Pro Wrestling is Fake.
Anyone who watches professional wrestling, or "sports entertainment" has heard this before.
"You know it's fake, right?"
Webster's online dictionary defines the word fake as "a thing that is not genuine; a forgery, or a sham".
Is pro wrestling in-genuine, a forgery, or a sham?
No... and yes.
In the 1970's, wrestling promotions and territories like the AWA, NWA, and yes, even the WWF (Later WWE), fought to protect the industry's biggest secret.
For better or for worse, wrestling bookers insisted that the fights occurring in their rings were legitimate, and that they had no hand in swaying the outcome of the match. Guys like Andre the Giant and Bruno Sammartino were believable fighters, and in the eyes of the people, they were legitimate wrestlers.
However, as the 80's broke into the 90's, the bubble burst. Starting with WWF's move to television, Vince McMahon allowed fans of the sport to get a quick glance behind the curtain. He stopped referring to the WWF as "pro wrestling" and began calling it "sports entertainment".
This was to say that "Well yeah, they're not really fighting, it's kayfabe. It's show business. We put on a show that promises to entertain"
Well... That... and it prevented wrestlers from forming a union or successfully suing the WWE after their careers were over.
Kayfabe is the portrayal of staged events and characters within the wrestling industry as "real" or "true".
Yeah... There's actually a word that says what you're crudely trying to say.
Fake is such an ugly word.
What makes anything fake?
Former "WWE World Heavyweight Champion" Seth Rollins had this to say.
"Fake is like the worst word you could possibly use to describe anything, you know? What are you talking about? What is fake? It's a television show, and a live performance. Nothing's fake about it. We're not telling you we're out their fighting each other. We're going out there to entertain you. I consider myself an athlete. I train like an athlete, I eat like an athlete, I recover and get sore just like any other athlete. We're not lying to anybody. People just don't understand the art form of what we do. It's a mental and physical grind. You can't be a dolt in this industry. On the opposite end of that, you can be the smartest guy in the world and not understand what it is to have a presence on stage. Being a character, executing a live performance, understanding what it is to connect with a crowd and elicit a specific response at a specific time using moves and body language and emotions. What we do is very complex. It's under-appreciated."
And he's absolutely right.
The outcomes and sometimes even the matches are scripted, but for the most part, the impact is real.
True, some guys throw "hollywood" punches, and the wrestlers do their best to protect their partners in the ring, but the reality is that they beat each other up for a living.
Don't believe me?
Ask Daniel Bryan, who accrued so many concussions in his career that he now suffers from seizures.
Ask Edge, who was one bad trip away from paralysis.
Ask Triple H or Kevin Nash's quads.
Ask Stone Cold Steve Austin how his neck feels.
Ask Shawn Michaels about his back.
Ask Mick Foley...
Ask Mick Foley about anything.
Still think its fake?
Do me a favor right this second.
Stand on top of your bed. That's right, stand on your bed.
Now, without bracing yourself or preparing, fall on your back.
Fall flat on your back.
Not enjoyable, was it?
Well, I promise, that ring is a lot less forgiving than your bed is, and it doesn't get any easier after the 5,000,000th time.
Imagine taking those bumps, imagine getting punched in the face, imagine jumping off of cages, five nights a week, every week of the year.
Imagine driving thousands and thousands of miles to destroy your body, sleeping on shitty hotel beds, with little to no company insurance, for a small contract. Imagine starving yourself and working out like crazy to maintain the proper aesthetic. Imagine creating, trashing, re-creating, and tweaking a fictional character that has to appeal to millions of strangers around the world.
You complain when you have to get up early for work, but most nights, you find yourself back in your comfy little bed.
And yet you have the nerve to say that what they do is fake, because the outcomes are pre-determined?
Why not just watch UFC or boxing?
Sure. Why not just watch UFC or Boxing!
Who is the hottest sell in UFC (right now), Connor McGregor?
A standard pay per view is roughly sixty dollars.
But I've heard so much about Connor McGregor, let's check it out.
The early fights are fine. The pacing is a little slower than what I'm used to, but they're really fighting, so I guess I have to accept the pace. OOH A PUNCH. Okay, back to grappling... and grappling... wait... now the fight is over?
That's a bit underwhelming.
But wait! Mr. McGregor is on! Finally. I've been waiting forever for...
The fight is over?
But... That was so fast... 13 seconds? I spent sixty bucks on this, I could've just waited and watched it on Instagram!
Hey, while we're on the subject...
Before McGregor became the biggest sell in UFC, Ronda was making all the money. She was famously beating people in 20 seconds or less all the time...
Then she loses, has a couple movies come out, and... now Connor McGregor, who has neve won a UFC fight in less than a minute, is winning in less than 20 seconds.
Sure. That's totally logical, brother.
And don't get me started on boxing.
Sure, the heavyweights are entertaining, but most Americans don't care about that.
Americans wanna see Mayweather vs Pacquiao again!
You know... that fight where two dudes hugged each other for half an hour and then judges decided Mayweather was the victor.
Hey, wrestling may be fake, but I'm almost guaranteed at least one entertaining match on a card, and it only costs me...
You know what's real though?
See, these aliens attacked New York City. They attacked, and a soldier from WW2 on steroids, a skinny-fat billionaire in a flying suit, a Green Arr- I mean Legola- I mean Robin Hood wannabe, a ninja with completely unnecessary cleavage, a Norse god, and a guy who turns green when he gets angry have to fight them off before the government decides to nuke the state. Mostly because the Norse god's brother is in cahoots with the aliens, and is using his magic staff to hypnotize people.
Yeah... That made 1.52 billion dollars in the box office...
OH, and then there's THIS.
YO, THE ROCK IS IN THESE MOVIES, AND PEOPLE STILL SAY THE WWE IS THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING HE'S DONE.
What am I not getting?
What am I missing?
Is it because Monday Night Raw has been on TV every Monday since January 11th, 1993 and they've had to create new characters and storylines to entertain a crowd that is impossible to please. Wrestling fans bitch so much that wrestling fans have started bitching about how much wrestling fans bitch about wrestling fans bitching.
At the end of the day, there are no illusions about the business of professional wrestling.
The curtain has been ripped off of the fourth wall and replaced with an HD television screen. Nobody thinks The Undertaker is an actual dead guy, nobody thinks Triple H is actually Thor, and nobody thinks John Cena memes are funny.
People watch the WWE to see breathtaking bouts of athleticism, simple plot development, and to be entertained.
Wrestling has been around for hundreds of years, and it's not going anywhere any time soon.
If you can't wrap your head around that, then here's a video of indie wrestler, Joey Ryan, using his dick as a weapon.