The 10 Greatest Jobs in Wrestling and MMA
Some people say the greatest job in the world is being a wrestler or fighter, but those people would be wrong.
After all, those jobs require you to actually work. And how exactly is a job supposed to be great if it requires work??
So here now are the 10 greatest jobs in wrestling and MMA, and how you can get them. Play close attention, because we know of what we speak.
10. Sparring Partner
Favorite examples: n/a (most live in anonymity)
Duties: Wear protective gear and get your ass kicked by UFC’s top stars.
-Live in total and complete anonymity. Reap the benefits of living like a fighter and hanging around celebrities, but without the hassle that fame can bring.
-No one will f*ck with you. Sure, walk down the street in downtown Oakland, and chances are, you’ll get stabbed to death. Walk down the streets with Chuck Liddell by your side, and no one will say a peep. Instead, they’ll bow, shiver, quiver, and run for the hills if you make a fist.
-Total loyalty. If someone starts picking a fight with you or shoving you around, just whistle and the fighter you’re training with will rush over and beat the guy’s ass. The bully will run to his car faster than you can say “Rampage Jackson is my friend, care to meet him?”
-TV time. Whenever UFC does its All Access show on fighters, they always show some training partners in the background. This might, if you play your cards right, be enough to get you laid in Vegas.
-Pain. Even with the gear, getting smacked in the head hurts. And who wants to deal with pain? That’s the fighters’ job.
-Reliability. A true dream job lets you come and go as you please. As a partner, you have to be there at all times, every day, and can’t be late. If you screw up, you’ll still be a sparring partner, but without the protective gear, if you catch our drift.
-You’re a slave. Expect to be treated with no respect. You’re replaceable; a nameless, faceless nothing. They might have your back in a fight, but you’ll be so anonymous that they might think you’re the one doing the jumping instead of being jumped. End result: you die.
How to get this job: Hang out where fighters train, and inquire within. Bring a couple bottles of pain pills; you’ll need ’em.
9. Personal Assistant
Favorite examples: n/a (again, most live in anonymity)
Duties: Follow around upper management and do all their dirty work (memos, email, scheduling, appointments, and sometimes, personal errands).
-Rub elbows with the rich and famous. Vince McMahon has a personal assistant, and I’d suspect Dana White does as well. You’re their right-had man (or woman), and they depend on you day and night. You know all their business and dealings, and you can tell people you know Vince McMahon and Dana White, and they’ll be jealous of you.
-You’ll know the dirt. Can you imagine the dirty secrets Vince’s personal assistant knows?? You’d know about all the affairs, sexual escapades, steroid secrets, marital problems, financial details, and personal matters. You’d know what Vince and Dana REALLY think about certain people. The knowledge you’d know would be enough to sign a huge book deal, but you’d never be able to tell anyone.
-Sweet Christmas gifts and bonuses. Rich folks always take care of their personal assistants. Christmas, birthdays, and occasional bonuses can be jackpot paydays. If you have real dirt on Vince, even better. For example, if Vince’s assistant knew about an affair he had and didn’t want Linda to know about, he’d give you anything you want in order to keep your mouth shut.
-Crazy hours. You’d have to work Vince and Dana’s insane work hours, which could be 80 hours a week. You’d also be on call 24/7, and have to travel wherever they go. In other words, it’s a great life, but you’d have to devote your entire life to it. Forget about having a life or family of your own.
-Reliability. You have to perform. You need to be the kind of person who can dot I’s, cross T’s, and be detailed to a fault. If you f*ck up, their asses get in trouble. And trust me, you don’t want Vince and/or Dana mad at you. On the flipside, if you do a good job, they’ll be incredibly loyal to you.
How to get this job: Wait until the existing personal assistants die. There are only a handful of successful people in MMA and wrestling, so positions are limited, if not already filled up. It doesn’t look good, so give it up. Unless you’re a hot chick who actually has a brain. Then, and only then, do you stand a chance.
8. Ring Card Girl
Favorite examples: UFC’s ring card girls (Arianny Celeste and Ali Sonoma)
Duties: Hold up a big card at the start of every round, walk around the ring, walk down the stairs, wink, and wave to the camera while looking sexy.
-Easy as pie. Few jobs are as easy as this. Even if you managed to mess it up, no one will care, because guys are incredibly forgiving of beautiful women.
-Best seat in the house. Ringside, and not only is the seat free, you’re paid to sit there. Only judges and reporters have that luxury, but they have to actually work. Ring card girls do almost nothing.
