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Wrestling's Fake Don't Ya Know?

Cactus Jack

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It happens to every single wrestling fan without fail, this I can guarantee. How many times have you - when faced with a question like, ‘What are your hobbies?’ - felt rather stupid and insignificant when mumbling, "Well, I quite like wrestling". It feels like a dirty secret, like an unsightly mole in an intimate place, an overzealous attraction to pornographic material involving goats, y’ know, something bad. And if we don’t know why, then there is always some smart-arse moron waiting to tell us why. "Wrestling’s fake you know?"

Why is it that all fans of a perfectly innocent, wholesome hobby need to be vilified by apparently superior people? I’ll tell you why. It’s because people who are ‘above’ wrestling have no means of discovering what the business is really about. So read on to find out how to try your very best to explain the way wrestling works to even the most narrow-minded individual.

"Wrestling’s all fake"
This quote (along with ‘Football’s only a game’) annoys me like no other. It is often uttered by people who think of themselves as superior beings because they know this deep, dark secret that we are yet to discover. They think of wrestling fans as people who simply have a delayed reaction to finding out the truth about Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny and the rest of his crew. But I will NEVER accept the simple statement that ‘wrestling is fake’. Father Christmas is ‘fake’. The Easter Bunny is ‘fake’. So what makes Stone Cold just as mythical as a man in a red suit and beard that hands out presents? SWEET FA!

As fake as wrestling may be, the wrestlers are very much real. Sure, they are portraying characters which are different from their real personas, but so does Robert De Niro. Al Pacino does it too. Good god, why, actors are nothing but frauds! Isn't Eastenders kust as fake as wrestling? No one complains about actors being ‘fake’ do they, and yet they follow scripts much more closely than wrestlers ever do. For the bigger matches (Raw/SmackDown, PPV etc.) that are conducive to progressing storylines and character development, then the endings/winners are pre-determined. But any two wrestlers worth their salt can ad-lib an entire match at any given time. So sure, as fake as wrestling is, wrestlers don’t follow scripts as tightly as actors do, and even so, millions of people around the world watch actors perform in soaps, films and so on every day. Why should wrestlers receive any less recognition?

"Wrestling’s not a sport"
Often said by sporty-types that feel they are being hard done by being compared to ‘fake’ wrestlers. And they are right...to an extent. While wrestling is defined as sports entertainment, the word ‘sports’ is there for a reason. Wrestlers have to be fit, healthy, strong, and need to train on a regular basis. Those who aren’t will falter. Take The Big Show. "7 2", 500 pounds. Undeniably a tremendous physical specimen. But it is no secret that his love of fast foods and penchant for cigars has done little to progress his career, and rightly so, as guys like Kurt Angle, Triple H and The Rock have physiques to match any ‘real’ athletes. And not just to look good. They lift, they push, they pull, they carry, they drop, they jump, they run in a manner that exerts their bodies in ways that isn’t achieved in many other ‘real’ sports, apart from perhaps, amateur wrestling. What’s more, wrestlers in the WWF specifically will be travelling on the road 200 days of the year. And despite the intense travelling schedules, they still find time to work on their overall fitness and, oh, yeah...wrestle matches. So although wrestling isn’t 100% sport, wrestlers tend to be stronger than footballers, tennis players, golfers and the likes, and in many cases are fitter.

"You don’t still watch wrestling, do you?"
This will come from the mouths of those that feel highly mature because they have grown out of a childish ‘phase’ that wrestling fans seem to be trapped in. This will often be followed by, "Wrestling’s fake you know?" - their way of slowly breaking it to us that Kane wasn’t really burnt in a fire. It’s as if they expect us to take in this amazing revelation and then rethink about watching RAW next week. This is said in a such a tone of voice that you could change the dialogue to "You don’t still believe in Santa Claus, do you?" But read and compare the two sentences below :

*Father Christmas is a fictional character, though he is perceived as real amongst children. Children will soon realise with age that Santa is fake, but will nonetheless spend money on Christmas.

*The Rock is a fictional character, though he is perceived as real amongst children/marks. Marks will soon realise with age that The Rock is fake, but will nonetheless spend money on merchandise/PPV’s/Videos/Toys etc.

We can all relate to this somehow. I stopped believing a long time ago (in Father Christmas) yet when the Yuletide season rolls around, I still remember what it was like to believe in him. And let’s face it, wouldn’t we all love to believe that Santa WAS real?

Parents like to believe in Santa to preserve the excitement of their children and also because it is in the spirit of the occasion. Wrestling fans want to believe that Kane was burnt in a fire for real, because that is in the spirit of wrestling. Who would go to see a play at a theatre and subsequently complain because it was all fake? No-one, because it is not supposed to be taken that way.

