The running gag of the hot dog and a handshake is well-known in Pro Wrestling.
Technology has evolved so that even though we don't have contracts involved in the majority of promotions, here are some steps can to ensure that both parties are kept safe in business negotiation without having to afford a lawyer. These tips will keep things as professional as possible.
Chat rooms are your friend. If someone working with you tries to pull the wool over your eyes, you have a copy of their conversation. Using chat may or may not work in a court of law as evidence, but it can prove or disprove things to show the other boys so that the community will know someone's dealings.
Two books I recommend for talking to other people; "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie and "48 Laws of Power" by Robert Greene.
The first tells you how not to be a jerk. The second teaches you how to deal with jerks or be one hell of a jerk, depending on how you use the knowledge.
If you want to get into a specific promotion, look up who runs it, ask people who have worked there about their experiences (multiple people, so you get a 3D picture), and take the trip over there not expecting to get booked and introduce yourself personally. If there is a vast road trip involved, then introduce yourself to the promoter of the thing first through social media and ask if you can stop by and help with tear down. Doing this may save you a long trip.
Creeping is legal. Not to the point of being a stalker, but knowing basic facts of a promoter's interests outside of Professional Wrestling can give you ideas for small talk. Sometimes, particularly after a bad draw or a stressful show, the last thing a promoter wants to talk about is Pro Wrestling.
Things to notice while scouting a promotion in detail will be in another chapter.
If you have a friend who is working there, promote matches that they have over there on your social media. If you pimp the show without being booked will make you look thirsty. Promoting your friends also makes you look more locker-room friendly, which is a massive bonus in the eyes of promoters.
It's unsure whether or not COVID will change the need for the worker's handshake, but always greet with a healthy handshake or at least a respectful nod of the head when greeting another.
Trying to stay out of politics in Pro Wrestling is like trying to not get diarrhea after eating daily at a taco stand. It's going to happen eventually. Only play it if you know how to and are comfortable doing it. If you don't, make friends with a well-respected vet who can at least cover you.
Particularly in a venue where multiple people are vying for the cash in the ATM (such as a bar), always have a money box and a method to take people's debit cards as payment.
Try not to be a table hog with your items. To save space, try and have items that go up instead of spreading out so that the people can see your t-shirts or 8x10's and you don't get in the way of another worker trying to sell his stuff.
Always have kid sizes and 2X+ sizes available for your wearable merchandise.
Figure out what everyone already has, then find an item that reflects your gimmick to sell. If there is a concession stand or alcohol, then people are going to run out of cash quickly. If they don't have enough for a t-shirt, they might have enough for a little pin, bracelet, or coin.
Because of the dangerous nature of this subject, you need to research on your own. Please buy and read "Guide to Intellectual Property: What It Is, How To Protect It, How to Exploit It" by Stephen Johnson. It has all the information you need to protect your gimmick and name should you finally get noticed by higher-ups. Please note that this is not a necessary step until you start courting the TV scene. Because this book was Copyrighted in 2015, getting a free 30-minute consultation with an entertainment lawyer after you read the book will help clarify what works and what doesn't the state you are applying in.
If you come in educated, I have found lawyers will answer more detailed questions, though sometimes they will refuse to answer on specifics. Usually, "yes or no" questions can be solved.
Taxes and Permits
Taxes can often a breaker of companies, mainly when books go wrong. There are many things to consider, particularly if a promotion decides to take on the responsibility of concessions. Even in the event, you are trying to pinch pennies, and we live in a Pro Wrestling society that knows that most independent promoters and workers don't have enough money to get a lawyer. It is for your protection that you cross your t's and dot your I's. Uncle Sam is one of the deadliest enemies in the industry because many promoters are lazy in their business dealings and don't want to file for LLC.
Call your local commissioner's office for the rules surrounding your state to make sure they don't visit you and shut you down.
Pro Wrestling Society
We are living in a society of privileged snowflakes.
The only way to toughen their mental skin is to haze them for their first year inside the business if they are performers. They need to be mentally tough to handle being a heel, and they need to be able to mind themselves on social media. As long as they know what they are signing up for before they enter their apprenticeship, the fair warning will cause the needed attrition.
I am not a fan of elitist snobbery, but elitism is something that keeps the integrity of the industry alive. If someone has more experience, show them the proper respect. If you are a trainee, it is the protocol that you be the water boy in the locker room. When thoroughly trained, however, respectfully standing your ground when a vet tells you that you are worthless is understandable.
Note that I said "standing your ground," not trying to undermine their status. Stay humble and confident and retain a sense of respect for yourself without reflecting on toxicity.
If Al Snow has to deal with bickering and whining from trainees because they are required to have a roommate, then the time has come to get some territory-style attitude adjustments on these brats that think the world owes them something. We need to be like the Army in this case and send their sorry selves to a boot camp to iron out social as well as physical weakness.
Simple. We need to get it beaten out of us. I'm glad he finally learned, but people who don't have skin to take criticism and insults don't deserve to be in this business. It's their job to wound people using the same methods if they are heel. If they can't take it for real, then nobody believes it when they look like they can take emotional punishment in the ring.
A fellow gamer of mine made a great observation when I was playing EVE Online once. There is a reason that there are no smart asses or racist bigots in that game. It is the attrition in that game and the concept that anyone can take you down and destroy your progress make certain that trolls get burned. Because people in power have lost care about their craft, these little brats walk over them like pavement.
What veterans need to realize is that not everyone is a snowflake brat. Some of them have real ideas and questions. Just gunning them down because they are curious or ambitious prevents growth.