I was at a WWE match once when Goldberg was under contract. After the show a small crowd gathered to watch the wrestlers gather to be taken away. A few had their own vehicle but most gathered onto a pair of passenger vans. This took a long while and people shouted out at that their favorites as you caught glimpses. Most were cordial and waved at the crowd, a few ignored the crowd, but it was what Goldberg did that was amazing.
Out of all the WWE talent at his televised show, Goldberg came up the ramp with some security and signed autographs. He was nice and kept it moving as the crowd gathered around him. He teased a young boy about wearing a Stone Cold t-shirt and not his. A real pro. The question of mine is that with all the talent needing to get over with an audience, why no one else come up and sign a few autographs? In my humble opinion this raises the question, did Goldberg reach the heights of wrestling because he did what no one else was willing? Did Goldberg sign autographs because he was a top wrestler, or did he become a top wrestler because he signed autographs?
Having read both The Rock’s book The Rock Says and Stone Cold’s book The Stone Cold Truth there are some interesting revelations that led to the true superstars success. Both The Rock and Stone Cold’s success can only be compared to likes of Andre The Giant or Hulk Hogan.
What was intriguing about The Rock is how much he worked on his character and his promos. Spending a lot of time developing and crafting, even taking his character out of the writer’s hands. Compare this to hearing so many wrestlers complain about what creative is doing to their characters when they could be taking charge of their characters.
To help assist them with character development is taking a page from Stone Cold’s book. Steve Austin carried a notebook around and anytime he had an idea for his character he wrote it down. Again taking responsibility for his character and continually working on it. The Rock and Stone Cold doing what others do not.
Getting to the WWE is a long and hard road I am sure. The school, training, and paying of dues. Then there is the hit and miss of getting booked from talent. I can see why many wrestlers coast when they get contracted, because they see getting contracted as the end of the journey. The reality is that it only continues and those that reach the heights know that. Stepping up and doing more after busted you butt time and again just to get where you are., is something that very few wrestlers do. I know most have it in them, because that is what it took to get to The Show.
This is success in any field though, there is no stopping just something new. But consider that the extra is doing things like signing autographs, working new promos, and being 24 hour consistent on character development is not too much more to do than the next guy. But the gain is extraordinary.
Check out this TBBT episodes list.