Free Character Writing Prompts #48: Professional Wrestlers
These character writing prompts are coming at you from the top rope while wearing a wacky costume. I spent a good deal of my childhood watching the stars from the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling try to take each others' heads off with roundhouse kicks and clotheslines. Movies like The Wrestler have done a great deal to help us understand the difficult lives these athletes must lead to take a great deal of punishment inside and outside the ring. While the sport has changed dramatically since its infancy, now more of a long-winded soap opera with minimal fighting thrown in for kicks, it will always have its share of colorful, ridiculous characters that can add a literal punch to a story.
Free Character Writing Prompts #48: Professional Wrestlers
1. On the wrestling stage he was seen as an American hero. He was beloved by kids and adults alike and his merchandise could be found in most cities worldwide. He was wrestling, but he certainly wasn't revered by his family. Even though he brought them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, he wasn't able to enjoy any of it with them due to his ridiculous travel schedule. His relationships with his wife and kids suffered and he considered retiring almost every year. He adored being adored and he wanted to figure out a way to be both an icon and a role model to his family. Will he be able to strike this important balance and why or why not?
2. He was an extremely talented performer and his strength combined with his freakish athleticism put him at the top of the federation's roster. The only issue is that the company, for the life of them, could not figure out how to market him as a character. They tried gimmicks throughout the years ranging from fighter pilots to surgeons to reincarnated dragon warriors and none of them really stuck. The fans ended up latching onto the game and started calling him by his real name, which worked better than any of the characters could have. He had decent success and even won a championship or two with his realistic "character choice." What must it have been like for him taking on so many different personas in a short period of time?
3. She had arms that most men would never even dream of possessing and as a result, she was feared among the rest of the league. It had been years since she'd faced a challenge as the undisputed women's champion and had even defended the title against several more misogynistic male characters. Her star had risen through viral videos of her feats of strength and she considered retiring to take on more potentially lucrative opportunities. She had grown up as somewhat of an overweight child and had used weightlifting and track and field sports as a way of getting in shape. Her parents were proud of her status as a role model, though they could have done without the beating up people. Will she decide to stay in the sport that helped her rise to fame or move onto other endeavors?
4. When she was at parties, with or without wrestlers, she often declined drinks or drugs because she had an image to uphold. After all, she was the beautiful girlfriend character of one of the roughest and toughest beasts in the league. The commissioner had made it very clear that he wanted her to remain a pristine angel in the eyes of the public. She liked partying but she liked having a job more and considering she'd previously had to take off her clothes for money, she wanted nothing to do with libations that might threaten her most lucrative job to date. As time went on, fans grew bored with her character and the commissioner wanted to change her image into that of an adulteress. Will she keep the job and tarnish her image or walk away to preserve her angelic status?
5. He was the bad guy to rival all bad guys and had taken on the persona of a terrorist just a few months before the 9/11 attacks. After such a horrible event, he wanted to change the character immediately but the owner of the league said that it would make him the most effective villain of all time. He complied as long as he didn't mention the specific acts of the attack. He had never heard such a deafening chorus of boos for any wrestler in his lifetime as he did the following week. Viewership for the league rose astronomically as the good guys teamed up to battle his squad week after week. He received a hefty raise, but he wasn't sure if he was safe on the street anymore. What does he do to ensure the safety of him and his family outside of the ring?
6. He was the pure, counterculture, antihero of the league and fans ate up his shtick with a spoon. He would guzzle beer and curse off fans as often as he'd rake an opponent's eyes or kick him in the balls and the audiences around the world loved him for it. In real life, he was a genuinely nice guy who often donated to the homeless and took great care of his family. Because of his image though, people treated him with kid gloves because they were afraid he'd beat them up if they spoke the wrong way to him. He laughed at their conduct and he often gave hugs to break the tension. He figured a few people who knew the true him here and there wouldn't hurt. Does he enjoy playing his loveable jerk character when he's in the ring as a change of pace from real life?
7. A former acrobat for the circus, she was signed to the league to promote their new high-flying image. She was able to leap off the top turnbuckle and do incredible feats that made the audience cheer with glee. The work paid more than the circus had and she was happy to have her face known in more circles as an incredible athlete. She used this high profile position to become something of a female role model in the sports industry. She posed for magazines and did interviews and even acted in a few movies. What does she like the most about her new status and how will she spend her time when she eventually retires?
8. She was the embodiment of an evil ex-girlfriend taken up to 11. This scary, over-mascara wearing creature had been one of the women champions of the league before knee injuries forced her to take up managerial duties for one of the main heels. She was known well for her ability to scratch opponents with her long fingernails while her partner distracted the referee in the ring. She knew she looked ridiculous but she loved being a total ham in front of the crowd. She looked almost cute without her wild makeup on and her husband, one of her main enemies in the league, loved spending every possible minute with her. What is an average day like for her when she's not doing an event?
9. As one of the smallest wrestlers in the history of the sport, he was almost always the underdog in every given ring situation. This also made him one of the fan favorites by far as he was always going up against some of the most incredible of odds. Whenever he won, the crowd went wild as it made them feel like they could tackle some of the tough challenges in their own lives. He had dreamed of being a professional wrestler constantly in his youth and wished every day for another growth spurt. He was beside himself with joy when hard work and opportunity combined to get him in front of an audience. What were some of the things he had to do to get into the league despite his small stature?
10. While she wasn't a wrestler per say, her association with her husband, the owner and main string puller in the league, she had been roped into more professional wrestling matches than most amateurs who had a dream to make it to the big time. When her husband suggested she get involved in the performance side of the business, she laughed, but he was extremely convincing. Through his efforts, she had been a guest referee, a guest commentator and she even had a tag-team match against her daughter and one of the league's main brutes. She enjoyed the opportunity of getting in shape, though actually hitting people felt strange to her. What was going through her head during her epic tag-team match against her daughter?
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.