Anyone born within the last 20-25 years has witnessed Professional Wrestling in some form or another at least once or twice in their lives, whether it be the incredible intensity of Austin 3:16, the electrifying barbs from The Rock or even the invisible phenomenon that is John Cena.
Professional Wrestling is attributed with many taglines, the primary one that almost every other person comes back to seems to be the word “fake.” While one could argue semantics for however long they wished, there are very few art forms as unique as Professional Wrestling. There’s always been a level of nuance to the emulated violence, which has lost its lustre over the years.
Professional Wrestling was always the story of good and evil in its basest form. Each hold, arm drag, submission and whatnot were supposed to be the building blocks creating drama through an athletic contest. It could be argued that every sport tells a story of some sort. However, there’s something very different about this hybrid of high stakes drama mixed in with absolute athleticism. From the neck crunching mayhem of Japanese Wrestling to the bloodbaths of good ol’ southern rasslin’, there’s so much variety in this seemingly simple sport that there’s a flavour for everyone’s taste. Heck, even comedy wrestling is a thing. While there may be variations in other forms of media, very few can go through several genres within less than 30 minutes.
The whole fake fighting argument is so myopic that it fails to acknowledge the incredible athletic strain these wrestlers go through on a weekly basis for the sake of entertainment. There is nothing fake about the genuine pain endured by these athletes. The business is built on the expression of pain, given in the form of a sporting contest. To have the crowd eating out of your hands at every step is not a skill that’s easily mastered. The incredible energy that can be generated from a single beat of an entrance song should give anyone looking in from outside a view into how deep the suspension of disbelief can be stretched given the right circumstances.
Many have said that somewhere along the way, the purity of the art of Professional Wrestling was diluted to the point where the rules became a crutch to give unsatisfactory endings to these contests, employing the cheapest form of “eat” possible for engagement. However, that is only the truth if you’re only looking at one company. There are so many incredible options in this business that purposefully blinding yourself to the vast world that lies beyond is nothing but an excuse.
Even though it is not my place to implore readers to search out the archives of Pro Wrestling history, I can certainly confirm that there’s a whole wide world out there that hasn’t been explored. Maybe you’ll find something you like along the way too.