This post has been a long time in the making, and I just had to do it. Not for the likes and comments, not for re-blogs and shares, purely for the love of it. Because I’ve been in love with pro-wrestling for over a decade and it has been the biggest part of my life for so long.
However, for the past couple of years I’ve been listening to people talking about it and their tone is certainly not encouraging. “Fake” they call it. It’s all acting. Why watch something which is all an act? Yeah, sure, why? But that doesn’t stop all of you detractors from watching a movie and exclaiming about how beautifully scripted it was, and how well the actors played their parts. HELLO!!! Someone is having double standards. It is still an act, and FAKER than pro-wrestling. At least wrestling takes place in front of a live crowd, and the performers don’t have any life nets or safety wires attached when they leave their feet.
Back in the 80’s and 90’s, wrestling had the status of a sport. Wrestling was the cool thing. This was the Golden Age of wrestling, heralded by the legendary Hulk Hogan himself. With iconic characters like Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Ricky Steamboat and the Undertaker, wrestling was taking over. It was becoming like a religion with devout followers all over the world. And with the launch of WCW and the WWE introducing the Attitude Era, the popularity reached its zenith. Superstars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker became household names.
But then sadly, things turned murky.
With the explosion of the internet, things hardly remain a secret. People soon knew wrestling was scripted, and shockingly a large number of fans turned away. People began frowning at it and saying “It’s all scripted…Man, I’m not watching it…”. So what if it’s scripted? You don’t know the results, so why not watch it and find out what happens? And it’s not like everything is scripted. These phenomenal athletes take real risks and endure unimaginable amounts of pain and punishment. Why? To entertain the fans. Triple H tore both of his quads completely off his bone. He could’ve just left the match and gone, and no one would have blamed him. But he stood up and finished the match. Why? Because he loves the business. He loves the fans. Stone Cold was nearly crippled for life. Edge was forced to retire. And one moment from Edge’s farewell speech still gives me chills.
“If you ask me if I’d do all of this again – hop on all the flights, all the sleepless nights, all the surgeries -if you ask me if I’d do it again…In a heartbeat”
That is how much the business means to him.
The way I see it, wrestling has now been relegated to the realm of a cult. And the followers who have stuck by it will remain ever loyal to it. We sincerely love and respect the business, we appreciate all the risks you guys take, all the blood sweat and tears you shed, every injury, every surgery. We are grateful for the fact that you put your bodies, careers and lives on the line for us every single night.
The next time you deride wrestling as fake, think for a second. These guys break bones, shed blood and risk injury and death for us. Surely this is not fake.
This demands RESPECT.