Why It’s Important That Wrestling Is Fake
Two Saturday nights ago my wife and I turned on the TV in hopes of a catching a creepy episode of Dateline featuring yet another typical, captivating story where a seemingly normal husband or wife murdered their spouse and tried to cover it up.
Instead, we happened to catch the very beginning of Wrestelmania 28, which for some random reason was airing on NBC. And we couldn’t turn it off.
We were reeled in by the mini-documentary profiles of both The Rock and John Cena. Before the match began, we were already rooting for John Cena, dressed in his token jean shorts.
Yes, professional wrestling is fake. Sorry.
No, not every single move is choreographed, but the basics of each match are predetermined, as I assume the wrestlers practice with each other for hours before their televised event.
Sure, certain parts of the physical wrestling are real, like slamming each other down on the stage.
But if all those “punches” to the face were real, there would obviously be some instant red marks and/or blood to prove it.
Why is it important that professional wrestling is fake? Because that’s what draws a crowd. People love exciting entertainment, even when they know it’s over the top and less than realistic.
(Ever heard of a show on TLC called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?)
This concept was also part of the story lines to boxing movies like Cinderella Man and Rocky, where the fight planners and promoters acknowledged the need for not only an underdog the people would root for, but also the need for a good long fight.
That’s not to say that Mike Tyson biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear wasn’t exciting, but there’s only so many times fighters can bite off their opponent’s body parts before it hurts the integrity of the sport.
Therefore, professional wrestling is fake. It’s much safer that way; not only for the well-being of the wrestlers, but also for the faithfulness of the spectators.
My 21 month-old son is at least subconsciously aware of this fact, too. On a daily basis, we wrestle in our living room. And every weekend, at the park.
He knows I won’t actually hurt him, yet he screams as I straddle him like a hungry lion tearing into a delicious zebra.
All of my growling and barking and shouting “Jack, come back here!” as I chase him across the room has to be perceived to him like being in the middle of a WWE wrestling match.
Even my toddler knows that wrestling is fake. But that doesn’t make it any less entertaining.