The World of Unpredictable Wrestling, WuW, is the real name of a real wrestling school in Brooklyn, NY run by, “The Unpredictable One,” WWE Hall of Famer, Johnny Rodz. Rodz, 77, spent nearly two decades preforming in WWE, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, then switched gears to training, as his in-ring career was winding down.
Rodz wrestled the Hulk Hogan, Dusty Rhodes and Sgt. Slaughter, to name a few. In the eyes of Jon Rozner, 23, Rodz was the only mentor for his senior project – a final performance piece to show his board of study what he has retained through his four years of school.
“I came to Johnny for my senior project, which I named Renaissance of the Ring,” Rozner said. “It was a play that I wrote about a professional wrestler, Johnny Star Power, and his internal battle between choosing the life of a character [professional wrestler character] or becoming a serious Shakespearian actor. “
This was a struggle that went beyond the script. This conflict was Rozner’s reality. “The Theater and Performance department didn’t believe that Professional Wrestling was an art form. I knew it was and I was going to prove them wrong.”
Rozner studied all aspects of acting since he was a child. His mother added to Rozner’s young repertoire by playing Al Pacino movies. “I grew up with great movies, that incorporated great actors. I knew I always wanted to preform.” Rozner went to a specialized acting high school and determined that acting was a career he wanted to pursue and SUNY Purchase was the college to go to study the craft.
SUNY Purchase did not offer a class on the art of professional wrestling, therefore Rozner had approached Rodz for help. Rozner wanted to learn some wrestling moves to become more legitimate in his role. Though, Rodz holds a strict policy on not teaching any actors.
“The actors and director from The Wrestler came to Rodz for help and Rodz turned them down,” Rozner said. “I was different. I actually had a passion for the art form and have been pretending to pro-wrestle ever since I could walk.”
Rodz told Rozner he had potential in the business just by hearing the lust in his voice when speaking about the craft and observing the dedication he put to his physique. “Rodz told me if I came in three times a week to train and did not stop after the performance, he would train me. That is exactly what I did.”
After the senior project debuted in May, 2014, Rozner has been wrestled 10 matches, on of which he won the world title of the WuW promotion in October of 2015. After that match, the next match Rozner tore his meniscus and is scheduled to perform two more times. His last performance is scheduled for December, 2015. Rozner is speaking with multiple doctors on the next steps for his knee. For now, with no performances in the foreseeable future, Rosner occupies his time as a personal trainer in Bayside, Queens. He lives in his late grandma’s apartment and has visits from his three-year-long, opera singing, girlfriend four days a week.