I have a shocking confession to make. Are you ready?
I love professional wrestling.
I go to live shows. I’ve been to WrestleMania. I wear wrestling t-shirts. I randomly yell WOOOO!!! and strut like Ric Flair. I have been known to run the ropes in Wal-Mart (from side to side in the aisle). I’ve tried to talk like Macho Man Randy Savage (multiple times) and flex like Hulk Hogan. I throw random wrestling catchphrases in regular conversation (Oh, it’s true. It’s true). I search old videos that remind me of being a childhood fan. I listen to podcasts about the wrestler’s lives, watch old matches several times over, and get excited about the same things all over again.
I’ll watch pretty much anything pro wrestling related. WWE. New Japan. Lucha Underground. Ring of Honor. Total Nonstop Action. Evolve. Pro Wrestling Gorilla. Other independent promotions. If it catches my attention, then I’m all for it (I’m watching a WCW PPV as we speak).
I’ve been enamored with pro wrestling since I was a kid.
My mom tried to ban me from watching it, but I would turn the TV down low on Monday nights and watch RAW anyways. Probably because I was a rough little kid, and I would be flying around the house doing leg drops and clotheslines. My Godmother bought me an Ultimate Warrior wrestling buddy when I was 5. I had matches with that thing until I was at least 12. I would set it on top of three couch cushions, climb to the top rope (the corner of the couch), and fly through the air like Randy Savage for an elbow drop. I think it looked something like this.
I graduated from elbow drops to moonsaults. My wrestling career ended once I kicked the grandfather clock trying to do a backflip onto Warrior. No wonder why my mom didn’t want me to watch.
When I tell people I watch pro wrestling I get one general response.
“You know it’s fake right?”
Some fans take issue with this statement. I don’t, and here’s why.
Television programming is storyline driven. So, it makes all the sense in the world that pro wrestling follows this standard. Yes, the matches are predetermined. They know who’s going to win before the match takes place unless an audible needs to be called. Yes, the matches may even be choreographed. However, the bumps these guys take are real regardless of any prior discussion.
Can you imagine having another person land on you? Getting popped in the jaw night in and out? How jarring and sore your body must feel to be thrown around a padless ring. I respect what these guys do.
To me, it’s pure entertainment.
Wrestling is like a movie. Give a solid plot, throw in some twists and turns, have some live action stunts, and the viewer is hooked. They want to see what’s going to happen next. It’s so comparable to other television media that it’s laughable when people shun those who watch it.
It’s all good, though. I’ll continue to love wrestling regardless of who says anything different.
That’s why I’m a pro wrestling fan.