“Wrestling is fake!” is the condescending insult hurled by those that consider themselves too intelligent for such pedestrian forms of entertainment.
In all forms of fiction, whether diving into a book, binge watching a TV series, or engrossed in a movie, there is a suspension of disbelief. That’s a flowery way of saying that you stop thinking about actors, directors, camera angles and special effects, and allow the story sweep you away.
If someone can enjoy a big screen battle between Superman and Lex Luthor, (hopefully) knowing full-well that what they’re witnessing is not, in fact, a documentary, then there is no reason they can’t enjoy professional wresting.
Sit back and think about what we’re witnessing on the average professional wrestling show. Outside the ring, characters develop and storylines unfold. Inside the ring, a live, in-person, intricately performed, battle between good guys and guys unfolds – with no stunt doubles, retakes, or CGI hocus-pocus to enhance the “realism.”
Professional wrestling is astonishing!
While it is true that the outcomes of matches are pre-determined and professional wrestlers take care not to injure each other, the laws of physics are not suspended within the squared circle. When a professional wrestler performs a high-flying acrobatic maneuver or an astounding feat of strength, what you’re witness is really happening. Gravity has not been suspended. The human body has not suddenly become invincible or weightless. The ring is still constructed from wood, steel, foam and canvas.
Figure skaters master a handful of skills, and practice and perform with the same partner year after year. Professional wrestlers master thousands of skills and perform with hundreds of partners over the course of a career.
Football players play a handful of games per year. Professional wrestling has no off-season.
The most prolific actors make one or two movies a year. Television actors max out at around 22 episodes per season. WWE’s Raw brand, for example, airs a new 3-hour episode 52 weeks a year; runs an average 3 live events per week; and airs 12 pay-per-view events per year.
Professional wrestling combines the best of sports and entertainment into one, family friendly, package. It is an art form that deserves respect, every bit as real as any action movie or adventure novel.
So, the next time some one poo-poos your enjoyment of Professional Wrestling, remind them of these facts. And maybe ask them when they last watched a blood-splattered, profanity-filled, sexually-explicit and violent, political-soapboxing, hilariously poorly-acted episode of… well, anything on HBO, really. And them ask them which form of entertainment has more merit.