In Funk's Corner

Safety in Professional Wrestling

Dory Funk Jr. and Carmine Guarascio on the set of !BANG! - Photo by Marti Funk
E-mail Dory Funk Jr.
Visit Dory's Home Page

Carmine Guarascio has been with the Funking Conservatory for one week.
We are proud of his progress and dedication to achieving his goals.
Following is his story.

The illusion of psychedelic colors transfixing amidst an auditorium of people assembled to view the presentation
(or "contest") between two (or more) athletes within the confines of a cable roped, firm canvas ring has never
been a more realistic, tangible reality for me than it has on the dates of June 1st to June 8th 2003.

Having grown up surrounded by Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan loving Italian immigrants, professional wrestling
has always bled it's roots into the walls of my Bronx New York apartment. The glamour, pain, and glory was a
consistent flirtation between myself and NBC/WWF's presentation of Saturday Night's Main Event. Whether it
was the awe I stood in as a two year old boy starring at a 14 inch plastic doll of Hulk Hogan on a Christmas
morning, or the cheering and jeering I'd bellow out from my lungs when the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
would attempt to "buy off" his opponents.  The entertainment, the athleticism but more over, the love I could
feel in my heart during these times was and is unexplainable.

After developing a profound interest in the history of this industry, as well as collecting what is roughly a 600+
VHS/DVD collection of bouts and Professional Wrestling related material, the metamorphosis between being
a spectator and being an aspect of this industry would come to fold.

Following intense investigation which would include consulting cemented stars of the industry, promoters as well
as historians, The Funking Conservatory run by the former NWA Heavyweight Champion Dory Funk Jr. became
the epitome of where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to do with myself.

There is a fine line between dreaming, and pursuing the dream. The dream in it of itself is powerful, to dream to
be the CEO of a successful business is a commonly sought ideal, the dream to knock a grand slam bottom of the
ninth, world series game is a prominent dream in the eyes of Baseball fans and stars, my dream was and is to
wrestle. I know I share this dream with many, and can only encourage those out there, who have this dream, to
acknowledge it's foundation, acknowledge it's existence within you, and at the very least, try.

 I have never said that I wanted to be the Champion of the World, I have never said that I need to be a multi-million
dollar superstar, in my heart I have acknowledged a want to become a party of this giant industry, this family of people.
That is my want. To be apart of this family, this team, and can only hope that in someway I may give that feeling to a
person out there, that I got by a simple interview or a particular move. The want to be a part of this team and this
business that has brought much joy to me, has helped me to design this plan of joining the team at the Funking
Conservatory, and brother, I have learned more than you can imagine.

There are slight differences between being a fan with a dream, and being a professional wrestler. Although fans may
converse on whether or not the match was "good" or whether or not the wrestlers were authentic "Athletes" a fan can
never give a fully appreciative opinion on these things, unless they know what it's like to be in the ring themselves.

Under Dory Funk Jr's guidance, a man who has wrestled in arenas that have been sold out across the world, I have
found that the spark of fire within me for this business, as a fan has only grown into a bigger flame since enduring the
physical training of a professional wrestler.  There is so much to learn in this industry, and Dory Funk Jr. has provided
me with his insight, his personal history to make my quest to join this family a fun, and enjoyable experience.  After
discovering the forms, the execution, the "way of the ring" if you will, a fan, or a man like myself with ambition, can
only gain a further respect for the people who are sometimes labeled as "phonies."

Would someone like New York Knicks hall of fame Center Patrick Ewing do well as a professional wrestler? Initially
one may think so given the mans size, yet there is a deeper psychology to this business that a man like Patrick Ewing
would never understand. Physically he is a specimen, but on the court, Ewing took more shots than he would make,
and as a New Yorker, has given our city many wins, but equally as many loses, and no championship to boot. Through
Dory Funk Jr's Funking Conservatory you will learn that this business has it's roots in some of the most basic human
concepts; team and friendship.  Without one another (the workers) this business would truly not survive, and the youth
that is fed into the industry would never be given a fair break.  In other facilities, you may be taught to take care of
yourself, to make yourself the best fighter in the professional wrestling ring. I know, because I have seen other facilities
and spoken with members of other facilities. Where have people with that sort of training seen themselves following
their training? Back in a place which is not necessarily bad, but is definitely different, that place is the stands, the fan
seats.  Through Dory Funk Jr. who has trained with the likes of Kurt Angle, Christian, Test, Rico many wrestlers
successful today, I have learned that this family is about nurturing one another, and understanding this industry.
There is more to it than being the biggest and the baddest, and those with heart may relate and understand what I'm
talking about.

How many people get injured elsewhere? The numbers are ridiculous. Dory Funk has made me feel as safe as I could
performing the techniques I have learned to perform, and I can with the utmost confidence say, that as I continue to
pursue this professional wrestling education, Dory Funk will only fuel my confidence in that I will not sustain an injury
nor will anyone else training under his guidance. Safety is a key element, and if that is not understood, this industry
would be extinct, it takes a truly committed gentlemen to insure this industry grows, and a man who has taught me to
be thorough, slow, and proper with my training is what truly embodies that sort of gentleman.

I have found my love for this business grow under Dory Funks guidance, I can quite honestly say, (yet not detail why)
each match I watch anywhere, anytime, from any year, I view with a different eye now.  I have nothing but positive things
to say and would encourage anybody to come and experience this journey of growth with me. Thank you for your time.
Carmine Guarascio.

For Information on the Funking Conservatory, You can call:
E-mail Dory Funk Jr.
Visit Dory's Home Page