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Is Wrestling Fake or Real? Some Answers!

Updated on August 14, 2009

In wrestling the words 'real' and 'fake' are hard to quantify. No professional wrestling is 'fake', if someone hits you they actually hit you, if someone picks you up and throws you to the mat you do hit the canvas, and often quite hard!

Pic Credit: Tom Lancaster
Pic Credit: Tom Lancaster

Giving and Taking Moves

In pro wrestling its all about control, trusting your opponent and training HARD. When you throw a punch there are various techniques to make it seem more effective but in all you 'pull' the punch ie: as soon as you feel contact you let your arm go a little limp, absorbing most of the impact. When you get slammed to the mat or 'get bumped' (knocked down) you perform a break fall, where you land spreading your weight across the parts of the body that can take impact and minimising the impact on the sensitive areas (lower spine on your back, face & balls on the front). Don't get me wrong though, it still hurts! And it takes a long time to learn how to get it right every time.

Yes, wrestling rings are sprung, but that spring/flexbeam only has between 1/2 & 1 inch flex in it and the ring usually has judo/martial arts padding (absorbs impact but is hard rather than soft) under the canvas, some just have a couple of layers of carpet underlay! The sound the ring makes on impact (wooden boards hitting metal beams) also adds to the impact effect.

And that's just the impact moves; most hold and submission moves are developed from various martial arts & classic wrestling moves, so they can all do legitimate damage if performed in a 'full on' way. However in professional wrestling the aim is to put on a good show rather than genuinely hurt your opponent, so at most your opponent should feel some minor discomfort.

If pro wrestlers did the things they do to actually hurt their opponents there would be a death a day (at least) and the schedule would be more like that of boxers or MMA fighters than, like the worlds top performers do, working 5 days out of 7.

Credit: Tom Lancaster
Credit: Tom Lancaster

'Selling'

This is where the only real 'acting' comes in. The art of 'selling' is where wrestlers act like a move hurt a lot more than it did. Holding their back, calling out in pain, 'nursing' an area that their opponent has been working on, ect are all parts of making it seem more genuine.

The aim of pro wrestling is to make the audience suspend their belief for a few minutes, and get them behind the good guy, hate the bad guy and get them emotionally involved in the match.

Matches are roughly scripted beforehand, with the booker telling the wrestlers what he wants from the match, whether that be a scripted list of spots detailing the whole match or simply, 'I want you to win, make each other look good'. The wrestlers then make up the rest between them and it is often made up in the ring with wrestlers 'calling' moves to each other as they go.

Credit: AFW
Credit: AFW

Training

Training and conditioning is a huge part of a professional wrestlers life. Most wrestlers are in the gym at least every other day and take part in wrestling training sessions as much as possible to keep their edge and expand their range of abilities. The amount of time it takes to train to the level where you can turn pro varies from person to person, but the average time between beginning training and performing in your first show is roughly a year. Some people take to it quite quickly and could be out there in as little as 6 months getting squashed by more established names, others may train solidly for 18 month before being allowed in front of a paying audience.

The one thing to remember about training to become a pro wrestler is that training to become a wrestler HURTS. Once you have been doing it for 6 months week in week out it becomes part and parcel of the whole thing and drops to the back of your mind, but those first few weeks of training be prepared to feel pain. And ache for 3 days after every session. And to pick up the odd light 'injury' (nothing major, just your body complaining about you taking it to the limit). All in all, training to be a professional wrestler is one of those things that you are either suited to or you're not.

Hopefully this has answered most of the questions you have about Professional Wrestling. If you live in the UK and are interested in wrestling training you might want to have a look at my other series of hubs in which I provide information on British wrestling training schoolsregion by region: Northern England, The Midlands, Southern England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland(coming soon).

Comments

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    • Hannah Hodgson profile image

      Hannah Hodgson 2 years ago

      I am so glad this article was written to help further clarify on the debate between whether professional wrestling is fake or not. I've read a lot of these comments and I can't help but wonder. "Did you even read the full article?" You always hear people helping with the discussion that the match outcomes are predetermined and are all part of storylines, but very rarely do you find information on the moves. I really appreciated this information, it even helped me expand my knowledge on the subject.

