Like many others, I am a huge professional wrestling fan. For many years, I have attended many events and have met many stars of the wrestling world. When the show comes to your town, or when you travel to a town where there is a show being put on, you may find the opportunity to meet different professional wrestlers, managers, announcers, and such. But did you know that there are things you should and should not do when meeting them, especially at places other than autograph signings or meet and greets? If not, then I will help you by listing them, so you can make your experience a good one.
Know When To Approach Them.
Do: When you see someone of the wrestling world, wait until the right time to approach them. This is usually when they are not busy or with their families.
Do Not: Approach a wrestler when they are spending time with their families, eating, on their cell phones, at a bank machine, checking in or out of a hotel, heading to the restroom, or doing anything else that may not be the right time. It is not hard to see when approaching them could be an invasion of their privacy.
If you do not know and approach them (for instance, we may not know they are heading to the bank machine or restroom), then they may tell you that it is not the best time. If that happens, just leave them to what they are doing.
Do: When the time is right, approach them nicely and make sure you are polite when you ask them for an autograph or pictures. Remember the magic words: “Please” and “Thank you”.
Do Not: Run up to them and shove your items in their face expecting them to sign. This could become annoying to them and even seem a little demanding. At the end of the day, they are not obligated to sign anything for you, so please be considerate when asking.
Do: Speak to them as you would like them to speak to you. Respect does go both ways.
Do Not: Scream in their faces or demand for them to sign or take pictures (nicely ask them to do so).
Do: If there is a crowd, be patient and wait for your turn to meet them.
Do Not: Yell, push through, or do anything to cause a scene. Everyone is trying to have a good time and the wrestler may be trying to get to as many people as possible.
Do: Once you get your autograph or picture, let someone else have a turn if it is too crowded (sometimes in smaller crowds, you may have the chance to talk to the wrestlers for a few minutes. But in bigger crowds, you may not have that chance).
Do Not: Overload them with a million things to sign. Some will happily sign anything and everything, and others may only sign one or two per person. Try not to keep them too long if they seem like they are in a rush or if they have other people to sign for.
Do: If you see they are with their families and other loved ones, respect their privacy and leave them alone until there is a better time to approach them.
Do Not: Bother them while they are with their families (some may not care, but others may) or take pictures of their loved ones. They may not want strangers snapping pictures of their families, especially their children.
Fights Are A No-No.
Do: Show respect when the wrestlers are out of their “characters” and trying to either sign for fans or just relax and live life. Wrestlers only play a character during the wrestling show. But they are still human beings doing their job.
Do Not: Start a fight with them just because you do not like them or they are a “bad guy” during the show. Many of those “bad guys” are actually very nice outside of the show. It is okay to boo them during the show, but when the show is over, be respectful. They are still doing what they can to entertain the fans during the show, starting fights with them is not necessary. More than likely, there will be security around and if you start any fights, you could get yourself into a lot of trouble.
Do Not Nag Them.
Do: Approach them when it is a right time and ask politely for an autograph or picture. They may be tired or in a rush, and may have to decline. Accept that and let them be. While some may not be as nice, a lot of them may decline in a friendly manner. So be friendly back. Maybe even tell them “That’s okay” or something along those lines. But once they decline, leave them alone.
Do Not: Follow them around and still expect them to sign. If they said no, then following them around may only annoy or anger them. Do not curse at them, insult them, or become disrespectful if they decline. They are only human and may not have the time to sign for everyone or anyone. Once again, this may cause a scene and anger them. Just because they decline, it does not make them mean. They may be exhausted and need to rest, or may have to head to the next show.
These are just a few of the “Do’s” and “Do Not’s” of meeting anyone in the professional wrestling business. A lot of these are common sense on how to treat others. These guys and gals do so much to put on a great show for the fans, so showing them respect when it’s all over is a big “Do”. They may have chosen to be in the public eye, but they are still human beings. Sadly, some aren’t as nice as others, and it is probably best to just try to ignore them when you encounter one instead of getting into an altercation. I can honestly say that all of the ones I have met were very nice. But we have to try and remember they do get tired or unhappy or have their bad days just like any of us. If we all treat them they way would want to be treated, then the experience of meeting them could be a fun one!