-You can f*ck the fighters. Ok, to me this is hardly a perk, but for a woman who likes guys with good bodies and decent money, along with a minor bit of fame, being a ring card girl is a sure-fire way to sleep with any fighter you want who is single (or married, for that matter). And sure enough, both of UFC’s ring card girls are dating UFC fighters.
-The pay. Unlike most of the jobs on this list, you can’t live off the wages of a ring card girl without getting a full-time job. Then again, if you can trick a rich fighter into marrying you, you’re set for life.
-You have to be a chick. I’m assuming that that 99% of the people reading this are men (women don’t read this site unless we write about Matt or Jeff Hardy), which means you aren’t eligible for the job. Even if you got a sex change, you don’t stand a chance. Plus, even if you’re a woman, there are no job openings available until the current girls hit the wall and get old or fat.
-Jealousy. Women will hate you. Hot women face jealousy from ugly women anyway, so at least they’re used to it. But being hot AND a ring card girl? Look out.
How to get this job: Go to Vegas, pull one of the big name fighters aside as soon as you see them, and blow him. Make them your boyfriend, and have them beg Dana to hire you. Better yet, start with a smaller league, like IFL or EXC. But the advice stays the same: start unzipping.
7. Backstage Interviewer
Favorite examples: Jeremy Borash, Todd Grisham, Leticia Cline.
Duties: Hold a microphone and ask wrestlers scripted questions.
-Hang out with wrestlers. Everyone wishes they could hang out backstage with their favorite wrestlers (and divas) and enjoy the camaraderie. This job allows that.
-TV time. You’ll be in several TV segments on highly rated shows. This could lead to fame, second tier groupies, and there’s always the possibility of a promotion to color commentator or TV announcer.
-Extra-curricular activities. Sometimes interviewers do odd wrestling jobs on the side that can be cool, like helping out with production, booking, and writing.
-The pay. Not big pay, but enough to where it can be your full-time job. Plus, the fame can lead to side work like autographs, appearances, and Polaroids.
-Stupidity. Writers for TNA and WWE are incredibly stupid. As a result, you’ll be involved in lame-ass angles, skits, and have to deliver scripted lines written by Vince Russo and Brian Gerwitz. Talk about pure torture.
-Humility. When the Rock was at his peak, he’s make the interviewers sing, dance, bark, and do all sorts of humiliating acts on camera. Prepare to join the Kiss My Ass Club with your parents in the front row.
-Looks matter. If you’re a dude, Pat Patterson and Kevin Dunn need to think you’re hot enough to be on camera. If you’re a chick, the heterosexual producers will need to think you’re masturbatory material. If you’re not hot, you ain’t getting’ the spot.
How to get this job: Look as wimpy as possible, and be a model (male or female). Male models can only get hired in WWE (Pat Patterson loves black haired men), and females stand a great shot in TNA if they know how to please or have posed nude in a porn magazine. Oh, and never admit you’re a wrestling fan. Believe it or not, that works against you.
Favorite examples: Jim Cornette, Paul Heyman, Jimmy Hart, Bobby Heenan.
Duties: Give good promo’s, carry around an object (tennis racquet, cell phone, megaphone, etc), and jump up and down at ringside.
-You’re a wrestler… without the pain. You do the talking, and they do the bumping. Jim Cornette helped the Midnight Express draw a ton of money, but it was Bobby and Dennis (and Stan) who had to actually wrestle. Jim just stood outside and acted as annoying as possible to get crowd heat.
-The pay. The top managers in the industry have all made very good money. Cornette, Heenan, Heyman, Hart, JJ Dillon, Paul Bearer, etc have received handsome salaries in the past for the work they’ve done. Not top level money, but certainly more than the lower card guys who bust their asses, break their backs, and take thumbtacks to the head for gas money.
-The fame. People speak of Heyman and Cornette with reverence, and both are famous enough to make money elsewhere. Same goes for Heenan, Hart, and basically all the greats. This means more money, more career opportunities, and most importantly, more poontang.
-Offshoot duties. Being a good manager can lead to all sorts of awesome jobs. Cornette was part of the NWA booking committee in 1989, the WWF committee in 1997, ran his own promotion SMW in the early 90s, and headed up the OVW developmental territory for years. He developed future stars like Edge, Batista, Cena, Lesnar, Orton, and tons of others. He became color commentator for WCW, and parlayed his managerial fame into all sorts of side jobs. Paul Heyman got a sweet contract under Kip Frey in WCW, sued WCW for a ton of money, led ECW to international prominence, and later got a nice gig with WWE. Jimmy Hart became Hulk Hogan’s manager and produced music. JJ Dillon became a huge influence backstage in WWF and WCW. If you’re good and know your stuff, the opportunities are endless.
