Mashpee High School Grad Trains For WWE
By: LANNAN M. O’BRIEN, July 8, 2014
Eighteen-year-old Logan R. Horton may seem soft-spoken, but he knows how to captivate a crowd—a gift that will serve him well while training for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
A recent Mashpee High School graduate, Mr. Horton became fascinated with professional wrestling when he began watching it on television at age 10.
“It was something cool, unique and new that I had never experienced,” he said.
A wrestling clinic at Heritage Park in Mashpee when he was 14 piqued his interest, allowing him to perfect the “brainbuster,” a professional move in which the wrestler lifts his opponent and drops him on his head.
But Mr. Horton’s interest in the industry lies less with the sport itself than with its combination of athleticism and theatrics.
“There’s a lot of crowd involvement [in the WWE],” he said. “There’s something about 20,000 people in a stadium yelling and screaming...I just want to make people experience that.”
Mr. Horton discovered his love for entertaining two years ago through a service project for poverty and tornado relief with Appalachia Service Project in Kentucky. After his service work he was asked to speak about the project in front of 2,000 people at a church in Michigan.
Hearing that he was from Massachusetts “struck a chord” with everyone in the room, he said, as they realized that he flew halfway across the country to build houses for the project.
“I talked about how it really helped me grow and change as a person in a week, it was a lot of really heavy stuff. I talked about what the group did as a project and how we helped,” he said. “It’s funny because I was nervous...but I told a joke and people started to laugh.”
Since that moment, Mr. Horton said, he has never had a problem speaking publicly.
He recently visited the New England Professional Wrestling Academy in North Andover, where he will begin training in September, and learned that earning a response from an audience is an important skill taught in WWE training classes.
“There’s a lot more psychology [in wrestling] than you expect, because you have to get people invested in the story that you’re telling,” Mr. Horton said.
For example, professional wrestlers “work over” certain body parts of their opponents during a match. Injuring a specific body part multiple times draws a greater response from the crowd and helps a match progress quicker.
The concept of gaining fans’ support is unique to the WWE, Mr. Horton said.
“In professional sports, athletes don’t have the time to talk to a crowd, to speak in front of them, to get them to either cheer or boo them,” he said. “They don’t get the choice because [fans] either like the home team or the opposing team.”
Despite a few raised eyebrows from friends and school faculty members—and the uneasiness of family members over potential injury—Mr. Horton said that his friends and loved ones support his decision to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler.
He plans to move to his grandparents’ house in Fitchburg in September when he begins the training program, which consists of three-hour classes over three days per week. Until then, he will continue working as a cook at the Popponesset Inn.
Mr. Horton currently lives with his father and two sisters on Mashpee Neck.