Brandon Becker and the Slow Climb from Obscurity
Brandon Becker Basic Bio
Brandon Becker, a 25-year-old wrestler from Bloomington, Indiana, graduated several years ago from Indiana University. While attending IU, Brandon earned a reputation for being a strong technical worker with great stamina. He did a good job psychologically overcoming his opponents and had the look of a superstar, but he never really came into his own because of his lack of size and power. However, Brandon always loved pro wrestling, and he stayed in shape for several years after graduating, fighting in a few unpublicized bouts in the region, always hoping he'd get a chance to shine as a wrestler. But upon turning 25, he realized he was going nowhere in his career, he hated it in fact, so he quit his job as a sports columnist at the Herald Times in Bloomington in October of 2005 and decided he'd give it his best shot. A year in the wrestling business. If, after a year, he wasn't getting anywhere, he'd know he at least gave it his best, and he'd be able to pursue a real job without thinking he'd never made his move. With $10,000 in the bank he set out on what he hoped would be the journey of a lifetime, and the job interview to end all job interviews -- a tryout at Ring of Honor. He's on the road, he hopes, to legitimate wrestling stardom. Come along for the ride, won't you?
November 2005 - Week 1
Saturday: I got my tryout match on RoH's Weekend of Thunder, Night Two, during which I was matched against Nigel McGuinness in a singles match. The 25-year-old technician has fought mostly in the UK and the midwest US, where he's quite well-known. I didn't have much time to think when I arrived, since mine was the first match of the evening, and they were using us to rev the crowd up. So of course I felt quite outmatched initially. I saw AJ Styles beforehand and told him I felt out of my depth. He told me I'd do fine, wished me luck and then went backstage and the match began! I did the best I could but my moves were out of step with both his speed and technical skill. He laid me out flat and got the submission with a Guvnor's Crumpet at the 5:00 mark. The match drew a decent C rating, not bad for an opening bout, but I barely had time to feel him out and it was over. Guess that's what happens in tryout matches, you just have to go out there and hope for the best.
Either way, enjoyed the rest of the night with a front row seat. Got to see Homicide defeat Colt Cabana in the next bout, followed by a decent bout between Tony Mamaluke and Prince Nana (Mamaluke won it out in a solid well-fought battle). The real highlight though was the hour-long main event, as Bryan Danielson defeated Austin Aries to retain the RoH Heavyweight Title! Best fight I've seen this year, both guys gave it their all.
Nigel caught me later that night and told me he thought I'd done quite nicely for a kid who'd been out of the ring for a good while. Seemed he at least thought I could make something of myself, though I was still nervous as all hell when I met up with Cary Silvin around midnight. "So you want to work for me," he said, rubbing his chin. "Don't got much work for a kid your size, I but I guess I can dig up $20 a match if you're willing to job as an enhancement talent worker on the roster."
I accepted and then got out of there with my dignity, before I could say anything stupid to muck up the deal. He offered a year's contract, open ended, so I take it he wants to see me molded into something. I will have to hope some other opportunities open up, or I'll be having a tough time making ends meet, but by God, I've got a job, and that's a start.
November 2005 - Week 2
Friday: I got a call today from ASW Booker Chad Collyer! Seems All-Star Wrestling, based in Liverpool, England, is in need of an opener for their roster, and has offered me the job, earning $25 per appearance over the next nine months! He wants me to fly out next Monday to participate in ASW's monthly event, Payback. I readily accepted, as this would give me a chance to work monthy overseas and build my reputation there, while keeping my US focus on Philadelphia's Ring of Honor. I wonder who I'll get to fight over in England ...
November 2005 - Week 3
Monday: I arrived in Liverpool late this afternoon and learned I'd be getting a lower midcard debut against Harry Smith, who is quite over in the US and Canada but who has never fought a match in England. Son of "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith, this guy's a fast powerful technical phenom, and I'm going to have my hands full if I want to put on a good match -- or at least a better one than I managed at my RoH debut two weeks ago!
The match itself went miserably, however. I handled myself well for a couple minutes, then he gained total control, countering my running face smash attempt with a punch, pounded me with a DDT and then powerslammed me and earned the pinfall at the 3:00 mark. That's the second match in a row in which my skills were severely outmatched. The match itself earned a disappointing D rating from the fans, who barely gave us any notice at all. It's unlikely that this appearance did anything for my UK overness, and I'm lucky you can't be less than completely unknown or that's where I'd be after this one.
December 2005 - Week 1
Sunday: I've spent the last month and a half in training at Ring of Honor's wrestling school in Bristol, Penn., and so far it's been time and money well spent! I've seen improvement in speed and power along with some development of my in-ring microphone and charisma skills, and I've modified my diet enough to have increased to the class of Middleweight! So I'm told I'm doing just fine, and I suspect once I can get my in-ring moves worked out to my advantage I should see improvement in my match quality.
December 2005 - Week 2
Monday: I got a big match this evening at ASW's Genocide, a singles bout against Shark Boy! And I put on a pretty good match, if I do say so, though I started to wear out after about 15 minutes and realized I wasn't going to get the pin -- so instead I dragged his ass out of the ring, nailed him with a ring post smash, got him in a front facelock, threw him through a chair with a great pancake facebuster and then (earning a HUGE pop from the fans) nailed him with a golf club to the balls! The ref immediately DQ'd me, but it was worth it to see him on the ground groaning as I earned my first-ever round of serious applause from the fans! I'm still a nobody around here, but if I can keep up this level of solid performance and perhaps win a few bouts, I might attract enough notice to earn a part in a storyline. The 17:00 match drew a C rating, earning it a spot as my best performance yet.
December 2005 - Week 4
Sunday: Tonight was Ring of Honor's "Final Battle" show, our big New Years bash! And I fought an opener singles match against Alex Arton, otherwise known as "The Golden Greek," who is significantly more over than I am here in the US. And I won the match in stunning fashion! On the ropes, he'd spun me into the corner and was about to hit me with a dropkick, when I successfully managed to land my Edge of Reason finisher as a countermove! He fell like a sack of bricks and I earned the pinfall, after a bout which had been pretty even, back and forth, through that moment at the 11:00 mark! The match drew a C rating from the fans, who seemed to enjoy the bout more than they tend to enjoy most opening matches. It's so great to be able to scratch "earn first win" off my New Years resolution list!