|In Funk's Corner|
|Video Games Taking Over|
In Major League sports, the number of people playing video games now exceeds the number of people attending the events. At my favorite software store at the mall, I used to go in and shop for productivity software. There was a small section of video games. Now the whole store is full of video games and there is just a small section of productivity software. Today I returned to the store and it was taken over entirely by video games.
Following is a quote from Dave Schere recently on 1wrestling.com
Legends of Wrestling started as a seed idea three years ago. In early 2004, Acclaim Video's third release of the popular professional wrestling game will be released. I was recently interviewed by Jon Robinson of IGN Sports in regard to the new game, "Showdown."
Following is the Interview by IGN Sports' Jon Robinson.
Kurt Angle. Test. Edge. Christian. What do these superstars all have in common? Well, besides the obvious WWE connection, all of these men were actually trained by the same man, Dory Funk Jr., Trainer at the famed Funking Conservatory.
Funk is known worldwide as the dean of the wrestling business, the teacher who not only talks the smack but can deliver the whack, as he's not just a scholar but one of the game's true mat legends.
Because of this, Dory is featured as one of the 70-plus legends in Acclaims highly-anticipated new game, Legends of Wrestling: Showdown.
IGN Sports caught up with the legendary Funk brother to talk wrestling, training, and the new game. Here's what he had to say.
IGN Sports: How has the training of wrestlers changed from the days you started to how you prepare the young wresters for the ring today?
Dory Funk Jr.: It's very much the same in that we have a safety program, and keeping our wrestlers safe is our biggest concern. There are ways to do that and it begins at the facility we have. We oversee the training and make sure that our kids are in good condition and are trained well. I also do not let anything take place unless I'm there at the training center, I oversee all the training. We are also a television production company, and anytime these kids learn that what they do will be shown on television and might be seen by the major wrestling companies, they tend to want to overdo everything and we try to keep our kids safe and back them up with the support they need. We try to make it fun for them, and try to encourage them on into professional wrestling as opposed to eliminating them and only taking the best.
IGN Sports: How young do you accept students?
Dory Funk Jr.: We start at 14. 14-18 is our teenage program and 18 and over is our adult program. We also start girls at the age of 14. We just feel like a wrestler who starts at a young age has a big advantage to become what we call a natural. It's like that in every sport.
IGN Sports: Do you think the timetable from when wrestlers are trained and are finally pushed out onto TV has been moved up from what it used to be? Are wrestlers still paying dues like the old days?
Dory Funk Jr.: The wrestling business is just so different. When I broke into wrestling, there were 30 different places to work and there would be 30 wrestlers working for each place. It was spread out all over the country. Right now the business is dominated by WWE. The pay and reward for being a professional wrestler is much greater, they're making much more money, but at the same time it's a much tighter market. To really make the big money you're going to have to be with one of the major companies. Here in America that's the WWE and possibly TNA that you can do well. There are also some companies over in Japan that pay pretty well. National television has made wrestling much more centralized, it has made it mainstream, and it has become a big-time business. But just like Hollywood, you have to really be well trained to find your way in. Now, you can be a professional wrestler anywhere across America throughout the 400 Indy companies, but the really big money is with the major companies. So there are two way s to look at it: You can come to our school and learn the skills to be in the wrestling business if you enjoy it. The other side is that you can come with the goal in mind to make it to the majors. We'll take them either way that they want to go.
IGN Sports: Looking at the wrestlers you've trained, it's like a who's who list of superstars. From Kurt Angle to Edge, it's pretty incredible.
Dory Funk Jr.: They were some great athletes, and
we've had our share of great athletes come through here like Paul London,
Silvan Granier, Lita is a fabulous athlete, Kurt Angle…what a privilege
to train an Olympic gold medalist. Edge, Test, Christian, The Hardys, they
were all fun, all a great bunch of guys to work with, and I'm very proud
at what they've done in the wrestling business.