Sean Patrick calls himself a “Renaissance individual.” That seems to be shorthand for a guy with a lot of dreams and the drive to make them come true.
Patrick is one of World League Wrestling’s “Young Lions” who will be performing on Nov. 9 at Green Ridge High School in a fundraising event to benefit the high school’s softball team. WLW’s Young Lions are up-and-coming athletes who are looking to make their mark in pro wrestling.
Reconnecting with an old friend motivated Patrick to begin his professional wrestling training. In their younger years, “a driving force of our friendship was pro wrestling,” Patrick said. They reunited just before Patrick, a military police officer with the Army National Guard, was deployed for a year to Guantanamo Bay focusing on detainee operations. They talked about attending the Harley Race Wrestling Academy in Troy, which is home base for WLW; Patrick grew up in Whiteside, about 15 miles to the north.
“I knew that now was the time, it was what I wanted to do with my life so there was no better option,” Patrick said. “It is not very often that the town 10 minutes away from where you grew up has a professional wrestling school (created by) one of the best wrestlers of all time.”
While his friend hasn’t made the commitment, Patrick is fully invested in pursuing a pro wrestling career. After working at restaurants and nightclubs in St. Louis, he recently was hired as manager of McDingerz Sports Bar & Grill in Eolia, less than 20 miles from the WLW training facility. The bar is owned by family friends who are allowing him to have a flexible schedule so he can make it to his wrestling training sessions and live shows.
As if balancing his job and pro wrestling efforts wasn’t enough, Patrick also is a stand-up comedian who books his own shows. He sees those puzzle pieces fitting together perfectly.
“Now is a really good time to focus on the entertainment stuff that I like to do while having less expensive bills in the small town as compared to the big city,” he said.
WLW head trainer Leland Race sees a bright future for Patrick.
“Sean Patrick represents what the Young Lions are about by definition and by example,” Race said. “He works hard to perfect his craft, he is in the gym becoming a better athlete, and he wants ‘this’ so bad that he dedicates his life to it.”
As someone trying to break into the world of pro wrestling and comedy, Patrick takes a different approach than others, who try to get booked on as many shows as possible to hone their craft and to be seen. Steve Corino, one of the head trainers for WWE’s NXT division, came to WLW for a training camp.
“He said something that stuck out to me,” Patrick said. “‘When it comes to the work that you guys do, be smart, be careful about it.’”
Corino said that instead of working every show possible, it is better to “get the best content you can,” since that is what WWE, All Elite Wrestling and other top promotions are looking for. That is why Patrick sticks with WLW and a handful of other companies.
“I don’t want to work a show and potentially tear my ACL for $15. World League Wrestling takes care of its wrestlers, it pays better than a lot of (wrestling) companies in this area, we have professional production behind it,” he said.
Another bonus with WLW is its commitment to its fans and their communities.
“Fundraisers are extremely crucial to WLW because it directly and positively affects the community. … Without the people, there is no World League Wrestling,” Race said. “I inherited that knowledge from my father, Harley Race, as he loved helping out the community. We love to be able to contribute positively to every area we can and this event is a perfect example of that. The girls on the softball team are busting their backsides to make this a success for both themselves and WLW.”
Patrick said WLW is bringing a good roster of talent to Green Ridge and he is hopeful that people across mid-Missouri will support the cause.
“Don’t let this one go under the radar,” he said. “Even if week-by-week pro wrestling on television isn’t your thing, if you have never been to a pro wrestling event, give this a go. Going to a pro wrestling event, with tickets as cheap as they are where you are guaranteed a good seat, you are going to have a good time – no if, ands or buts about it. It’s silly, it’s exciting, it’s energizing.”