How Backyard Wrestling Ignited My Passion for Fitness - Wise Eats Podcast Clips (Episode 1)
Becoming a backyard wrestler wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but it did fulfill a boyhood dream and ignited my passion for fitness. Find out why in this video. See the full podcast episode over at Wise-Eats.com/Episode1.
Throughout high school and into my mid-twenties, I didn’t play sports. The most athletic thing I did was compete in a wrestling organization known as the Back Yard Brawl. I know, it sounds crazy, but I grew up a huge pro wrestling fan. As a kid, I was a Hulkamaniac through and through. I wanted to train, say my prayers, take my vitamins, and have 24-inch pythons just like my hero. I would imitate my favorite superstars constantly and have fantasy wrestling matches with my brothers, friends, even by myself. At one point, I published my own wrestling newsletter with over 6,000 subscribers, which is pretty cool for just a 13-year old, I think.
So, when a good friend of mine, Jose Rodriguez, started BYB in 1999, of course, I was hooked immediately. And for a bunch of high schoolers, it was actually a pretty legitimate organization. This was not the janky backyard bbq wrestling you may have been exposed to in the past. Jose built a homemade wrestling ring in his parents’ backyard, recruited talent, choreographed matches, and promoted events. He would put on live wrestling shows equipped with DJ’s, live music, foamy keg beer, pyro, and entrances.
At first, I was just a fan, then a referee, and in 2006, made my debut as a wrestler. I never truly thought I would ever be a pro wrestler, but the idea of performing in front of a live crowd was a huge boyhood dream, and an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. From 2006-2016, I wrestled in six of these annual events under the name “Wes Daddy”. I can’t say I love that nickname, but it evolved naturally from my friends and over the years I got stuck with it. So, in some of my YouTube videos, you’ll hear me refer to myself as Wes Daddy. It’s just my backyard wrestling persona. I don’t actually think I’m anyone’s daddy. Maybe one day when I actually have kids, but for now, Daddy’s just a nickname.
Backyard wrestling was super fun and a major adrenaline rush. Aside from one freak accident resulting in a broken leg, no one was ever seriously injured. The parties were always a blast, and the Back Yard Brawl became infamous in Mount Clemens, MI. Wrestling in front of a crowd also inspired me to get in better shape. I remember looking back at the video from my debut in 2006 and hating the way my body looked. This motivated me to lose weight for the 2007 show and shape up even more for future shows. You can see my physical transformation through wrestling along with a complete archive of BYB matches, highlights, and videos over at Wise-Eats.com/BYB. In August 2016, BYB put on its final show, where I wrestled my last match. And where BYB ended is where Wise Eats begins.