Since I was a child staying at a babysitter’s house I have been enthralled by professional wrestling. I think it goes back to the fact that the characters are larger than life, and the matches are like dancing in a way but with fists and the occasional chair. Professional wrestling as most know is by and far staged. That does not deter me. I understand that fully.
So if it’s staged why watch it? Well if any of your television shows are staged why watch them? Here’s the thing, no matter how staged, or even choreographed the fights may be it’s still the plot, and athletism that keep me watching.
I view wrestling from an art perspective. I am very critical of how things are done or managed. Even when the outcome is known before the match the wrestlers have to play it off in a way that keeps you guessing.
The wrestlers have to either pander to the crowd or gain heat from them. They have to be able to execute extremely dangerous moves and do it all that safely so as to not hurt each other. That’s not to say they don’t get hurt occasionally. They do. Sometimes they are even out for a few months. What makes it harder for them is this is pretty much full contact and they do it several days a week. No other “sport” does this.
But to really make it in the business being good in the ring is not enough, they have to be able to act, and give on the mic promos, and some wrestlers are legendary for their ability to get the crowd involved. Look at “The Rock” for instance, he can captivate an audience like only a few ever could. When he gets on the mic, people listen. I guess you really could say people smell what he’s cooking.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the business. It can be a hardcore game of politics backstage as wrestlers vie for position and status. Most will do anything to reach the top. Some have it and some are destined to always be a mid-card or worse. Some of the moves these guys pull off take so much strength and agility often times fans take it for granted.
Even more often people that don’t like it generally spout off nonsense about how it’s “fake”, I just want to remind them how much skill, and practice it takes to get where they are, how much pain tolerance it takes to be in those “fake” matches. There is no real way to fake a chair shot to the head, back in the 80’s and early 90’s they held back and just laid it on you, now? Now, they’ll really just smack the crap out their opponent. Then you get to wrestlers like Abyss, he has thrown many opponents into and been thrown into thumbtacks on so many occasions, you cannot fake them sticking out of your back, arms, and legs. Let’s not get started on barb wire matches.
I guess what I’m getting at is, even if the outcomes are fake, that does not mean you cannot enjoy it for the poetry in motion that is is. You may never consider it a real sport, but that does not mean these professionals are not highly trained, nor does it mean they don’t get hurt, or work hard just like any other athlete. If you can enjoy scripted TV, there is no reason this couldn’t also be enjoyed. Don’t take it too seriously and watch with an open mind, you may just be surprised with how much you do like it.