"They are going to learn the ropes, literally and figuratively," says McDougal of the Butcher Shop's all-encompassing training program. Everything needed to become a professional wrestler is covered at the gym, from weight-training and cardio routines to wrestling moves and proper stretching techniques, so fighters can learn this intricate sport while preventing injury. Students also get a chance to perfect their action in front of the camera: Primos will set up mock interviews and offers tips on how to perform for the camera while in the ring.
As one of the Primos head trainers who specializes in both youth and adult training, McDougal has thrown down on mats all over the country and spent time in Mexico City learning the Lucha Libre style from professionals. Primos is committed to a diverse training regimen that includes Lucha, American, European and Japanese wrestling styles within its curriculum; McDougal shares this knowledge with students of all ages and skill levels. He says he aspires to teach people new to the ring that a great wrestler is someone who has the perfect balance of athlete and performer.
"For me, it's my creative outlet — I'm like the director of a play, putting people in place and watching them perform," says McDougal. "I've been a performer for almost fifteen years and an entertainer — getting to perform is one of the greatest feelings; adrenaline is a hell of a drug."
The free session at the Butcher Shop will give potential students a taste of the ring and an overview of the wrestling regimen. After that, new wrestlers can pay a monthly fee for use of the gym and training sessions and classes led several days a week and by McDougal and local champ Lonnie Valdez. National and international wresting superstars like Jerry Lynn, Pondo, Mick Foley, Matt Hardy and Tommy Dreamer have also made appearances as guest trainers over the years at the Butcher Shop. In order to become a competitor for the Primos company, McDougal says, a wrestler should be training at least two to three times a week. Someone who's a natural for this sport may be ready to compete within six months, though most wrestlers need eight months to a year of work before they can make an official "debut."
McDougal looks forward to expanding the storyline that Primos has created with its dramatic matches over the past half-decade by bringing in some high-flying potential superstars. Getting in with a company like Primos can lead to exposure on a national level, he notes; some Butcher Shop trainees were recently featured as extras when the WWE network was filming in Denver. Children as young as five (with parental consent, of course) have trained at the Butcher Shop with McDougal. Interested in a free session? Contact McDougal via the Primos Facebook page or call him at 303-452-452-3523 to set up a visit.
Want to witness the crazy stunts and drama that Primos Hardcore & Wrestling brings to the ring in person? At 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3 at the Watering Bowl, Primos will host its first-ever Alpha9 tournament, where multiple sets of three competitors will compete in three-way matches of skill and surprises. Valdez, Ender and Wrath are among the many vicious challengers who'll enter the ring. Tickets are $10 and children are welcome with a parent or guardian. For more information, visit the Primos Hardcore & Wrestling facebook page.
Be my voyeur (or better yet, let me stalk you) on Twitter: @cocodavies