WWE: Why The Rock and Chris Jericho Are Inspirations to Me – by Mike Sanchez

In these trying times of social media explosions, multiple news outlets and an ever-changing world of technology, gossip and entertainment, all available at the press of a button, it’s sometimes hard to stop the conveyor belt we’re on and look around, take in our surroundings and find your direction in life. I’m one of those people who tries to steer away from the internet and it’s multitude of voices, opinions and screams all vying for your attention and trying to tell you what you need in life and what you need to do to achieve it. As a father of two young children, I worry about what they see and hear and find myself grimacing at a celebrity culture that’s forced down our throats on a daily basis. I abhor the reality television fad; a celebration of talentless people who are only known for being on TV. It’s why I hope that my children and indeed other youngsters around the world switch of their tablets and phones, get off the hypothetical conveyor belt and look around at real people, real achievers, and real inspirations and see that through hard work, grit, determination and an unwavering belief in their own ability, you can achieve anything.

I’m a firm believer in that work ethic and I try to find inspiration from people in many walks of life. I watch their interviews, I listen to their words, I read their books, I buy into their philosophies and try to adapt their techniques and shoehorn their seeds of success into my own world in the hope that maybe one day I can become more. For me there are many true inspirations out there to follow and listen to. As a writer, I find incredible inspiration from Stephen King, JK Rowling and an author named KM Weiland who spreads her wisdom and gifts worldwide to inspire generations of writers. Our fearless leader John Canton and his dedication to TJR Wrestling inspires me too.

Outside of the literary circle, I find equal, if not more inspiration in two former WWE stars for a variety of reasons. For me and for anyone looking to seek that spark, that belief that anything is possible once you put your mind to it, look no further than Chris Jericho and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

Creativity – Chris Jericho has astounded us by consistently reinventing himself throughout his WWE career. He’s the perfect example for why one should never stand still, but instead continue to evolve, push on and change to adapt to an ever-changing world. His personas, guises and look have morphed from a cocky young upstart, to a suited, polished and clean cut heel, all the way to a scarf wearing, list-making star that has always been at or near the top of every card his name has graced. Even now, his incredible interactions with Kenny Omega have given another dimension to the Chris Jericho persona. One I’m sad we didn’t see all too often, if at all, in WWE.

The Rock started off with more of a whimper than a bang in WWE, unlike the debut of Y2J. This didn’t bother him one iota as he embraced change after change to evolve into one of the most recognizable faces in professional wrestling. Rock always knew there was more to attain outside of the squared circle and so expanded his persona beyond the WWE and into Hollywood. He was drawn by the bright lights and the film sets and knew that every night in WWE with a mic in his hand or an opponent across the canvas, he was learning the skills needed to succeed in Tinseltown.

Dedication – The Rock inspires people across the world on a daily basis. His Instagram posts, tweets and even his own app show him behind the scenes and away from the glare of the camera. He’s in the gym at four or five in the morning, sweating, panting and lifting as he’s ‘clangin’ & bangin’’ and staying in shape. Even Triple H – who is one of the most dedicated gym workers out there – once said he’d grimaced as he woke one morning to find The Rock has already finished his gym session and was downing a protein shake before sunrise.

Jericho too takes dedication to another level. Similar to Rock, he too has spread his wings beyond wrestling. With a wife and three kids, he still finds time to do his podcasts, write books and sing in his band Fozzy. Occasionally he’ll do some wrestling too. I find him an incredible guy who works damn hard to deliver what he does. Every venture he’s involved in is given maximum effort, nothing is phoned in. You can tell he loves his life and really enjoys sharing it with us.

Inspiration – As a writer myself, I find incredible value in reading and learning how people I admire came to achieve their success. I’ve read three of Chris Jericho’s books (the fourth is on my Christmas list), and to know that it’s him writing it, not a ghost-writer or a take on his life by someone else, is special in my eyes. You feel his energy, passion, sadness and triumph with every word. He tells you that it takes hard work, dedication, sacrifice and a firm, unshakable belief in yourself to achieve your dreams. He dedicates his full attention and gives every avenue he explores 100% commitment, teaching us that we can try new things and succeed, as long as we’re prepared to persevere and never give up.

Take a minute to watch this video from The Rock himself:

I had seven bucks in my pocket. I knew two things; I’m broke as hell and one day I won’t be.” – Dwayne Johnson.

This isn’t the boast of a man who now sits as one of the most successful movie stars in the modern era, who has just had his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, no; these are the words of a man who wants you to know that at one point in his life, he had nothing. He was down in the dumps and started from the bottom up. It’s to tell us that even though he may be incredibly successful now, it started from nothing. It’s inspiration in its purest form. To hear The Rock admit that he worked harder than ever in his early twenties, he grafted and pushed on, refusing to accept his lot in life at that moment. He wanted to prove not just to others, but to himself that there was more to life and that dreams could be reality. This is his ethos, his mantra. If we take a minute to realise that inspirational people aren’t born into success, they’ve earned it and worked for it every step of the way. Have they had bad times or desperate moments? Of course, but the secret is to never admit defeat. Never give up and keep pushing forward. To me, the epitome of inspiration comes from such people and Chris Jericho and Dwayne Johnson are just two we can look to, admire and say to ourselves; I can do it too.

Who inspires you? Who do you see as successful people that try to help others? Do you follow in their footsteps or learn the lessons they try to teach us? I hope you enjoyed reading this and perhaps find some inspiration from these two great men. They inspire me on a daily basis. As always, thanks for reading.