Pro Wrestling Is Real
World Wrestling Entertainment also known as the WWE is one of the most popular entertainment businesses in the world. Even though popular, they are heavily criticized for being fake. Wrestling is not fake! Though it is scripted, at times wrestling becomes real.
Professional wrestling began in Europe during the 19th century and it was performed at many carnivals all over. As wrestling’s popularity started to grow, the fan base expanded worldwide. Pro wrestling is athletic entertainment based on combat sport. The athletes use different fighting styles such as Classic Amateur Wrestling, as well as different forms of martial arts. The wrestlers use these styles along with a gimmick to choreograph a show for people to enjoy. In a wrestling match two wrestlers enter the ring along with a referee and the match is not over until the time limit of the match expires, one of the wrestlers gets pinned to the mat for three seconds, the pinned wrestler submits and is forced to tap out or one of them gets disqualified for not following rules by the referee.
The reasons people claim that WWE is fake is because the combat is staged and the outcome of the wrestling match is predetermined before the fight actually starts. The characters portrayed by the wrestlers in the ring are not real and most of the time they are not really hitting each other. They call ‘spots’ to each other, giving the other person heads up on what move they are going to do next. Pain is exaggerated. When blood is shown, most of the time, they used a blood capsule on their face or a blade to make a small cut on their own forehead. Also behind the scenes the wrestlers are not really enemies, they are most likely friends. People who complain about wrestling are usually UFC fans. UFC, which stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship, is mixed martial arts fighting. UFC fans like this over WWE because the fighting is authentic and the outcomes are not predetermined. The UFC president Dana White bashed the WWE business last year after a fan complained to him on Twitter. The fan said the UFC pay per views are too expensive and should be cheaper like the WWE’s pay per views. White responded to the wrestling fan on Twitter, “I hear u bro but fake shit should be 9.99.” This did not sit well with the wrestling industry. A WWE wrestler who goes under the name, Bull Dempsey, responded to White on Twitter, “Hey Dana White, come to the WWE Performance Center & see what we do every day tell me it’s fake. Send your “ultimate” fighters too. How dare you.” Dempsey felt that some people do not understand what WWE wrestlers go through, training every day, and White’s remark showed a lack of respect.
Even though the WWE matches are predetermined, things can become very real and veer from the prearranged script. When things go off script in wrestling it is called Shoot Wrestling. In 2001 on an episode of WWE Jakked, Perry Saturn was set to face Mike Bell. Early on in the match, Mike Bell botched a move on Saturn and Saturn was extremely furious about it. Saturn began savagely assaulting Bell with vicious punches and then threw him out of the ring. Bell landed directly on his head. Backstage Bell was fine, nevertheless Saturn was punished for unprofessionalism. Another example of when WWE went off script is the infamous Montreal Screwjob on November 9, 1997. At the time the WWE Champion Bret Hart was leaving the WWE for another wrestling company, WCW, because they were offering him more money. Bret was scheduled to have his final match defending his WWE championship against his arch-nemesis Shawn Michaels on the Survivor Series pay per view. Since it was in his hometown Montreal, Hart had a major issue with dropping the title to Michaels so the plan was for the match to end in disqualification and the title would be taken off Bret on Monday Night Raw. Vince McMahon―the chairman of WWE―and Michaels however had other plans that night. During the match Michaels put Hart in a sharpshooter, Hart’s signature move, where the wrestler takes the other person’s legs, crosses them, turns the opponent on their stomach and sits on their back and applies pressure until that person taps out. The shocker came when McMahon told the referee to ring the bell but Bret never tapped out. Earl Hebner, a close friend of Hart, was the referee. As soon as Hebner ended the match Hart immediately left the arena. Hart was humiliated in his own hometown and was furious. He spat on McMahon on live TV, destroyed everything around the ring and spelled out WCW with his finger in the air in front of the camera. When Hart went backstage he met up with Michaels and Hart asked him if he knew about this betrayal. Michaels swore to God he had had nothing to do with it. However years later Michaels admitted on a wrestling podcast The Stone Cold that it was his idea all along, saying, “I saw that was the spot where you could ring the bell. This is the only spot we’ve got to do it. I just said, ‘Look, I put him in the sharpshooter and you’ve got to ring the bell.” In the locker room, Hart knocked out McMahon before leaving the arena and went on to work for WCW.
Working as a wrestler for the WWE is not an easy job. Wrestlers are on the road three hundred days a year and they work about four shows a week. They usually work two televised shows and two live house shows, which are exclusive for the people that bought tickets in that town. The constant physical contact takes a toll on their body. Even the most experienced wrestlers get hurt from the constant abuse. Adam ‘Edge’ Copeland had to retire a year early in 2011 because his neck was badly banged up. The doctors told him that if he continued to wrestle with his injured neck, he could have ended up paralyzed. Most recently one on WWE’s other top talent Bryan Danielson had to retire because of his neck and was having seizures due to how reckless his wrestling move set was. During Danielson’s retirement speech on Monday Night Raw, he expressed that, “It gets to the point that when you’ve been wrestling for sixteen years, that adds up to a lot of concussions.” Being a wrestler is not easy although it is scripted it does require athletic discipline and can have serious physical repercussions.Personally I have experienced what a pro wrestler goes through. In 2014 I attended a pro wrestling school in Brooklyn call House of Glory. I went to school three times a week and that physical contact does is taxing physically. How you feel after a day of training is equivalent to a car crash. Your body feels broken. Once I hyperextended my knee, doing a move with someone else and it was months before my knee got back to normal. Taking chops in the chest really hurt and they left my chest extremely red. I did have fun despite the abuse I took from being in the ring. I understand 100% why these WWE wrestlers put their body on the line to entertain people. Although the pain and injuries are irreversible, being a wrestler is fun.
Many say wrestling is fake but it really is not. Yes the show is scripted and predetermined but that doesn’t take away from the physical abuse that these people go through everyday while training and performing shows. Even though the show is scripted there are times when things go off script and get real. As a wrestling fan I love to escape reality for an hour or two and be entertained. Even though I loved wrestling training it did make my body feel terrible so I had to walk away from it. Having experienced that, I can confirm pro wrestling is real.