-Occasional bumps. Occasional bumps are horrible, because managers are not physically in shape to take them. Cornette’s knees are shot from his fall from the scaffold at Starrcade ’86. Heenan has had neck surgery and all managers at some point have to take some real nasty bumps. Most end up with permanent damage. Who needs that??
-The road. The life of a wrestler has its perks, but it can also be incredibly tiring. As a manager, you’re on the road constantly, living in hotels and airports. Cornette got so sick of it that he now refuses to fly. No one who is normal needs that hassle in their lives.
How to get this job: Grow a set of tits, inflate them with saline, and spread your legs. Sorry dude, the days of Heenan and Cornette are over, and these days, only divas with implants can be managers.
Favorite examples: Paul Heyman, Jim Cornette, Gabe Sapolsky
Duties: Do everything you daydreamed about as a kid: make matches, decide which guys get pushed, and write storylines and TV shows.
-So much f*ckin’ fun. In theory, this is a dream job. It doesn’t always turn out that way, but what’s not to like about being booker? You get to make the matches, decide who wins, and control the essence of the TV product. There isn’t anyone reading this who hasn’t daydreamed about being booker and being in charge of making matches. Orgasmic.
-Power. Some mid-carder is giving you lip? Job him in the opener. Wanna see Torrie Wilson’s rack? Book a nip slip in a bra and panties match. Wanna elevate that underrated high flyer that fans like but HHH doesn’t? Book him to pin HHH clean in the middle. You are God, and all the guys the locker room are your disciples.
-Money. Starting salary for an entry level writer on the WWE creative team is around $100,000. That’s decent money for that part of the country, but considering the hours you have to work (and the stress), it’s probably a little low. Still, that’s entry level. Brian Gewirtz probably makes five times that, which is a shame of immeasurable proportions (we’d pay that much to have Brian fired).
-Autonomy. If you can pull off being in charge of the company (like Heyman and Cornette were of ECW and SMW, respectively), you run the show. No one to answer to. You’re in charge, and no one questions your judgment.
-Teams suck. Being part of a booking “committee” probably blows. If you’re smart, you can have the right idea and know exactly what to do, but some nimrod next to you has to chime in with his stupid ideas, and the head booker (usually a nimrod too) makes the decision. I’d love to be booker, but put me on a team with dimwits like Russo or Dusty and I’d hang myself.
-Vince’s “vision.” People dream about being a WWE writer, but it would suck. First of all, you can’t write what you want. Your ideas have to conform to Vince’s vision, and his vision is guys juiced up to the max punching and kicking each other and skits full of bathroom humor and no-talent divas with oversized implants. Imagine writing under those constraints? Enough to drive you mad.
-You’d have to answer to Stephanie. Stephanie McMahon is a micromanaging wench who tries to control your each and every move. This woman literally will go through your phone records to see if you called anyone in the media (this is not a joke). She and her husband will be the death of that company after Vince kicks the bucket. Working for her is a nightmare, and anyone who has done so will admit it privately.
-People suck. Just because you’re booker doesn’t mean anyone will listen to you. You might think having the Road Warriors job to Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk is good for business, but try telling Hawk that. Guys like Sid Vicious, Hawk, Lex Luger, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and Bruiser Brody were notorious for refusing to do jobs. Good luck trying to do that. For example, Austin vs. Hogan would draw huge. And it will never happen, because neither guy will refuse to lose. Suddenly your dream job has turned into a nightmare that you can’t wake up from.
Favorite examples: The Hebners, Brian Hildebrand, Charles Robinson, Nick Patrick, Randy Anderson, etc.
Duties: Be the 3rd man in the ring, wear plain uniform, and enforce the “rules.”
-Security. If you’re reliable and follow directions well, you’ve got a job for life. The Hebners made a long career out of being referees, until they f*cked it up.
-TV time. Frankly, I never even notice who is the referee in the match, yet he’s right there on my screen and in the ring. The ref is always there, yet no one pays attention to him. But it’s still TV time, you still get recognized, and you still get laid.
-Being small is actually a bonus. I’m 5′-8″ and weigh 145 pounds. Wrestling is out of the question for me, but if I were to be a ref, I’d get hired. Why? Because the smaller you are, the bigger you make the wrestlers look. Illusion is everything, and Vince would pay you good money to make Brian Kendrick and Paul London somehow look bigger than they are (or aren’t).
-Camaraderie. Earl Hebner was Bret Hart’s best friend, and other referees are buddies with other wrestlers. They trust you and will look out for you. You’ll get to hear all the gossip, but you’re far removed enough to not get involved in all that drama. You’ll learn all about the business behind the scenes, without taking any bumps or dealing with pain.
