As a proud wrestling fan for the majority of my life, I have been subject to, on several occasions the easy insult of “You like wrestling? Don’t you know its fake?” As a teenager, it bugged me, despite it being the attitude era and wrestling was hotter than anything on TV. It was always the people who didn’t understand and only knew the headline figure, that took the mick and judged me for watching it.
As I grew older and understood the wrestling business more, I grew to accept what was so fascinating about wrestling. It wasn’t about the winning or losing it was about getting lost into the characters, admiring the psychology and the athleticism inside the ring, that kept me glued to the TV screen; buy every single wrestling DVD; and watch the show every-time they came over the pond to the UK. I am proud to say I love wrestling, I would like to think if you are actively reading this too then you do as well.
So wrestling is “fake”, the “Fake” is a massive over exaggeration, a label by those who don’t understand. People assume it is “fake” because they know who will win, because they don’t hit each other or try to hurt each other, and because of that the sport is undermined. Wrestling is entertainment, in fact Vince McMahon dubbed it Sports Entertainment (mainly to get away from sport commissioners in the late 80’s), just like the Harlem Globetrotters, we know who will win, you go for the fun to watch trick moments, in fact wrestling is a form of athletic entertainment.
Moving away from sports, think about this, when you go to the cinema, do you think this film is fake? No you don’t, the same with TV shows like Game Of Thrones, or soaps like Eastenders. It is entertainment, the actors aren’t portraying themselves they are playing a part, just like wrestling it’s a form of entertainment. As well as acting, wrestlers risk their lives by performing inside the squared circle. TNA star Ken Anderson sums it up extremely well in a recent article with CBS Washington.
“It’s interesting when people say that it’s fake, yet they’ll go to the movies and watch the X-Men and watch people fly through the air,” Anderson said. “People get shot with bullets and the bullets bounce off of them. People turn into liquid metal and stuff like that. And they look at that stuff and say that’s cool and that’s entertaining. But when they watch what we do — we’re not trying to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes.”
Wrestler’s either take it with a pinch of salt, be diplomatic or get angry about it. One famous, contrasting approach to the issue what during a television interview on Kuwait television involving WWF Champion Undertaker and Vader. Undertaker took a very calm approach to the question, however Vader didn’t take the comment too lightly.
We all know wrestling hurts, we have seen plenty of wrestlers get injured and even paralysed in the ring. This isn’t the time to debate it all I will say is just let any critics watch Mick Foley vs Undertaker inside Hell In A Cell to understand how much pain Foley went through.
As a wrestling fan, I don’t care about who wins or loses, or that it is “fake”. I care about everything that comes with the worldwide spectacular that is professional wrestling. The moments when an underdog like Daniel Bryan is given the chance after a long build up, the unexpected moments of Seth Rollins turning on his Shield brethren and the gasp out loud moments. Wrestling is purely wrestling, something that you can passionately follow and get involved in to chant “This Is Awesome!” and be proud about it. The next time you think about criticising or making the assumption that wrestling is fake, well isn’t all forms of entertainment fake? Keep calm, it’s only wrestling