(WHTM) — If you have ever seen professional wrestling you know it’s quite a show! But do you have any idea what it takes to put on that show?
Well, there is a pro wrestling school in the Midstate!
abc27 photojournalist Anthony Durso took us inside a shopping center on Centerville Road in Lancaster for an in-depth look, and it’s the last place you would expect a school to be.
“It’s only been operating for about six, seven months at the time,” said Jesus Rodriguez, a former professional wrestler and the teacher at Three Legacy’s Wrestling Academy.
This classroom doesn’t have chairs or desks, but rather ropes and turnbuckles.
“We’ve had a great success so far with teaching the next wave of wrestling superstars,” said Rodriguez.
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“The toughest part is getting everything down and remembering it all because there is a lot to it,” said Meg Eaton, a trainee.
“It’s not like falling on pillows. It actually is hard,” said Gabriel Gonzalez, another trainee.
“Sure, you may think it’s a trampoline. You may think it’s something soft, like a bed. But it’s not. It’s wood. It’s metal,” said Rodriguez.
“It’s all real. It really hurts. I really fall,” said Eaton.
“Training for professional wrestling is not what people think it is. It is very athletic, very hard-hitting. It’s not easy. You have to come in and you have to be physically fit. You have to be mentally able to process everything that happens,” said Rodriguez.
This is Three Legacy’s Wrestling Academy, and Jesus Rodriguez is the teacher.
“He comes to us with this huge mountain of knowledge and anything we want to learn. He teaches us he doesn’t keep it from us,” said Eaton.
“I have been wrestling for the last 17 years. I got to travel throughout the U.S. and Europe and Mexico for about four years before I got signed to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2010. My name individually was Ricardo Rodriguez. I spent four and a half years in WWE,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was even a personal ring announcer and manager of Alberto Del Rio.
“We got to travel the world together. We got to perform throughout the biggest arenas. We got to perform in several Wrestlemanias. It was such a great experience to have been at the highest level of professional wrestling,” Rodriguez added.
For Rodriguez, his toughest opponent wasn’t in a wrestling ring.
“I am a member of recovery in addiction. I did spend a lot of time, very heavy, into the alcohol addiction. It was one of the darker sides of my life. I’m thankful that I was able to go and seek help. I do think that pro wrestling saved my life,” Rodriguez said.
Now, Rodriguez is using his newfound sobriety as a teaching lesson in and out of the ring.
“As a coach, as a trainer. I’m not just here to teach professional wrestling. I’m also here to help them as far as life goes as well. And we’re able to make them grow not as just as performers, but as humans, as people. And that to me is very rewarding,” said Rodriguez.
Three Legacy’s Wrestling Academy is putting on a show, the Red Rose Rumble at the Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m., where they will crown their first champion.