Shawn Spears has been in the wrestling industry for over a decade and in that time, he has gained the respect of his peers as an invaluable asset to the wrestling world and surrounding community.
Currently, he is a member of the AEW roster but outside the ring, he runs a training facility with WWE Superstar Tyler Breeze.
Speaking with TSN, Spears noted as much as he can teach about the world inside the ring, the world outside of it is a different animal altogether as is how individuals react to their treatment by those they come across in the industry.
“At the end of the day, this industry is brutally hard,” Spears said. “It’s so difficult and I think that’s lost on a lot of young people coming into the industry today. If we can at least start them off on the right foot, get them properly trained and safely trained more so than anything else, then the rest is up to them. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. We wanted to make sure we at least provided the best opportunity for talent to start out the proper and safe way.”
Spears continued, “I can teach anybody how to wrestle. But I can’t teach how the industry is going to treat you. I can’t teach you how you’re going to respond to that treatment. I can only prepare you as best I can. So someone who is open to those teachings, someone who is open to living this 24/7 – and you hear that a lot. You hear a lot of the all-time greats say that this is a 24/7, 365 [business]. I equate that to a sickness for me. Like, if I’m busy throughout the day and I stop at any given moment, there’s wrestling thought that pops into my mind. Something pops up – a spot, an idea, a match. This is constantly turning in my mind every day to the point where it’s almost a sickness. I can’t shut it off. I don’t know if I’ll be able to one day – I hope so and don’t want to drive myself crazy. But anybody who I can see that in, where this is going to be their life and this is going to be front and center above everything else that they have in their life, that’s only going to improve their chances of getting to do this as a career. It’s very, very difficult, but it is possible.”
Spears concluded by saying in wrestling, and in life, being a good person is one quality that will always take you far.
“Being a good person goes a very long way and not just in wrestling, but in life,” Spears said. “With everything going on in the world and all that kind of stuff, I think being a genuinely good person, being good to others and being good on your way up is extremely important because not everybody has an upwards swing of a career. And if they do, eventually, it’s going to take a couple of dips. So those people that you meet [on the way] up are the same people you meet on the way down. Be a good person, put your nose to ground and just grind it out. Hit it hard, man. Run hard and just don’t look back and don’t stop. Don’t stop for anybody.”
Fightful has live coverage of all AEW programs every week.