president come to fruition. The idea is to follow how Carter runs her business in a male dominated industry, and will of course show the 50-year-old enjoying downtime away from the ring.
Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Wrestling is the lifeblood of the Guerrero family. Chavo is the nephew of WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero and the son of Chavo Sr. amongst a wealth of other wrestling members of the family.
He’s become one of the most famous wrestlers on the planet, being a major part of TNA between 2012 and 2013. With the company he teamed up with Hernandez, winning the Tag Team Championship before leaving in late 2013.
Outside of the ring, Guerrero Jr. has an unlikely connection with music. The 44-year-old Californian has become the inspiration behind an American folk rock band, forming a friendship with The Mountain Goats.
In fact, the band wrote an album dedicated entirely to the world of professional wrestling, with Guerrero involved.
Tito Ortiz is a beast of a man. He’s a mixed martial arts legend and his return to TNA in 2013 was one of the most talked about moments in the company’s history.
It was a big coup for TNA to get the star, who made his name in UFC before crossing over, joining the likes of Bobby Lashley and CM Punk who have also transitioned into wrestling.
That’s not to mention a host of other areas in which he’s dabbled. The 40-year-old may be used to being filmed during his matches, but he’s also no stranger to being in front of a camera outside of the ring either, having starred in a number of movies and even a music video for metal band Korn.
His first foray was in the 2008 comedy Zombie Strippers, before playing alongside Jet Li in Cradle 2 the Grave. However, when it comes to hobbies, Ortiz has taken his competitive edge onto the poker tables. He travelled to the Bahamas at the beginning of this year to take part in a popular live poker event.
In a Q&A following the event he compared the fighting game with poker saying, “Reading people is a huge part of this and I noticed this from when I first started. Guys have good hands and they get all excited, they’re calling super-fast. The pros are really good and won’t flinch, they’ll bet, re-raise, call, calm and collected the way they do it. My fight game is the same. If I try to attack someone without having a good defense up, or thinking what’s going to come next, I’ll make a mistake and you can lose.”
Known more commonly as Jay Lethal, the six-time X Division Champion is one of the true characters in wrestling and spent many years lighting up TNA. He had multiple ring names over the years including Hydro, J.R. Lethal, and RPM.
Between 2006 and 2008 he was Black Machismo and spent much of that time defending his X Division Championship, as well as making his first move onto the big screen, landing a small role in Mickey Rourke’s critically acclaimed film The Wrestler.
It’s music again which is an interest for a former TNA star however. His style entering the ring as Black Machismo was very glam rock, but it’s in fact rap which the wrestler is more interested in, creating his own ring walk entrance music and also claiming he’s created an entire album.
For over a decade AJ Styles was a TNA staple. He won the Heavyweight Championship three times and the Tag Team title four times with three different partners. That’s not to mention every other title and award possible.
He formed an incredible partnership with Christopher Daniels picking up Tag Team of the Year back in 2006 in a number of publications.
But like any great athlete, AJ Styles needs downtime and he’s seemingly enthusiastic about video games.
Claiming he once played Street Fighter 2 so much he rubbed his thumbs raw, but just bandaged them up and carried on playing, such was his obsession.
He’s also a big fan of the Mario Brothers and Metal Gear Solid. We wonder if he plays TNA Impact! Wrestling too?
In high pressure jobs – both mentally and physically – downtime is often the thing which keeps people sane. Wrestling is no different. In some cases, like poker, the two sports cross over quite well, while music seems to be a popular pastime just as it would be with you or me.
We’ll get a closer look behind the scenes and the lives of wrestlers should Dixie Carter’s reality show take off. We hope it does. It would be another feather in the cap for TNA and allow us closer to what goes on behind closed doors more than ever before. And we’ll certainly welcome that.