      You explained what they do, and more importantly, why they do it. I've always tried to explain to people that the hits and kicks are not "fake" but controlled to prevent injury; you can't just go full force and punch someone in the face continually throughout the match. Injuries only happen when something goes wrong, you're not supposed to injure each other on purpose. What they do still hurts, just not as much as it could, and there's nothing wrong with that as long as it builds upon the suspension of disbelief.

      Wrestling is scripted, planned, but injuries can happen at any given moment. Torn ligaments, broken bones, sprains, tears, the list goes on. Some injuries can even be career ending. There is just as much danger in that ring as other sports, whether planned or not. Professional Wrestling is scripted like any other t.v show or movie you see, and it is specifically for our entertainment and to keep things controlled.

      Again, thank you so much for this HUB. Definitely going to save it on my computer.

    • profile image

      Johne284 3 years ago

      I'm pleased that I seen this website, precisely the proper information that I was trying to find! eccadecbekee

    • knslms profile image

      knslms 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I just can not understand what is so hard to understand about the fact that wrestling is a show. Its a show, it is written, and it is performed. The organizations do not claim it to be anything other than a show!

    • AWAFlashback profile image

      David Aaron 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      "Fake" is so incorrect. Predetermined outcomes is accurate. The pain these guys go through is crazy, there aren't "tricks" for most of it.

      http://hubpages.com/@awaflashback

    • profile image

      oisin sherdan 4 years ago

      i think wresling is real because how do they bleed in firstblood

    • profile image

      jsm 5 years ago

      ITS A REAL FACTIOUS ACT

    • profile image

      sgfjkl 5 years ago

      Guys, wrestling is real

    • profile image

      Liamryanburtmania 5 years ago

      WWE And TNA are not fake! They hit eachother for real but it is scripted. So They are told what moves to hit and when, and They will be told what to say in most parts, so it's 50% fake and 50% real!!!

    • profile image

      mark 5 years ago

      formal MARINE, if i was to hit you like they do you will not get up and i know you will bleed, so have a nice day

    • profile image

      mrscott7 5 years ago

      wrestling is soo fake its pure ovb ppl who think wrestling is real r soo stupid and ther dumbasses FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Paul Heyman 5 years ago

      @Ludo Shutup you dumbass.

    • profile image

      Paul Heyman 5 years ago

      @Ludo Shutup you dumbass.

    • profile image

      tetbagmelo 5 years ago

      It's so real,bcos the things or moves happening in wrestle does happens alive.

      if it's fake why should wrestle been recorded ?

    • profile image

      deborah 5 years ago

      i don't now weather its real but i now jessie sorenson is at home with an injury which may have ruinered his careeer think do you really now the truth

    • profile image

      india is the best 5 years ago

      wrestling is fake,dumb and gay and so are the people who watch it....watch real combat sports like muay thai,boxing,kickboxing,mma etc...

    • profile image

      Prince-iceland 5 years ago

      Its fake.fake wounds.fake hitting actions.its nt a sport but short movie.

    • profile image

      Rojan 5 years ago

      Hey,listen guies, Wrestling is real it is not fake. It is so so so real. I like wrestling &

      I love wrestlers . My favourite wrestler is "JOHN CENA"(Never give up).

    • profile image

      Rojan Ghimire 5 years ago

      Yes, wrestling is real . It is not fake. People who say wrestling is fake,their mind is not working properly. It is played on almost every country, if it is not real why is played in many countries? The belts are also real .

    • profile image

      Rojan Ghimire 5 years ago

      Yes, wrestling is real . It is played on almost every country, if it is not real why is played in many countries? The belts are also real .

    • profile image

      it's REAL 5 years ago

      Wrestling is REAL . I gave this little kid the pedigree and totally kicked his ass took his plastic belt AND FUCKING LAUGHED MY HEAD OFF standing victorious over a the dazed and crying 8 year HAHAHAHAHAHA!! I said. and if you don't like it , I got 2 words for you...SUCK IT!!! thank you for reading my crap

    • profile image

      bbikjg 5 years ago

      WTF is ITREAL

    • profile image

      Nizzy 5 years ago

      Wrestling is not fake if it's fake hw come they fight in a steel cage it is real because the belt is also real or do they fake the wins too or having injuries on one kneel 5 times