-Occasional ass-kicking. If a crazy fan jumps in the ring, you have carte blanch to kick his f*cking ass. The beauty is that you don’t even have to be big. For example, Brian Hildebrand, who is very small and skinny, once tackled a guy on a live Nitro. A crazy fan isn’t paying attention when he hits the ring, so all you have to do is take him down. By that point, either security or one of the wrestlers will take over and really beat the guy’s ass. Since you’re small, you come off like a hero. Win-win situation.
-Dependability. You need to be alert 100% of the time. You’re keeping time cues, moving out of the way of high spots, memorizing finishes and sequences, pretending to enforce rules that everyone knows are phony baloney, and dragging out a 10-second count to 3 minutes.
-Ref bumps. Referees must hate bookers like Dusty who always do ref bumps. Wrestlers like the Steiners have just wrestled 15 stiff, hard fought minutes, and then they have to do a ref bump. They think you’re big and tough like a wrestler, and throw you over the ropes. But you’re a 150-pound wimp, and you’re flying head first onto the concrete. Not fun. Many refs get injured by relatively simply moves, because they’re small and not trained. Result: you’re in the emergency room with a gaping head wound.
-Arm pain. Take your hand, raise it as high as possible, and slam it on your mattress. Do that 50 times a night and that’s what it feels like to count a pin. I bet Earl’s arm kills him after all those years of near falls.
-Lying. Earl Hebner was asked to screw his best friend (the Montreal screwjob). His job was on the line, even though he morally was against it. He lost a friend, and looked like a total douche bag sprinting to the parking lot where brother Dave was sitting inside a running car, waiting for him so they could skip town. How pathetic. Expect to do the same.
-Normalcy. You have to look and dress like a clean cut preppie. If you’re a rock n roll guy, you better cut your hair and change your wardrobe.
-Jobs are scarce. Good luck finding a ref job opening. You need to know someone, or wait for an opening that almost never happens. Don’t hold your breath.
-Don’t even think about MMA. MMA refs have way too much pressure on them and have to memorize all sorts of complicated rules. They risk their health by jumping between two angry fighters to stop the fight. Be a wrestling ref, which is far less stressful.
3. Hanger-on/Posse Member
Favorite examples: n/a (most live in anonymity)
Duties: Accompany fighters to the octagon, collect their clothes, stand around at ringside, celebrate their wins, give them water between rounds, and travel in a pack together like a bad-ass gang (no knowledge of fighting required).
-Fantasy. This is a lazy man’s dream job. You do nothing, hang out with tough guys, pretend to be tough, go to all the shows, and DO NOTHING. It doesn’t get any better than this.
-Sloppy seconds. Fighters in Vegas get laid a lot. As a hanger-on, you’ll get their leftovers, and have more time to do them.
-Free perks. Your tickets, drinks, hotels, and expenses are paid for. You get the best seats at the fights. You even get your own ring entrance behind your fighter. You can even climb the cage and wave your arms around to rile up the crowd. You can hold a large sign or Brazilian flag, or whatever those corner guys do.
-Not much is expected of you. Between rounds, you massage the fighter’s shoulders, give him water, slap him repeatedly on the back, wish him good luck, and keep a stock of mouthpieces at bay. If your guy is knocked unconscious, just feign emotion and sadness while the doctor works feverishly to revive him. Before long, he’ll be up and alert, and you just clap and high five him. Shake the hands of the opposing fighter’s hangers-on, and then go party. It’s a great life.
-Protection. If people know you’re Matt Hughes’ posse member, you’re untouchable. If you do get touched, just whistle and Matt will come and ground and pound the guy to death.
-Extremely hard to land a job. Your only way in is befriending an unknown fighter before he’s famous, and stay his friend and hope he becomes famous. If he’s already famous, you don’t stand a chance; everyone is competing to be a hanger-on. Call up that old bully from high school, be his friend, and convince him to be a fighter. If he does well, you’ve got a great job living vicariously through him.
-Security. The greatness of your job lives and dies with the success of your fighter. Mirko Cro Cop’s hangers-on are probably not happy campers right now.
-Loyalty. You can’t be a hanger-on to more than one fighter. So you gotta pick the right guy and hope it lasts. If it doesn’t, start befriending other 21-year-old fighters before they’re well known.
Favorite examples: Dave Meltzer, Kevin Iole
Duties: Write about wrestling and/or MMA for a major newspaper or website.
-Life is grand. If you’re not lazy and actually want to do something creative and respectable, nothing beats being a reporter. You get paid to write about what you love. You get the best seats in the house, free of charge. Travel is covered by your employer. You take no bumps or punches. In essence, you’re living the dream life.
