Monday, February 20, 2006


Professional Wrestling is a ‘Sport’ in which gaudily dressed, oiled-up steroid abusers pretend to slap each other.

The main characteristics of Professional Wrestling are the actual fighting moves, which fall under three categories:

  1. Punches and kicks. This is where the oily homo-erotic icons pretend to punch, slap or kick each other, while missing by a clear foot. However, stamping on the ground apparently ‘sells’ these moves and makes them look real…apparently.

  2. Overly elaborate dances which would do precisely dick in a real fight. For example, taking off an elbow pad (which few wrestlers actually wear), jumping over your opponent (who lies conveniently still through the whole process) bouncing off a rope, jumping over your opponent again, bouncing off the other rope, coming to a dead stop…and then performing a perfectly ordinary elbow drop (which misses). This apparently just about kills the opponent, rather than more realistically making him say “Ouch! That stings a little! Why am I lying here, just letting you do this?”

  3. Moves which would hurt you just as much as your opponent, such as body-slamming someone from 25 feet from some form of ladder, and crashing through a table. Many wrestling fans have discovered that Mom’s old oak dining table doesn’t break quite as easily as the compressed fiberboard tables on the show, to their own cost (usually a rib).

  4. Moves which would actually kill someone in a real fight, such as dropping someone on their head…again from some form of ladder.

The wrestlers themselves are quite interesting. Especially the ones that constantly refer to themselves in third person (“The Steroid ain’t afraid of you! The Steroid’s gonna kick your ass!”) The surprising thing is that while these wrestlers are happy to appear half naked in front of a few million people…they have to wear a mask (It is my theory that this is so their probation officers don’t realize they’re out of state, or that the government doesn’t realize that they’re working and cut off their unemployment benefits).

Now, in any professional sport, you expect more or less the same thing in every match. Two athletes fight each other, and the better man wins.

While this is true of Professional Wrestling, it’s not exactly the same as say, boxing:

Good guy wrestles bad guy. Good guy gets upper hand. Bad guy’s friends storm the ring (Surely that would result in a disqualification in a real sport?). Good guy takes a beating. Good guy makes amazing comeback and beats 8 7”8 steroid poster-boys. Occasionally, the good guy will lose, in order to set up a soap-opera like storyline or feud.

On the subject of good buys and bad guys, it is extremely common for the good guy to become a bad guy for no particular reason, and vice versa. Surprisingly this can happen multiple times in the space of a single match.

However, the most amazing thing about Wrestling is the soap-opera style storylines. These too are formulaic, and the only good thing that can be said about them is that they’re just as bad as regular soap opera storylines.

For example : Good guy wins belt from bad guy. Bad guy steals belt and holds it hostage. Bad guy sleeps with good guy’s girlfriend. Good guy beats up bad guy. Good guy gets belt back. Bad guy starts feud with good guy. Bad guy steals belt…repeat ad nauseum.

This brings me to the most unique part of professional wrestling. The fans.

Wrestling fans fall into numerous categories:

  1. The ‘ironic’ fan. The guy who says he hardly every watches wrestling, but likes it for the over-the-top storylines. Barely admits to watching it, but loves every minute of it and never misses an episode.

  2. The ‘sensible’ fan. Like the ironic fan, but is actually telling the truth. He can appreciate the athleticism involved, and treats it as ‘chewing-gum’ entertainment…IE, ok to watch if there’s absolutely nothing else on.

  3. The ‘Over the top’ fan. All he talks about is wrestling, despite the fact he’s nearly 50 years old. Loves everything about wrestling, and amazingly, actually believes that it’s all real. Despite the common-sense point of view (IE, stealing a championship belt would simply have the offender banned for life from the sport…Oh, and that dropping someone on their head from an overhead gantry would actually kill them.)

  4. The ‘Backyard Wrestler’. The scariest of fans. These are usually males, aged 15 to 30, who have zero common sense, a life long dream of becoming a wrestler, and don’t understand that a lot of what they see on TV could kill them. These are the people you see on the internet or read about in newspapers who attempt to body slam their brothers off the roof of their house. Then, when surrounded by left over pieces of brother, they are honestly shocked that a 30 foot fall onto an exercise mat could result in injury.  


Just say ‘No.’


SL said...

You love it.

OzzyC said...

Sorry dude, gotta disagree with your "Just say No" comment. Yeah, yeah, I can see you rolling your eyes and mentally taking me down a notch on the old Paulius Respect-O-Meter.

I think that Wrasslin is fun to watch. I know that it's fake, and I know that the story lines are overly simplistic. That's part of why I like to watch it... it's a soap opera for guys. And you've got to admit, while the matches are all contrived, some of these guys are really good athletes (stunt men would probably be a more accurate term).

I watch it just about every week (though it doesn't bother me if I miss a week or two). In fact, my older daughter and I watch it as part of our dad-n-daughter time. She knows it's fake too. I've even seen a couple of live matches, and took my daughter to one.

(I hope that) most of us know it's fake. It's cheezy entertainment. It's fun. It's amusing. And you've got to respect Vince McMahon for his ability to take wrasslin from a third-rate form of entertainment to a world-class business.

Paulius said...

SL : No I don't.

OzzyC : That you watch it with your young daughter is your saving grace. I see you're either an actual bone fide 'sensible' fan...or are you one of those 'ironic' ones?

OzzyC said...

Color me sensibile.

Ron Bramlett said...

I think its OK to watch if there's nothing else on.

You know program selection is bad when you have 200 channels and the only thing on is "Wrasslin"