    • profile image

      usman bojude 6 years ago

      its complicated

    • profile image

      JackUnprettier 6 years ago

      Fake isn't the right word to use yes its pre determind but that's why its entertainment like any other tv show etc. but the reality is there putting there bodies in danger and if you don't believe me look at injuries in wrestling if its so fake how did triple h rip his quadricep of the bone how did angle suffer his spinal injuries etc just think before you say this sport is fake because in fact i respect these guys more than most other athlets

    • profile image

      jake 6 years ago

      yeah right you wish you were jhon cena. but i do support that it is real

    • profile image

      John Cena (not kidding) 6 years ago

      Listen guys you all keep saying its fake and this has been going on for years now so let me explain.Ok you see in hell in the cell mtches if you get thrown of the the top there is no way you can fake it.And you might say that the weapons are breakaway so you are saying that the shiny metal on the chairs are fake. So everyone who supports me please knock some sense into the following... bibplov sapkota,and you know I don't even care anymore just hear me out if you think its fake then why do you come visit me and i will slam you through a table and then see how fake it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      biplov sapkota 6 years ago

      i don't think that the wrestling is rel because if someone will be beaten like this then he will surely die.and it is said that the undertaker has died but if he have died then why did he came back...

    • profile image

      allen 6 years ago

      i think its ok...

    • profile image

      $am 6 years ago

      hi yall out there

    • profile image

      Changes 6 years ago

      Must someone win the other with smack down,while in real fight nothing like smack down.these people are ton old to be foolin people

    • profile image

      cody 6 years ago

      boom boom u can't c me hart dinasty sharp shooter im awesome

    • profile image

      el 6 years ago

      damn!! it's so confusing i can't make out whether it's true or not

    • profile image

      Brandyn Lysiak 6 years ago

      Whether wrestling is real or not, these guys can still kick the crap out of about 99.9% of everyone on the planet.

    • profile image

      fake  7 years ago

      I saw one match where one had hold the other hair was punching him in the head but he was not punching him in the head he was punching his hand that was holding the other guys hair. fake,rigged and rehearsed and fans of this so called sport are stupid fools.

    • Ludo profile image
      Author

      Ludo 7 years ago

      Been there, done that ;) And a roadworks sign. And a cookie sheet. It hurts. And a lot of the selling done afterwards isn't put on, you are genuinely laying there thinking 'fuck me that hurt!!' but if you've trained for it you can pull yourself together and get on with the match. There ARE ways of protecting yourself/protecting the guy you're hitting but they never come off looking as good

    • profile image

      erte 7 years ago

      itts fake ok i understand the moves are real but let me fuckin slap u in the face wwith a chair and c u get back up

    • profile image

      Why bothER? 7 years ago

      Hum...

      This is so obvious.......

      Can you see its fake?

      For example....can you see the SO MANY Coincidences????

      Watch it in another point of view and make sure not to listen to the ruddy comentators (their voices look as if it has been recorded later..)

      In all the finishing move of atleast all wrestlers , the victims also need to help; eg in 619 the victim needs to get up for the final PIN...why don't you guys understand that the victim ALWAYS get up??? NO one is that mad!!

    • profile image

      declan  7 years ago

      i lovewwe

    • profile image

      declan 7 years ago

      wwe is real its not fake

    • profile image

      decaln 7 years ago

      is wwe real

    • profile image

      ayman 7 years ago

      real

    • profile image

      LIAM 7 years ago

      ITS REAl beacause you can see there moves there face hits the ring see for your self.

    • profile image

      LIAM 7 years ago

      IT SO SO SO REAL

    • profile image

      zahid 7 years ago

      its not fake

    • profile image

      The Genius 7 years ago

      Erm Frank...hate to break it to you but Wrestling IS infact one of the original Olympic disciplines and high school wrestling is also televised across most states in the US.

      But anyways a nice little overview on the realness vs fakeness or wrestling

    • profile image

      frank 7 years ago

      I will never be recognized as a real competition or sport. You won't find it at any high school, college or in the Olympic. It is good for a laugh just like the Jackass show.

    • BeccaHubbardWoods profile image

      Mizzery Chick 7 years ago from Outside your window...

      Great job. I enjoyed your hub very much.