What is Professional Wrestling? (Part 1)

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Me and Jahmar have been wrestling fans since the early years or our lives and have never stopped watching. We constantly get asked questions such as “why do you STILL watch wrestling” and “why do you watch it if it’s fake“. Well I’m writing this blog post to try and answer some of these common questions and hopefully to shine some light on the topic of professional wrestling.

What is it?

I’ll start this off by saying what it isn’t. Pro wrestling is NOT a competitive sport. The only time I thought it involved “real” fighting was when I was a kid (like most wrestling fans). The striking that the wrestlers do actually involves contact but punches are done without closed fists and kicks are usually done lightly with the wrestler creating a sound using their thigh or stomping the ground simultaneously. Wrestling boots are sometimes even specially designed with extra padding. Other moves such as slams and drops are not fake at all. The rings all have padding but not enough so you don’t feel anything.  Almost every wrestler has had some sort of injury and many have needed neck and back surgery to repair the damage that was caused by taking “bumps” in the ring.

How is it presented?

The way the top companies like WWE and TNA present their shows is just like how TV dramas and (even more similarly) soaps do. Everyone knows the characters are being portrayed by actors. The main difference between wrestling and other TV shows is that the line between reality and fiction is blurred. Some wrestlers go by their real names instead of stage names e.g. John Cena and Randy Orton. So if someone like John Cena gets “injured” in a match, people will be on the internet in a flash trying to find out if the injury is legit or part of a storyline. Similarly, if someone gets fired on one of the shows, people will be speculating whether that person has left the company or just needs some time off. It’s those kinds of things that make it so different from other TV shows where always know that everything you are seeing is fiction and nothing at all links to anything in real life.

Why do we watch it?

Simple. It’s entertaining! It’s as much an art form as a film or piece of music could be considered. Wrestlers have the daunting task of having to go on stage for a set amount of time and come up with spots (key events of the match) and other moves to keep the crowd entertained.  Hardly anything is rehearsed before matches. Occasionally for big matches, the wrestlers will practice spots but not an entire match. And that’s exactly what distinguishes a good wrestler from a bad one. If the crowd finds a wrestler boring (when he’s talking or performing) he/she won’t last very long. It’s all about how the crowd react. That’s how the company will decide who they want as their main stars.

By Warren

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