Last week I talked about the impending threat of AJ Lee possibly leaving the wrestling world and how that would be a crying shame. But you know what else is a crying shame? It’s how people react to the fact I like wrestling! I guess some of it has to deal with me being a girl and I shouldn’t like violence; it’s a stereotype thing. I can’t help it though. I really like wrestling! I mean, it’s fun to watch! There’s a lot of action and stuntwork. There’s also a lot of drama and storytelling done even during a match.
This is why I always find it odd whenever I try to tell people those above reasons as to why I love watching wrestling, most of the time they have to snidely comment, “You know wrestling isn’t real, right?”
Oh, so you’re telling me this isn’t real? That’s impossible!
People seem to think that you can only enjoy watching wrestling is if you honest-to-goodness believe that all of the action in and out of the ring is real. I don’t think so. I do believe there are some people out there who really believe that everything in wrestling is real! But even when I know wrestling is all scripted and choreographed, I still find great enjoyment watching all of the action.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when I figured out wrestling was fake, though. But I think it was harder to figure out wrestling was fake because I started watching wrestling and the WWE during the Attitude Era. Things were a little more realistic during the Attitude Era. By that, I mean a lot of the craziness of the early years of wrestling pretty much faded away. There weren’t any wrestling clowns anymore. Or any more wrestling plumbers. Or wrestling vampires! Or wrestling tax collectors!
Yes, Irwin R. Schyster (Really? Schyster? What kind of an unrealistic last name is that? It’s hard enough to swallow Irwin. But Schyster?) was a tax collecting wrestler who would compete with while wearing suspenders and a tie! So, this guy has a day job, working for the US government for the Internal Revenue Service (or the IRS… which just so coincidentally are the initials to his name) and then, at night, would travel to a WWE arena and go wrestle? That’s incredibly believable!
I’m not saying the wrestlers of the Attitude Era were believable (a certain wrestling porn star comes to mind) but most of the storylines were rather realistic if you can go with it. However, there were a lot of things that didn’t make sense. Like, what’s with this weird attitude of settling their feuds during pay-per-view matches? If they really wanted to kill each other, why not take the other guy out in the locker room? And that’s just with how the wrestlers behave. We haven’t even gotten to the actual physics of wrestling!
In the ring, it seems like the wrestlers are bound by their own laws of physics in a weird way. The drop kick, for instance, one of the attacks a lot of high flyers use on bigger opponents have weird properties depending on whether or not the kick connects or not. If it connects, his opponent is sent flying while the person performing the dropkick isn’t hurt, despite landing on his chest. If the dropkick misses, then the person doing it is feels the pain of landing on his chest, even though he lands the same way whether or not the kick strikes his opponent or not.
Yes, pretty much everything about wrestling is staged. Wrestling fans and a good majority of the “WWE Universe” know it. So, why do we love it? Because it’s entertaining! Simply put, we intentionally suspend our disbelief and enter this fanciful world of make-believe. We go along with the gag. It’s like dressing up for a costume party; we know we don’t become the character we wear but we like to pretend we are. Pretending that wrestling is real is part of the fun of enjoying wrestling.
Besides, just because it’s choreographed with the outcome pre-planned from the outset, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun to watch. Take, oh, I don’t know, pretty much every television comedy, police procedural, cartoon, drama, action show, etc. out there? Would you ever call The Walking Dead “fake”? Does anyone complain that the scenarios of Phineas and Ferb are obviously scripted? Of course not! Wrestling is just like those shows, though.
So, why do I love wrestling? Because it’s fun! Yes, I know it’s “fake.” I don’t care; it’s still fun to watch.
Speaking of scripted shows, have you been watching Agent Carter? It’s great! And I’ll express my love for the show in more detail next time!
Do you enjoy wrestling? How do you respond to people saying that it’s fake? Let me know in the comments section below!