By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, January 2, 2011
It’s been said that it’s easier to land a spot on an NBA roster than it is to break into the big leagues of professional wrestling.
That’s not far from the truth.
The coveted spots in the wrestling profession are few and far between. WWE, TNA and, to a lesser extent ROH (Ring of Honor), basically are the only outlets in this country where an aspiring wrestler can hope to make a decent living on a full-time basis.
Thousands of young men and women each year practice their craft in rings throughout the United States.
For most it’s a pipe dream, a long shot, but one that some are willing to pursue for years.
Pete Kaasa of Charleston is one of those following that dream of one day making it big in the pro ranks.
The 26-year-old has only been training for a few months, but so far, so good.
Pete Kaasa of Charleston is training in Atlanta for a pro wrestling career.
“To actually make it as a professional wrestler, and by make it I mean to be working in the business and be self-sufficient, would be like a dream I never woke up from. That is always in my mind, but having fun is really important to me. And, right now, I’m having a blast.”
Kaasa began training in October at the Atlanta-based WWA4 pro wrestling facility. Among the school’s success stories is Nexus member and former WWE tag-team champion Heath Slater (Heath Miller).
The solidly built, 5-6, 190-pound Kaasa did his homework prior to arriving at camp. He contacted various individuals in the business, got a feel for what he was getting into and made his decision.
“After doing a lot of research and even visiting a few schools, I decided to attend WWA4, a wrestling training school in west Atlanta under the instruction of former WWE star Curtis ‘Big Cat’ Hughes.”
That decision, he says, wasn’t a hard one to make. It’s something he’s wanted to do his entire life.
“It means the world to me because I actually have an opportunity to pursue professional wrestling, something I’ve always dreamed of doing,” says the 2008 College of Charleston graduate.
The rookie says he is having a great time “learning the ropes,” and already has a few matches under his belt.
“There is a lot of camaraderie at the school, and it’s really good to learn from guys like (Uhaa) Nation, AR Fox and, of course, Mr. Hughes. Practice can definitely be grueling at times, so keeping your goals in mind are necessary and even essential for giving 110 percent.”
Kaasa also has adopted a ring name — “Pete Kaasanova.”
“It’s catchy and pretty easy to remember,” he says. “One of my close friends used to call me that in high school.”
Kaasa has a built-in advantage by bringing a wide spectrum of athleticism to the table. He competed in gymnastics at an early age, participated in a number of sports, and is a championship-caliber surfer.
Kaasa has trained with wrestling All-Americans Marc Hoffer, Ryan Lang and NCAA national competitor/MMA fighter Chris McNally. He is well versed in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling, and captured first place in the South Carolina state championships and third in the Arnold Classics/Relson Gracie World’s BJJ Championships in Columbus, Ohio. The following year he won first place in both the state competition and the Relson Gracie World’s BJJ Championships for the blue belt division, and placed fourth in the open submission grappling division."
According to Frank Aldridge, Peter Kassanova is a phenom who will be ready for WWE very soon. Peter is more like AJ Styles than any we have ever trained.