-Power. If you’re with a big company like Yahoo or Fox, fighters and promoters will kiss your ass for positive coverage. Dana White will invite you backstage and give you exclusive interviews. You have the power to reach several thousand readers, so what you say matters.
-Money. At best, you earn a full-time living. At worst, it’s extra spending money. Still, you’re doing what you love, so money is secondary.
-Paid vacation. Imagine Yahoo flies you out to Vegas, pays your hotel, pays your meals, and covers all travel expenses?? Anything you pay for is tax deductible to boot. You can stay an extra day and party in Vegas. And technically you’re WORKING. Whatever!
-It’s work. Being a hanger-on requires no work. Being a reporter, however, requires all sorts of skills and rules. It’s no walk in the park. But if you’re smart, it’s great.
-Honesty hurts. You have to write the truth, and often that will piss off guys like Vince and Dana. They might hate you for awhile or ban you from their shows. But it usually boils over once they realize the power and influence you have.
-Pay could be low. Journalists are notoriously underpaid. Even Yahoo is stingy, so to make a living you’ll have to live modestly. More likely, you’ll be with a company less known than Yahoo, which means even less pay. You’ll have to supplement your income somehow.
-Physical violence. Any time you write negative comments about someone, that person could get pissed and hunt you down. When your industry is MMA and wrestling, you’re talking about people who know how to break bones for a living. Imagine writing that Gabe Gonzaga has no ground game, and the next morning you open the door to find the crazy Brazilian on your porch, kicking you in the head the way he did to Cro Cop this year. End result: you’re unconscious and having seizures in front of your neighbors.
-Embarrassment. Your photo would be on the front page of your column, newsletter, or whatever it is you write for. Now the whole world will get to see what a f*ckin’ geek you are. There’s nothing worse than a geek who got beat up in fights his whole life writing and pretending he knows something about fighting.
1. Ring Announcer
Favorite examples: Michael Buffer, Bruce Buffer, Howard Finkel, Lillian Garcia
Duties: Dress up, stand in the middle of the ring, and announce the fighters in a deep, booming voice.
-Greatest job. Ever. Are there any two people on Earth luckier than the Buffer brothers?? Michael stands there like a big dope and says “Let’s get ready to rumble” and became a Goddamn millionaire. Poor saps spend 10+ years in medical school to make $100,000 and work 80 hours a week, while that talking mannequin lives in luxury for saying one stupid catch phrase. Who’s the idiot here?? Everyone not named Michael Buffer, that’s who.
And then there’s brother Bruce, who has no catch phrase except “Iiiiiiit’s time!!” He only got hired because brother Michael was too expensive, and now he’s living his own life of luxury for doing nothing except having the Buffer name. We’ve all seen Bruce; he’s robotic. He looks like he has no personality, no thoughts, no brain, no use. He just has an “on” switch that, when pressed, makes him stand in the octagon and announce.
-Poontang up the ass. Michael Buffer is a good looking guy, and believe me, that guy has bedded his share of babes. Bruce… I’m not so sure about him, but he’s famous enough to where he can definitely do well. Those two guys are so F’n brilliant for making so much money for doing nothing. They make more than most of the fighters they announce. Do they get punched in the face for it? Maybe by their groupies’ boobs in some sort of kinky sex act, but not by some tattooed fighter with heavy-handed fists. They announce the fight, sit right down, have the best seat in the house, and repeat that process for every fight. Women see this and want to sleep with them. End result: multiple orgasms for all.
-$$$$. The Buffers don’t come cheap. Granted, they have a name and presence, but all they do is announce the fighters. They do it well, but how hard can it be to learn?? You don’t need 4 years of college, a master’s, and years of experience. You need a voice box, which 99.9% of us are born with. They call this work?? My plumber works. My doctor works. My landscaper works. The Buffers, my friend, don’t work.
-Paid to party. The Buffers not only get a huge check, but paid trans, paid hotel, paid expenses, and all sorts of perks like good seats, VIP treatment, and rubbing elbows with the stars. And women. Lots and lots of women. They’re geniuses.
-High-priced gigs. The Buffers just don’t do fights. They have gigs every week, work when they feel like it, show up, and do nothing except announce. Is that really all it takes? Shoot, give me a catch phrase. How about, “Let’s get ready to do nothing at all of substance, get endless amounts of Botox, get hair transplants, wear a nice suit, talk in a deep voice, and make millions and millions of dolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllars!!!”
-None. Except jealousy. By me, by you, by the fighters, by everyone in the arena, and probably by Dana White himself. If you can deal with everyone wanting your life, then this is the world’s greatest job. Where do I apply?
Get crackin’ on that resume, folks.