Wrestling: A Representation of Life
Introduction to Wrestling
All of us at some point of time in our lives have done it. Whether it be sneaking behind our father’s backs or just using it as some sort of motivation, we have all watched wrestling. Whether you’re a fan or someone who just terms it as ‘fake’ there is no denying that wrestling is fun. It feels great to see two men beating each other up and neither of them going to jail. But what is most significant about wrestling is its theatrics. A good guy and a bad guy, trash-talking it out over who is the better man. Muscled up steroid obsessed fanatics going around wearing underwear. It is thrilling to come out to music that people associate with you. It is hard to say where wrestling originated from, some say ancient Greece but those were serious fights, the Samson Agonistes way. Later on, in the early 1860s, the complexion of wrestling changed forever. Bruno Sammartino was wrestling champion for 8 years. But the aspects of wrestling and local wrestling organisations developed all over the USA and Japan. The sensation of wrestling in Latin America, developed even further after the Second World War, with the likes of NWO, OCW and other organisations in Latin America, Japan and Europe.
Post-1990, wrestling has been on the rise, especially The World Wrestling Federation/ The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Wrestlers such as Ric Flair, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret the Hitman Hart have all contributed immensely and profusely to this industry. Wrestling historians have dubbed this era the golden period. Whereas terms like kayfabe, heel and face were gaining public attention, people saw it more like a fight between good and evil. But wrestling is much more than that. It is theatre, drama, theatrics and performance at the highest level. Characters have their own lives, they have their own lines and their own parts. Nobody is eternally good or evil, every character is everchanging.
Wrestling as a part of Life
In the world of wrestling, every move, every skill or promo has a motive. Wrestling in the truest sense of the word is a representation of our lives, in the way that we have to behave in our lives with certain people, how we interact, how we fight for the ones we love and to what extent we will go to retain our dignity. Where one character plays the role of a rich aristocrat, another could very well be an underdog who fights through his life. Where one plays the role of an antagonist, someone will go up against the person as a protagonist. In our lives, we have many rivalries, whether it be with our colleagues, our neighbours or anyone we might come up against. Our lives are intermingled, in a way that we often don’t realise. With the use of hyperbole and dramatics, wrestling throughout the years has been a platform where the basic truths of life have been showcased. Things like betrayal, backstabbing and other forms of physical and mental torture have always been an integral part of people’s lives.
The grandiose nature of the language used, the format and the articulation forces one to understand the nuances that are involved in the sport of wrestling. This sport is not just about winning or losing, it is about the sustenance of good over evil, the triumph of the protagonist over the antagonist. In any Shakespearean tragedy, it is always the evil which has to pay. In wrestling, the ultimate triumph is of the good, but not always, sometimes the evil will win, not every storyline will lead to the victory of the good. And that is the beauty of it. Just as it is in life, in wrestling as well, the good doesn’t get to always win, it is about survival, it is about getting up again the next day and fighting for existence.
In the characters that we see, we see different versions of life, the David versus the Goliath story in Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant, the supernatural elements of the Undertaker, the badass Stone Cold or the over smart, trash-talking Rock. Everyone knows everyone who is either weird, overconfident, nonchalant or double-faced. And that is what makes wrestling a fun sport to enjoy. It’s never about the wins or the loses, it is about how much we can walk through life, how many chokeslams, stunners, rock bottoms, tombstone piledrivers can we withstand. Can we go on without lying, cheating and stealing, hold our head high and go on a path of truth and honesty? Wrestling answers these questions in a grand, flamboyant and extravagant manner. The path towards excellence in life is similar to that of wrestling, we have to be methodical in what we do, practical in what we say and hardworking in what we are ambitious about.
We play many roles in our lives, we come across many hurdles, fight many villains, and overcome many obstacles, but one thing that remains constant is that we go on, we don’t quit. Wrestling teaches us that against all odds and all obstacles the most key aspect of life is going on. As we live our lives, as we accumulate, experience, we learn to fight better, we learn to complain less and strive more. Excellence, perfection, deliverance and success are some of the key aspects of our lives, and wrestling is synonymous with all these and even more. Sometimes we need to alter our personalities, our image and our perceptions and whilst we are good in someone’s story, we are despicable in someone else’s. In one life we play various roles, we shift and change to fit our own perceptions of our selves and also to fit the perceptions of others. Wrestling is a portrayal of that. When Hulk Hogan slammed Andre the Giant to the floor, it was David winning over Goliath, it was the ultimate showcasing of human will overpowering difficulties and coming out strong. When Stone Cold fought the mighty corporate Vince McMahon, we resonated with Stone Cold because in him we saw a persona of ourselves who we want to become in our lives, but are afraid to stand up against the wrong. Wrestling teaches us life, nuances of life that we deem to be normal but are actually not.
At the end of it, all our life is nothing but a wrestling ring, where we fight, lie, steal, cheat, perform moves, win, lose and ultimately perish.