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Lars Manderson – Working hard to live the dream of a Pro Wrestler.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 22, 2011

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By Kenneth Scott

Well wrestling fans after about a year hiatus from writing and wrestling I am back. I have gone through a lot of rosters from shows around the Mid-West and I have decided to get to know Lars Manderson a little bit better.

When Lars was a kid he was captivated by wrestling at a very young age. His first live show that he can remember was a WCW (World Championship Wrestling) house show that was held at the Shrine Mosque in Springfield, Missouri. After seeing all the action packed matches he was hooked on wrestling. The characters were larger than life. He never thought that he would be big enough to some day be one of them.

Growing up as a kid him and his best friend would have matches in the backyard. They spread couch cushions all over the yard and they would do high flying stunts like elbow drops of the deck. Like all kids that are wrestling fans they had al the latest WCW or WWE (well back then it was WWF) video games. They spent many wasted hours between wrestling video games and Mortal Kombat.

Now one of the the things fans want to always know is how Lars got started in the wrestling business. Well when he decided that he really wanted to be a wrestler he had no clue where to start or even how to get in it, so he signed up for Harley Race’s Wrestling Camp. A few days after signing up for the camp his mom found an article in a magazine about a pro-wrestler from the area he was from. That wrestler was going to be signed by the WWE. This pro-wrestler was currently in the WWE training camp for up and coming wrestlers called Ohio Valley Wrestling. After reading that he put it out of his mind and thought nothing about it.

A few months after this had happened Lars was working at the Powerhouse Gym, as a trainer. While working a moderately large man with long hair walked into the gym. He knew the man looked familiar, so he went and grabbed the magazine he read about the star that was going to sign with the WWE and sure enough it was him, “Mr. Saturday Night” Michael Barry. Lars approached him introduced himself and told him he was interested in the business, so they set-up a time to sit down and talk.

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Lars Manderson and fellow up and comer The Hoodlum realizes that to get to the top that they have to go all out every during every match.

After talking to Barry it was time to get busy and start training. While training to become a wrestler you have many obstacles to overcome and one that stood out the most for Lars was being close to a ring to actually train in. He had to travel 70 miles or more to get any kind of training in. Every time Michael Barry was booked somewhere he had to be there a few hours early and hope to get some ring time in for his training. He remembers quite well early in his training having to drive to a show in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a thirteen hour drive to get there. When he got there the promoter let him have about 15 minutes of ring time to train. After the event was over he drove straight back through Colorado, Kansas, and back home to Missouri. I know as well as anyone else that 15 minutes of job training isn’t very much but to get any training in at all I’m sure was a blessing. Lars also expressed that the other bad thing about being the rookie or the young guy is that you do all the driving. So three days with no sleep for just fifteen minutes of training to get your foot in the door is hard to do.

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Big Elbow from Lars would lead him towards a victory at Metro Pro Wrestling (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Lars had a lot of inspirations to keep training but the one that stuck out in his head the most was his dad. You may think an inspiration would be someone or something that is positive and gives you positive feedback and tells you to keep going. Well his was not the way you would think inspiration would be. His dad hated the fact that he wanted to wrestle. His dad thinks that wrestling is trashy and couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just be happy staying at home doing nothing. Every time his dad would tell him what a mistake he was making it would make him work that much harder just to prove him wrong. Lars also had the inspiration that God didn’t always bless everyone with the size, brains, and athletic ability to be successful in pro-wrestling, but was so glad that he did give him all those. “I just try to use it to the best of my ability and not waste it,” Lars said.

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He has taken on some of the very best including some hard hitting matches with MR Saturday Night Michael Barry. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Many times when we are working so hard at something sometimes it gets so hard and so tough you just want to give up and just forget about it. Well Lars went through something like that during his training to become a wrestler.

