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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Life + Arts

Versatility in the classroom and wrestling ring

Though most students run or play a sport to stay in shape, broadcast journalism junior Parviz Memari steps outside the box  — and inside into the ring — to stay fit. Memari is a wrestler for Houston-based professional wrestling promotion, the Reality of Wrestling, which was founded by Houston professional wrestler Booker T.

He has taken his boyhood admiration for wrestlers Vader and The Undertaker from simply dreaming about being like them to actually following in their footsteps.

Memari took the leap from being a fan to becoming a wrestler himself three years ago.

“I’ve enjoyed watching wrestling since a young age,” Memari said. “I found out there were several wrestling promotions in Houston so I started talking to them and went to wrestling school.”

Memari started at the National Wrestling Alliance’s Houston promotion. While attending the school, he learned there was a lot more to the sport than body slams and steel chairs.

“You get exposure to the business,” Memari said. “You help set up the shows, set up the ring and learn how the ring works — if you don’t how the ring is put together, you don’t know how to use it.”

Physical prowess is something that plays a big part in professional wrestling, which is obvious from looking at the muscle-bound Memari, who stands at a striking 6’3.

Memari learned to harness his physicality while attending wrestling school.

“You start by learning how to do the moves,” Memari said. “They have people there that are very good wrestlers; they show you how to move right and the correct times to do the moves in a match.”

Memari has met and wrestled with the likes of former World Champions, Booker T and Bill Goldberg, as well other legends such as The Sandman, Scott Steiner and the Japanese legend Jushin Thunder Liger.

The journey from fan to wrestler was not a fast process.

“Slowly you’re given slower matches in the gym before your put on the show,” Memari said. “Then, whenever they feel comfortable with your performance, they allow you to wrestle on the main show.”

Wrestling isn’t all about brawn; it involves more brains than you think.

“They teach you about ring psychology,” Memari said.

Memari said his wrestling persona is a “heel” — he is the bad guy in the ring.

“I’m very animalistic in the ring, very vicious, very loud. All I have to do is get my hands on someone and they’re in trouble.”

Using lessons learned while attending the UH, Memari said has used his education to benefit his wrestling career as well as preparing him for future opportunities inside as well as outside the wrestling business.

“I have taken philosophy and theater classes to help me create a persona. I’ve taken Spanish to help me in case I need to work with a wrestler from Mexico,” Memari said.

While Memari’s ultimate goal is to be a wrestler for one of the nation’s two major wrestling promotions, World Wrestling Entertainment or Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. However, he sees the importance of having a degree as a back-up plan.

“A lot of wrestlers get hurt when they aren’t expecting to.” Memari said, “Having a college degree is good to fall back on.”

Memari is now wrestling for the Reality of Wrestling. The promotion holds monthly events and weekly shows, which air on Sunday mornings on Channel 57.

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