For years professional wrestling has been considered one of the toughest sports to execute. Mix together 200 to 300-pound wrestlers with tons of muscle and a wrestling rink under bright recess lighting and you’ll get one of the most entertaining sports in the country. Wrestling has been around for thousands of years, ultimately climbing the ranks to be considered one of the top sports along with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Football League (NFL). With networks such as ESPN giving the sport such heavy coverage now and WWE’s ‘Smackdown’ drawing over 2 million viewers, it’s no denying that this sport is something you want to be a part of. However, it’s not all sweat and a championship belt; Meet Brian H. Waters, the journalist wrestling his way through the industry, one match at a time.
Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, 32-year-old Brian Waters had the company of three older sisters and family events. Waters’ family had a crucial impact on Waters’ choice of a career path.
“My childhood had an influence on my career path because I always loved whenever my uncles brought out the video cameras for family functions,” Waters explained. “As far as writing, I enjoyed creative writing in school and loved sports.”
Though Waters found a love for writing and sports, he found himself in the dilemma of having to pick one of the two. Waters’ chose the path of journalism, eventually leading to him attending Morgan State University, one of the top Historically Black College Universities (HBCU) in the country.
“I loved sports and wrestling, but was not good enough to play nor did I want to put my body through the pain of wrestling,” the Wrestling Wrealm owner explained. “So I wanted to talk about it and produce it.”
Staying true to his word, after graduation, Waters found himself as an assistant producer at ESPN, one of the most known sports media outlets in the country. A position that is yearned for, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Waters.
“One of the hardest parts of my career at ESPN was during my time as production assistant was working in highlights,” Waters recalled. “We did not always know who would be our assigned highlight producer and because of that, some producers would give you more freedom to produce your highlight, while others would not. It all depended on your experience. If you were more experienced, all of the producers would let you get as creative as you wanted to be. If not, some would not allow you to.”
Sports journalism is a field that (thankfully) more and more African-American journalists, particularly men, are starting to dominate. However, even with notable African-American sports anchors such as Stuart Scott and Bryan Burwell, there are still a plethora of underlying challenges that African-American male journalists face.
“[One of the most challenging] things about being an African-American male [in the industry] is not trying to come off as intimidating. There is also little room for error. The moment you make a mistake, everyone sees it. We also have to keep our hair and face a certain way in order to be accepted. My wife loves for me to wear a beard, but if I was on national television, that would not be permitted, depending on the company.”
Waters now works as a broadcaster, writer, and social media manager at Fox Sports 1340 AM, in Hopewell, Virginia and as a Communications Specialist at John Hopkins Medicine. Waters is also a loving husband and father and doesn’t let the heat of the job weigh him down.
“Balancing professional and personal life can be tough, but I always make sure I plan time for my wife and children as well as time to hang out with my friends. Since I produce the Wrestling Wrealm after my 9-5 hours, I make sure that I plan the show around the times they are sleep.”
The Birth of The Wrestling Wrealm
With a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast and Integrated Media and still a burning passion for wrestling, Waters found a way to combine the two and live out his career euphoria. Today, Waters, along with co-host Dwayne Allen, host The Wrestling Wrealm, a
Back in 2010, Waters had a talk show with his cousin called ‘Wrestle Talk With Bear and BDub’.
“This started because we wanted to talk wrestling after seeing a lot of nonsense on YouTube,” Waters recapped. “Just as we really started to gain momentum, my cousin was not available and I started doing videos solo on YouTube.”
Along with his Youtube videos, Waters resumed school, where he met now co-host of The Wrestling Wrealm, Dwayne Allen and together birthed The Wrestling Wrealm.
“I met Dwayne Allen in college (I went back to school three years after getting my associates degree). He was the one person who loved wrestling as much and was also a video production major in college. This show allowed us to take what we were learning in the classroom and apply it to our show. We eventually built a brand from it. We both enjoy wrestling, I enjoy talking, and Dwayne has come to enjoy as much as I have so it’s a win-win.”
To The Budding Black (Sports) Journalist
The wrestling industry has recently found itself in hot water due to the lack of diversity in wrestlers. According to The Atlantic, WWE has never chosen an African-American wrestler to hold it’s world championship in its 62 years of business. Not to mention; the multiple conspiracies that professional wrestling is staged.
“Most people do not realize how much money is involved in the industry. In April, we have WrestleMania 35 with some of the biggest entertainers including Boyz II Men, Snoop Dogg, and LL Cool J,” Waters indulged. “At one point, everyone was a wrestling fan. While people love to call it fake, they will still watch other forms of entertainment and never criticize how ‘staged it is.’ The difference is, wrestling told everyone in the 1990s.”
Waters’ Advice To Budding Journalists:
“One, you will be surrounded by women, do not lose focus,” Waters advised. “Do not spend your time hitting on women that you cannot focus on your career. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. Have thick skin. Take criticism well. There are two reasons someone will get on you, either they care, or they want you to continue to mess up (so they want you shaken up), but either way, use it as motivation to do better. Everyone wants to be on television and give their opinion, but no one wants to write recaps or stories. Join the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and your local chapter. Be mindful of your social media and always remember: the camera is always on.”