In 2008, I moved to Tampa, FL for about six months to attempt to get a job with WWE. I had planned on saving my money for a little bit, start training at the FCW academy, and do the best I could. Well, things obviously don’t work out the way I envisioned, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get any good stories from it.
During this time I was wrestling for the East Coast Wrestling Association based out of Newark, DE. The promoter had connections with WWE, and had gotten me a few bookings with them, so I felt a sense of loyalty to him. I still wanted to work for him, even though I had moved so far away. I flew as much as I could, but made the decision to drive more than once. Probably not the best idea…
At the time, I had a regular full time Monday through Friday 9-5 job. That means I would have to work on Friday, and be back for work on Monday. The drive from Tampa to Delaware is roughly 15-16 hours. With a regular bell time of 7:30, that means I would either have to leave straight from work, or leave at like midnight, because call time was normally 2:00 PM on Saturday. Well, I not one time left at midnight, I pretty much always left right after work. I wouldn’t always leave right at 5:00, some times I would head home to get something to eat before leaving, or there would be traffic. I would normally be out of there around 6:00, arrive at my parent’s house around 9:00 or 10:00 AM the next day, where I would have to leave to meet with some friends around 11:00 or so to make it to the building on time. Once the show was over, we would head back to my buddy’s house, normally getting there around 2:00 or so in the morning on Sunday, and then it was time to hit the road again.
The funny thing about doing something like that is that some times your mind will start to play tricks on you. Especially when you’re telling yourself you need to stay awake and keep driving to make it home in a timely manner. It also probably didn’t help that most of the time when I would start getting tired I would down an energy drink with a Stacker 2 pill. If you know anything about those, I’m also curious as to how I didn’t die of a heart attack. They did tend to have some funny side effects though. One of my “favorite” to tell people about were the hallucinations. I vividly remember these happening(I wonder why), but there were times when I would see people walking in the highway, animals running across the road, and even a Christmas tree popped up driving through South Carolina.
I’m not sure if I would ever do all of that again, but I can’t say I regret it either. At least I got a few good stories from it.