During the second year of wrestling Lars had to quit for about 9 months to rehab a shoulder injury. This also was a time when he was having relationship problems with his wife. At this time wrestling took the brunt of the hits when it came to arguments. His wife thought that wrestling was replacing her. The worst part is that he loved his wife and at the same time he loved wrestling and both made him happy. “It was probably one of the darkest few months of my life, I was extremely depressed and fell off the face of the wrestling world for a short time,” Lars stated. Lars finally realized that there was nothing wrong for being the way he was and that to be happy he would have to be the person to try for outlandish things. Lars said, “it is better to try and fail than to never try at all.” He also said, “You will never know your limits if you don’t hit them.” Lars didn’t want to have any regrets and said, “I don’t want to become an old man and think ‘I could’ve done this,’ or ‘I could’ve done that too.’”

Lars like many other aspiring wrestlers has the same goal to be on top of the business at the highest level possible. “That doesn’t necessarily mean championships to me,” he said. He wants to be working in New York and wants to be the most loved or hated wrestler on the roster.

As a wrestler to gain popularity and also earn respect from other fellow wrestlers and wrestling companies you have to travel a lot and go to many different venues. That is no different to Lars working in promotions in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Arkansas, and Missouri. One thing that stands out to me the most about Lars is when I asked him if he has held any championships and he told me that he doesn’t want a title unless the company wants or needs him to hold one. “I see a lot of guys that need a title to get over with the crowd, I never want to be that guy,” Lars told me. I don’t know about you but seeing Lars in person he enters the stage you just know that he wants and loves the business. He also told me, “If I can’t get a crowd to boo me or cheer for me without flashing a title around my waste then I don’t need to be in this business, a title is a prop to too many people.”

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Look for Lars moving up the ladder in 2011.(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

In wrestling each wrestler has a role they play either face (the good guy) or heel (the bad guy). Lars is a natural face. He tells me that it is more difficult for him to play the heel because his heel characteristics don’t quite fit his body type. He loves being a face because it comes so much easier to him. He sad “if I put the energy out there from the moment that I hit the curtain I always seem to get a good response from the crowd.”

Lars hasn’t been exposed to many tag-team matches, he tends to be more of the big singles wrestler. He prefers to do singles matches than tag teams. He does respect tag teams though especially when they do it right and look good doing it. “A well oiled tag team is a thing of beauty,” Lars said. One of his favorite tag-teams to watch is the Jetsetters (Dustin Heritage and Jack Legacy). He says they work great together and says the way they work together should be studied by most of the young and up and coming tag teams.

Now in this next section I have asked wrestlers that either Lars has wrestled or know him what they think about Lars.

“Lars is a great young talent that will do good in this business.” Michael Strider

“Mr. Saturday Night” Michael Barry has this to say about Lars, “Lars is undboubtedly one of the quickest learners I have ever came across in the ring and with the politics in the back. The kid’s got a great head for the business bottom line. Looks, charisma and a desire to be the best (secondary to me with all of those traits, of course) The only limit is gonna be himself on his future in the business. One had perhaps better pack a pair of sunglasses with this kid, because his future is bright.”

In closing I want to thank Lars Manderson for taking out the time to put up with my constant hounding through email and bugging him at a show or two. I also want to thank Missouri Wrestling Revival (https://missouriwrestlingrevival.wordpress.com/) for their help and putting this article on their website.

One more thing from Lars Manderson:
In closing, to the fans. Every wrestler deeply appreciates your cheers, your boos, every reaction that you give us. We love the autographs, the pictures, and the appreciation that you show us. Keep coming to the shows, keep getting louder, because without you we are just grow men in spandex and leather boots pretending to fight each other. You make it real. And if you’ll indulge me, I don’t care if there are 10 or 10,000 it is all the same, each and every Manderfan will be chanting my name
“Man-der-son, Man-der-son, Man-der-son” from the moment I hit that curtain, until my opponent hits the mat.

All of my Manderfans will party long after that.

So when I come to your town get to your seat and bring all your friends,
cause when Lars is in the ring the show never ends.”

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