It’s always been weird to me when I bring up that I’m a professional wrestling fan, some people feel the need to remind us that “wrestling is fake”. I mean, we don’t do this to other forms of entertainment. Did you know Game of Thrones was fake? Cause last I checked, dragons are made up.
Listen, no one over the age of 10 thinks it’s actually real. That’s not why we’re entertained by it. There are so many reasons to love it.
The first reason we love it, is that it’s exciting. I’ve often referred to it as “Gymnastics for Dudes”. If you’re into gymnastics or figure skating, then you know what a triple sow cow is supposed to look like (I totally don’t). Well, it’s the same for us. We know what a tiger suplex is supposed to look like when performed properly. When superstars pull off those moves correctly, it looks smooth and makes the match more interesting when both performers are in sync. It takes all superstars involved to work together to make these moves look how they’re supposed to. When they perform the moves well, and have a great character that we can either get behind, or love to hate, that’s how we determine who should be champion. So while they aren’t competing “physically”, they are still competing in somewhat of a style competition much like gymnastics, figure skating, or cheerleading.
It’s also really dangerous. Calling it “fake” definitely diminishes the efforts of those that have died in the ring, or have been severely injured, all for our entertainment dollar. As I said above, pulling off these moves correctly means all superstars involved need to be in sync and in shape. Because if they’re not, disaster can, and will happen.
There can also be some very real, dramatic moments that happen. One of the more recent instances of this was the return of fan favorite, Edge at the 2020 Royal Rumble.
Edge was forced into an early retirement thanks to multiple neck injuries/surgeries. Yes, real ones, not made up in the story of the show. We all thought he’d never wrestle again. Fast forward to 2020, the crowd literally explodes as his music hits during the Royal Rumble match. Even “The Rated R Superstar” couldn’t contain himself, as he broke character for a second seeing the crowd erupt for him. It was a sight he never thought he would see again, but one we didn’t think we would see either. Time stopped as we all shared that moment together.
Is wrestling fake? Sure. Call it that if you want. But I still enjoy it, and many others do as well.
Because it’s still real to us, dammit.