‘Smart’ Mark Sterling’s Education Has Been Very Valuable To Him, Both On TV And Behind The Scenes
‘Smart’ Mark Sterling is making an impact on and off the screen.
Sterling, the most famous professional wrestling lawyer (he’s undefeated too), recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard while promoting the launch of the Major Pod Network. Sterling has played an integral role in helping Brian Myers and Matt Cardona make their brand successful, and it’s because he uses the skills he’s learned over the years for in-ring and behind-the-scenes work.
Sterling has a Masters of Fine Arts degree in production, and it’s the reason he originally left pro wrestling in the first place. Over the years, we’ve seen various wrestlers learn video production as they climbed the ladder, with notable names including Ethan Page and Sammy Guevara. Sterling came back to the “one true sport” with those skills intact, and he explained that his layover lasted a lot longer than he anticipated but knowing how to create content has been a huge value to him in many ways.
“Yes, whole-heartedly. I say this to a lot of people—I wouldn’t have gotten nearly any of the opportunities that I got, early on especially and even now, if I didn’t have that ability to create my character and do things on the internet via video, audio, and really be able to produce things in that way. But also, it’s helped me become valuable to promoters and to Brian, really. I’m here in this interview now because I came in day one at Create-A-Pro Wrestling and I wanted to help out in any way that I could. For some students, that’s hang-up flyers, building the ring, but for me,” Sterling explained, “a brand-new dad at the time, I was lending my hand to CAP by helping them with marketing on Facebook, creating videos, making commercials for them. And Brian, I don’t know if he knows this or not, but because I did that, he gave me good opportunities at Create-A-Pro. It’s kind of like you become a value to the promoter and that’s how you create relationships in pro wrestling. I did that with many promotions, and I don’t feel bad that I like that’s how I got so many pro wrestling opportunities. It certainly was a value to me, big time.”
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 24, 2021
Sterling’s wrestling character is an intellectual, drawing comparisons to past characters like Chris Nowinski, Matt Striker and Alex Riley. Explaining that he was coming back to graduate school after eight years, Sterling just had a goal of being a good pro wrestler and linked up with Myers at his Create-A-Pro Wrestling school in New York. Knowing that he wanted to do something believable and true to himself, Sterling said his education and appearance just worked for him and it’s something he wanted to build on.
“Eventually when it came time to decide what I was going to portray myself as in professional wrestling, I wanted to do just wanted Brian said [earlier in the interview] and turn yourself up. The fact is I did leave wrestling to get my education, so that’s what ‘Smart Mark Sterling’ did. He left to get his education, and he is smarter than everybody. Also, if you’re watching this, I have grey hair and I can’t walk out there and think I’m going to be Batista, because I don’t look like [him]. So, I think in pro wrestling you have to be very self-aware, you know? So with my hair, I’d either need to a) dye it, which I didn’t want to do, or b) shave it, which I didn’t want to do at the time, or c), use it. Being distinguished and being smart, a teacher,” Sterling explained, “it all works with the look. When I come out with grey hair as my character, it all works. My gear meshes with it, my gimmick meshes with it. It’s very similar to Brian and our [respective] personalities, but the educational background is something I did want to build on.”