I Love Professional Wrestling

I have been a fan of professional wrestling for the last fourteen years. I don’t really talk about, nor do I make it known that it is a passion of mine. I’m not embarrassed about it, it’s just something that doesn’t come up. That changes today. I’m tired of keeping this to myself.

When I was a kid in the 90s, my grandparents would come over and my grandfather would stand at front door and tell stories. One thing he always talked about was wrestling.

I had no clue what he was talking about at the time, but tried to keep up with my head nods. He would tell me what a guy named “Stone Cold” was doing, or what a rock was doing to three H’s.

It took me awhile to understand that there were wrestlers named The Rock and Triple H.

But even with his entertaining stories, I never thought to watch wrestling. I didn’t even know where to find it on TV.

Around 2002-2003, I found it on TV and something clicked in my head that wrestling – World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) – was something I enjoyed. I had never seen someone get smashed in the head with a garbage can before. It was riveting.

My passion grew from there. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know anyone else who watched wrestling.

When I was in university, I took a course called, “The Sociology of Professional Wrestling.” I was so excited for it. Finally, I would be surrounded by people who loved wrestling as much as I did.

The course had a two hour lecture and a one hour seminar each week, which divided the class into groups of twenty.

On the first day of my seminar, the TA said, “Raise your hand if you watch wrestling.”

I was unaware that this was one of those questions that required me to look around and gage everyone else’s response before deciding what my answer was going to be.

I immediately raised my hand. No one else did. Everyone stared at me. Some chuckled. The TA asked me why I watched wrestling, but worded it in a way that made it sound like I was making a mistake.

I said that I enjoyed it. But that wasn’t enough. They wanted to know if I watched the whole show, or just tuned in for some segments. I guess that was their attempt to throw me a life preserver. I didn’t grab it.

Here I was in a class about professional wrestling and no one wanted to admit they watched it. They were too cool for it. To save face, some said they used to watch it back in the day “when it was good.”

Therein lies the problem whenever someone says they like wrestling. It’s a dirty word. They are often mocked. They are told, “You know it’s fake, right?” And the reply to that is, “It’s not fake, it’s scripted.” Which is a terrible comeback.

Newsflash: The guy who supposedly comes down the chimney on Christmas is fake. Does that mean we stop celebrating Christmas?

Television shows are fake. Movies are fake. Some fight scenes don’t even have the real actors in them, they have stunt doubles.

There are no stunt doubles in wrestling. And there are no quick cuts in the editing booth. Someone can get hurt at any minute. People have died in a wrestling ring. Think about that the next time you want to call it fake.

I know it’s not a real competition; it’s entertainment. I don’t watch wrestling to see two guys, or girls beat each other to a pulp. If I wanted to see that, I’d watch the UFC.

As cheesy as it may sound, I watch wrestling because of the stories that are being told and the ride that each match or storyline can take me on. Each wrestler is a unique character that the audience likes, or doesn’t.

How is that any different from your favourite television show or movie for which they’ve made six sequels?

At times, being a wrestling fan has been a lonely experience. I can’t sit down and watch Monday Night Raw and text someone about stuff that’s going on. And when I do, it’s the stuff that gets mainstream attention.

I hear the way people speak about wrestling and it infuriates me sometimes because it’s so inaccurate.

Speaking specifically about the WWE, if you think it’s just a bunch of men and women on steroids performing violent criminal behaviour while swearing like a sailor, then you are wrong.

The television show has a PG rating. And as I make that point, another one gets brought up. “How can wrestling be PG? That just proves it’s not good anymore.”

Because a PG wrestling show can’t be entertaining, right?

I think a lot of people grew up watching wrestling during the “Attitude Era” in the late 90s – early 2000s, and as a result, they think anything less than that isn’t worth anything except their insults.

Two weeks ago I thought about writing this post, but I was unsure about going through with it. I didn’t think there was a point. Last Monday night, I watched a match between Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and a guy named Big Cass.

A lot of you have probably never heard of those names before, but that’s okay. That match was for the WWE Championship. The winner was predetermined. All of the major moments in the match were planned out. And all four guys don’t actually hate each other in real life.

