A large part of the world sees professional wrestling as second-rate entertainment, overwrought with blood, sex, copious amounts of violence and storylines that could make a daytime soap opera writer look like Mark Twain.
However, to those who step inside the squared circle, wrestling is a passionate business where talented men and women put their bodies on the line every day to entertain anyone willing to watch. The list of athletes willing to take on this challenge is a short one, but Moe Hindi, sophomore communication studies major, stands ready and unafraid of the task.
Hindi, who played varsity football and wrestled in high school, has been watching World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) programming since he was two years old.
“People were always watching ‘Power Rangers’ when I was that age, but I was always more into wrestling,” Hindi said. “I’d get in trouble in kindergarten for talking about it.”
Standing at 5 feet 10 inches and weighing in at 205 pounds, Hindi claims to employ a technical wrestling style, which in plain English means he likes to ground his opponents with various submission holds and then punish them with a series of “suplexes.”
He has been wrestling since he was old enough to walk, most recently competing in a New Jersey federation named SXF (Supreme Xtreme Federation) where he held the heavyweight title on two separate occasions, while also claiming the hardcore (no rules) championship.
Despite his success on the small circuit, Hindi refuses to settle for success in New Jersey’s popular indie wrestling scene. He has eyes set on the ultimate prize: an eventual spot on the card at “Wrestlemania.”
“Chris Jericho said ‘(Wrestlemania) is a showcase for who’s got what it takes to live in the minds of wrestling fans forever,'” Hindi said, “I just want to be remembered. I want to be somebody that (wrestling fans) talk about the way I talk about someone like Bret Hart.”
Hindi has more than just the drive and passion to make it the business. He adheres to a strict training and dieting regimine every day, which he hopes will one day make him a success on the pro circuit. He wakes up at 9 a.m. every day to go for a two-mile run before class.
After class, he spends an hour-and-a-half in the gym and goes through his weight-training rotation, focusing on a different aspect of his physique every day. He also avoids fried foods and candies like the plague.
“I need to be in peak shape,” Hindi said. “I’m looking into training camps in St. Louis for either this summer or the next. I turn 20 in March; the moves I’ve made are good to some extent, but then I look at someone like Kenny Dykstra (20-year-old Monday Night RAW superstar) and realize where I could be.”
As he looks toward the big leagues, Hindi also acknowledges the perils that come as a tradeoff for success in the wrestling business.
“You spend over 300 days a year on the road, but I’m willing to sacrifice everything,” Hindi said. “It scares me cause I’ll rarely get to see my family or friends, but this is my calling.”
Aside from the seemingly endless stretches on the road, the wrestling industry has also been plagued by drug and steroid issues, with the passing of Eddie Guerrero in 2005 setting off all kinds of alarms. Hindi claims his strong family background would help him avoid these pitfalls.
“Thank God for my mother and father,” Hindi said. “I’ve seen them go through stuff people couldn’t even imagine. I have lived with three brothers for 19 years. Because of that, I’m sure I could handle anything.”
When asked about the possibility of being offered a WWE contract, Hindi admitted he would have a hard time deciding between continuing toward his college degree and pursuing his dream.
“It would be very hard to choose,” Hindi said. “A lot of wrestlers today are broke, but that bachelor’s degree can really save you.”
After weighing the pros and cons, Hindi is still ready to face down the impossible and chase his dream throughout college and after graduation. He summed his willingness to sacrifice anything for the ultimate prize with a quote from one of his longtime idols, the Ayatollah of Rock and ‘Rollah,’ Chris Jericho.
“In order to be successful in wrestling, you need to give 100 percent of who you are and what you are. There are people who talk about dreams, and there are people who chase them.”