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Why I watch Professional Wrestling.

Updated on July 23, 2015

Let me just say...

Professional wrestling is fake.
*GASP*
I know.
I said it.
I admitted...
Professional wrestling is fake.
...Or is it?
Now before you freak out, let me elaborate.
The terrible, cheesy plots are all created by a team of soap opera writers, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, and Freddie Prinze Jr. (That's true, incidentally).
The men who put on tights, shorts, and even jean shorts are portraying over the top, and occasionally cartoony characters.
And the outcome of every single match is determined long before the opening bell.
I know all this.
But I still wouldn't call it fake.
Despite the corniness, the action that takes place in the ring is still very, very real.
Professional wrestlers are athletes who take a lot of punishment and work very hard to maintain the necessary physique.

See, I'm what the wrestling world calls a "smark".
What's a "smark?"
Well, that depends who you ask.
The casual fan will tell you that a smark is someone who acknowledges that the product is staged, and claims to enjoy it more because of it.
Hardcore fans will probably tell you that a smark is basically the wrestling equivalent of a hipster.
I proudly identify as both.

So before I get on to defending why I like the product, I guess it makes sense to go back and find out why most people don't!

Well... It's fake.

Again, I wouldn't call it fake.
We have a word describing the... legitimacy... of wrestling, and that word is kayfabe.
Kayfabe is defined as meaning "the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true," specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or pre-determined nature."
See? It's fake... but not fake.

And this argument never really made sense to me.
Am I only supposed to watch shows that are completely real?
Am I not supposed to watch Scream movies because Ghostface isn't really killing people?
Am I not supposed to watch How I Met Your Mother because Barney Stintson is just a character?

This summer, Jurassic World was a historically successful movie.
Yet, when I walked in the theatre, I knew the following.
The movie was about a dinosaur zoo.
At some point, things go wrong and the dinos would escape.
The dinos would eat a lot of people.
And before the credits went up at the end of the movie, the dinosaurs would either be back in captivity or away from people, and the core group of main characters would be safe.

That didn't stop me from loving it.
And that certainly didn't stop millions of people from seeing it multiple times.

"Well... That's Jurassic Park, that's really cool, wrestling isn't like Jurassic Park".
You're right.
They don't have a multi-million dollar budget to blow on stunt doubles or special effects.
A wrestler has to be able to go out, in character, in front of thousands of people, and improvise lines, delivering them perfectly. Then they have to perform a dangerous and exhausting series of stunts, sometimes choreographed, sometimes improvised, for up to sixty minutes.
If they miss a spot, or miscommunicate, it could mean someone's life.
Concussions, broken bones, staph infections, tendon and quadricep tears, as well as many other serious injuries not only occur, but occur quite frequently during matches.
Imagine improvising a monologue in front of 15,000 rambunctious fans.
Then imagine getting into a fight where you had to look but also lose.
Then imagine doing that three or four times a week, while driving around the country, for a whole year.

I'd love to see Chris Pratt try.

It's hella corny, brother!

I'll admit, at times, the WWE is only a few pixels away from being a full blown cartoon.
Especially when John Cena has a microphone.
But that's because the WWE has become family friendly.
It's not your dad's "Hulkamania", which merely mirrored the cheesiness of the time.
It's not your big brother's "Suck It" era, which... I mean... Creed was popular in the 90's so...
The WWE has a very broad viewership. In fact, some would argue the reason the ratings are down is that they're trying to engage too many age groups.
I get it, I really do.

But...
I said professional wrestling.
Not WWE.

While there is no question that the WWE is the biggest wrestling company, it's far from the only one.

New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground, and surprisingly, WWE's developmental territory, NXT are all fantastic wrestling shows that don't pander to the needs of the immature and focus on in-ring ability.

But, let's be real.
If I say pro football, you think NFL.

I would ask one favor of you.
Just YouTube the words, "CM Punk Pipe Bomb"
Watch literally anything CM Punk did in 2011.
Watch anything CM Punk has ever done for the WWE, and maybe you'll develop an appreciation for what happens when they blur the lines between kayfabe and reality.

And honestly...

Uh...
Why does it matter?
To each their own...
Seriously...

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      Moral Man 23 months ago

      Pro wrestling has its good points and bad points. The action and the outcome of the matches may be scripted, but a considerable amount of pain and injuries is real. The wrestling ring is hard and the human body absorbs punishment every time it falls. Gravity isnt fake. Some of the wrestling moves are very dangerous, cruel, and painful, such as the piledriver, the jack-knife or power bomb, suplexes, the heart punch, and being splashed by another wrestler uses his weight to squash his opponent. Vader, Earthquake, Typhoon, Yokozuna, Umaga, Rikishi, Jimmy Superfly Snuka,etc are all notorious for using their weight to squash their opponent. King Kong Bundy really injured Hulk Hogan with his 468 pound bulk, and Yokozuna really injured a number of guys with his 500 pounds to 760 pounds bulk by falling on them and sitting on them. Broken ribs and collapsed sternums have been reported. Bill Eadie as Demolition Ax and Masked Superstar, was squashed when Andre the Giant stepped on his stomach in a 1984 match. Thats 500 pounds standing on poor Bill Eadie. A normal average man would have been killed but Bill Eadie is no average man but is built like a tank. Masked Superstar/Demolition Ax is incredibly tough and resilient with superhuman strength. He bodyslammed 457 pound Akeem in 1989. Pro wrestlers are simply alot stronger than the average man and can handle pain better and can recuperate from injuries faster. But still. The fact is that Bill Eadie as the Masked Superstar was crushed by Andre the Giant in a 1984 match. When a 500 pound man steps on one's chest or stomach, how can the body totally heal itself? All the abuse the body took will sooner or later cause pain and suffering.

      Other wrestlers who have been injured are Barry Darsow as Demolition Smash/Repoman, who also was squashed by Andre the Giant in a 1990 match in Japan when Andre the Giant stepped on his chest with his 540 pound bulk. Theres no way to fake this. In a 1992 match as the Repoman, Barry Darsow was squashed when the 460 pound Earthquake stepped on his chest. How can the human body take such abuse? Demolition Smash/Repoman is very strong and has the strength of a big body builder and bench presses 575 pounds and deadlifts 800 pounds. In 1989 Summerslam, he bodyslammed 357 pound Big Bossman and 457 pound Akeem. It takes superhuman strength to lift 457 pounds. He lifted Akeem with such ease.

      Warlord and Barbarian from the Powers of Pain are also incredibly strong. Barbarian benches 611 pounds and Warlord benches 640 pounds in their prime..

      Road Warriors/Legion of Doom are also very strong. Hawk benches 515 pounds, and Animal benches 550 pounds.

      Mick Foley, also known as Cactus Jack and Mankind, fought in a steel cage match with the Undertaker. Foley fell from the top of the cage to the arena floor, 25 feet, and fell again flat on his back 15 feet inside the ring.

      The Dudley Boys bring tables and put their victims through them. Thats got to be painful and damaging to the body.

      Kane is another powerful guy who has taken alot of abuse in the ring. In his prime he benchpressed 650 pounds.

      2015 has been a bad year for pro wrestling. Two superstars have died, Dusty Rhodes and Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan gets fired, and Jimmy Superfly Snuka gets arrested and has stomach cancer. Snuka is believed to have killed his girlfriend in 1983. Why did it take 32 years to indict him? I would like to believe he is innocent but it looks like he did it. Its a sad story.

      Pro wrestling is a reflection of the real world. Its both fake and real. Some of it is very real. Pro wrestling can be entertaining, funny, silly, tragic, and sad. Pro wrestling is a microcosm of the real world.