It was one of the best wrestling matches/stories I’ve seen in a long time. I rewound it and watched the ending at least six times. Then I went on my computer and rewatched it again and again and again.

I don’t do that with sports or television shows. Only wrestling.

It was everything professional wrestling should be and fans were full of glee when it was all over. A fake/scripted/pre-determined athletic competition was incredible entertainment. Who knew?

That match made me feel confident in writing this post and sharing my passion, whether anyone reading this cares, or not. I just had to get it out. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m not embarrassed by it. A lot of people think I should be, but I’m not.

Many nights, before I fall asleep, I’ll go on YouTube and watch old wrestling matches or promos. I’ll look up wrestling content outside of the WWE and see how their style differs. It’s a world that deserves more credit than it receives.

People who call wrestling “fake”, or shame others for watching, are missing the point. I feel sorry for them because they’ll never allow themselves to understand why people enjoy it.

I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I’m proud to be a wrestling fan, even if I’m the only one in the room who raises their hand.

I love it.

It feels so good to finally say it.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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56 Responses to I Love Professional Wrestling

  1. joseyphina says:

    I enjoy watching the WWE too. But I would have wished they don’t hurt one another in such a dangerous manner.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ariel Lynn says:

    I used to watch wrestling. I was lucky, though – I had a huge group of friends who made a night of watching televised events & put together a pool to pay for PPV events. This was back when the WWE was WWF (before the World Wildlife Foundation sued them).

    I thought it was fabulous. I met Lita – she was gorgeous (I have pictures!).

    While I don’t watch it as religiously now, while I rarely speak to those friends anymore, it absolutely has its merits. It’s a brilliant show of strength, choreography, dedication, & acting in front of huge live audiences. I’d like to see any of those people who complain about it being fake get in that ring & hold their own for 5 seconds.

    I do believe it has a certain… male-audience soap opera quality. & that’s not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      That’s awesome! Lita was definitely one of the greats and way ahead of her time. Women’s wrestling has gotten so much better in the last few years, mainly because they actually let them wrestle now. And you’re right, so much goes into the show that people don’t even realize. It’s truly amazing what they pull off every week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        Lita was definitely one of the best (not to mention one of the better looking; but I digress) female wrestlers during the time I watched. It upset me when other women won, because she was so much better… plus, we all want our fave person to win all the time.

        The amount of work that goes into one show – not including all the work in the gym & strict adherence to diet – is way more impressive than the fact that it’s scripted. Who freakin’ cares if they know who is gonna win in the end?! Dropping someone on their head because the move you’ve practiced a hundred times suddenly goes wrong = an injury regardless of whether or not the end is predetermined.

        Some people wanna rain on your parade no matter what. To that, I say: Eff ’em. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        I think people get so caught up on the fact that they think this is a sport and associate sports with real competition and a legitimate winner and loser. What they forget is that this is not sports, it’s sports entertainment. And it’s a shame, because a lot of the matches are more entertaining than an unscripted fight/sport.

        Like

  3. James says:

    This just made me really nostalgic – many years ago (probably when I was your age…) I used to watch wrestling. A lot. Me and my friends would even fake wrestle, which would get pretty ‘non fake’ at times. I don’t watch it so much now – being married and old and stuff, and it’s only on pay channels in the UK, but every now and then I catch it on a friend’s TV or You Tube and I’m properly hooked all over again. It doesn’t matter that it’s fake, it’s pure entertainment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      “Fake” wrestling seems to be a thing a lot of us did when we were kids haha. If you get a chance to check out the match I mentioned in my post, or at least the finish of it, I can guarantee you’ll love it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Barb Knowles says:

    I’ve never heard of a closet wrestling fan before! Or maybe it’s only here that you haven’t written about it. I am not a fan, but my daughter and her boyfriend follow it avidly. He used to be involved in it by writing articles and somewhat in production (I really don’t know what I’m talking about here). But I know her favorite wrestler is Bayley.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Barb Knowles says:

    I just sent my daughter the link to your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ret MP says:

    I like MMA wrestling (cage wrestling) far more than WWE. Why? not sure. Might be the costumes, showmanship ? kinda turns me off. I like the raw MMA. That being said, both require athleticism. Both require an audience. Both are ways to make an income beyond college using the skills of the (amazing) sport of Wrestling (Greco, Freestyle or Folkstyle).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. woah never knew this! I never really got into it but could always see the merit and loved the video games!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. celiamae says:

    I watched WWE as a kid growing up. My favorites were Rey Mysterio and The Undertaker. I thought it was the coolest thing. Then my sister came along and she told me it was fake. I argued with her for days. When I found out it was fake, I was let down. But I never felt embarrassed. Glad you’re finally coming out and admitting you’re a fan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Yeah I believed it was real too when I first started watching. Learning it’s not real is like learning Santa doesn’t exist, but it’s not the end of the world. The Undertake and Mysterio had a great run. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jiya says:

    Do you smell? Because the Rock is……cooking. 🌯

    I used to watch wrestling too but I got to the age where I was like is this for real? Mangers wrestling managers?! :\ 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  10. deyell88 says:

    I watched wrestling during the attitude era and then stopped watching when they went PG but I’ve found my way back about 2 years ago and I’m hooked again and now my kids love it as well!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. backbump says:

    Fantastic article Paul, hit the nail right on the head in regards to loving wrestling, my reasons behind it are extremely similar to yours. I don’t understand how somebody can watch Game of thrones and then criticise somebody for watching wrestling because it’s ‘fake’. It’s the emotion it draws out of you that makes you enjoy it, the journey in which you’re taken on.

    Top work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Exactly! And it’s not like the WWE or any other promotion is trying to hide the fact that it is fake. Kayfabe was broken decades ago. If anything, the industry is more revealing than ever. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  12. I’m not ashamed to admit that I watch wrestling. Okay, perhaps it’s not as entertaining as it was in the late 90s early naughties (I’m not saying it’s awful now, I just have a soft spot for then) but they are amazing athletes. Not many professionals are on the road 365 Days of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Amazing story. I enjoy it to. Have all my life. It represents life and is an amazing outlet. Not to mention the great looking female wrestlers. I invite you to read my article about meeting Hogan, sort of.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yep, wrestling’s not a topic for grown folks, lol. Thank you for this post Cap!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Chichi says:

    Reblogged this on Three Count Sports & Fitness and commented:
    This is beautiful and totally relatable. 😀

    Thank you Paul. 🙂

    Like

  16. authenticprowrestling says:

    I enjoyed your blog

    Liked by 1 person

  17. amazingalbumsblog says:

    Man I know the struggle. I’ve been a wrestling fan since late 2009, when my favorite thing was DX. About a year and a half ago I had a falling off with my best friend, who was the only other wrestling fan I could talk to, so it’s been a lonely passion for me. I’m getting ready to start my own blog on wrestling for much of the same reason you are.

    My favorite comeback to people telling me it’s fake is to ask them what their favorite TV show is, then immediately remind them that it’s fake as well.

    Anyway, that was great to read and I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Hey, thanks for the comment! Yeah wrestling is one of those things that I think many people enjoy by themselves unfortunately, or just with a couple of friends because its not a popular sport or tv show where everyone watches it. Coming across other wrestling fans is always a treat though.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hey, man. Great article. Being an avid follower of pro wrestling myself, I can totally relate. About the course, though, I had no idea that one of its kind existed. I was quite surprised to learn about your experience with the cohort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I was surprised too. It was under sociology and called The Sociology of Professional Wrestling. So glad I could go to class and learn about wrestling and get credit for it. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Fight Night Hype says:

    Great read! It’s really something that one shouldn’t have to be ‘admit’ to watching, it’s mainstream TV like anything else. The stigma surrounding it is very silly and it is consistent entertainment at the very least. That’s more than can be said for ‘real’ fighting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      So true. Wrestling feels like something that people either love, or don’t fully understand. Very little middle ground. Hopefully the stigma slowly goes away over time.

      Like

  20. Pingback: I Love Professional Wrestling — The Captain’s Speech – Classic Wrestling Association

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