"Wrestling doesn’t even hurt anyway"

Even though the more trivial bumps that a wrestler takes are still painful, I have a friend of mine who swears blind that a wrestling ring is made of a foam-based material which cushions their fall, despite the visible impact that a simple bump makes in the ring. Although there have been plenty of wrestlers who have sustained injury from some insane bumps (Mick Foley, New Jack etc.) there have still been many displays of wrestlers hurting themselves by sloppy performance, or just bad luck. Steve Austin nearly broke his neck when Owen Hart screwed up a piledriver.

Darren Drozdov was not so lucky, when, in 1999, he was given a rough powerbomb from D’Lo Brown which resulted in paralysis from the neck down.What about Sid who, at the 2000 WCW pay-per-view SIN, bent his leg at a 90 degree angle, just because he didn’t land correctly on his foot? Would anyone have dared to look Sid in the face, his leg only being held together by the leather in his boots and say "Come on now, you big baby. You’re just playing after all?" No. Wrestlers ARE tough and they prove it day after day. A wrestler scared of pain is a wrestler on the dole queue.

"If wrestling’s fake, then anyone can become the champion"
Wrestling is portrayed on T.V in a way that makes it look as if it is real. It is portrayed in such a way that suggests that when title matches take place, they are legitimately deciding on who is the better wrestler. And that is exactly what they are doing. It’s just that the winner has been planned. But people overlook the validity of Championships because of that last sentence. "The winner has been planned." ‘Well if they’re planned, then what’s the point?’ The same point as giving Golden Globes to actors. The same point as giving Golden Boots to footballers. It honours them. It shows to the World that they are the best at what they do, because they have got something to prove it. A golden atlas, golden footwear ... or a championship belt.

Of course, this will also be ignored because, after all, wrestling is fake, so the wrestlers are just as fake, then, eh? If Triple H can be champion then anyone can, can’t they? Not true.

In EastEnders, Steve McFadden plays the part of tough guy Phil Mitchell. Dean Gaffney plays the part of loser Robbie Jackson. Would Dean Gaffney be able to play the part of Phil Mitchell better than McFadden? Probably not, as McFadden was chosen because he looks the part, he speaks the part, he IS the part. And unlike Gaffney, he doesn’t look like the loser that Robbie Jackson is. It’s all about who does the desired job the best. Dean Gaffney isn’t one of the main characters in EastEnders because, simply, he isn’t as good an actor as Steve McFadden. And Billy Gunn will never be WWF Champion because he’s not as good a wrestler as Triple H.

Sorry that I seem to have gone on a rant, but I was just wondering if you can relate to it?
 

fujiwara

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Yep, I get it all the time when the course of conversation drifts towards Wrestling.

"You don’t still watch wrestling, do you?" THat is one of the most annoying things that anyone can say about Wrestling in my view. Now I've said this before and I will say it again. Wrestling was, too many, just a passing craze. Like Pokemon cards or whatever. They watched it during the boom period when it was the "in" thing to do. Then once it died down and the people just followed on to the next craze. It seemed, in their eyes, that we were stuck in the past. To them we are some how childish. But all they had done is followed the crowd to the next thing.

Now following on from that one I usually get "Wrestling is so much faker now, than it was before" Now I don't know if you get that one but I do. It is a niave thing to say in my view. The in ring action has stayed the same. Sure some of the angles are a bit far fetched now, but other than that its the same. "he wasn't even hitting him hard with that punch" That one is my favorite. I don't know whether they didn't understand that Wrestling was indeed choreagraphed and that you are not going to punch someone as hard as you can in the face for 20 minutes each night because they would be perminatly injured. Now this one is a quote from a friend of mine from about 2 weeks ago. "Sorry but Wrestling is so fake" to which I replied "yes but it was fake when you were watching it aswell" he responded with "Yes but we acknowledge it now" What sort of a comeback is that? That one really bugged me and still does. I mean is that a firm base for an arguement? Hell No IMO (hey, that rhymed). I also agree with The actor theory.

"If wrestling’s fake, then anyone can become the champion" Not true. Well technically it is but would Steven richards make a credible world champion? Well it would be an experiment but it probably wouldn't work from a money point of view. Infact that idea could save the WWE I'm going to write to them with the idea in a minute. So where were we, ah yes you need to have a credible champion. The wrestler would have to be popular enough and over enough to draw money and interest like the Rock or Stone Cold. It is true from the point that if you give a wrestler the right push and such then, in time he can become a champion.

See I get very annoyed when people say these things. thats why i try to stay clear of Wrestling conversations with people who don't take an interest in it.

P.S: I' ve drawn up a rough under dog gimmick for steven richards to follow. He would be a lovable yet slightly cocky character backstage but would be quite scared in the ring. Now to start he would face people bigger than him and he would get no offence in and then win accidentally or with a roll up.

Actually on second thoughts that does sound very much like Mickey Whipwheck and that wasn't a huge sucess but still I have sent my request through to a WWE e-mail adress and will be waiting for a reply!
 

The Crippler

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The thing is I have actually gone past the stage where I care about people saying about it being fake. I'm not bothered about it and when my mates realise I'm not bothered about it they tend not to talk about it and accept it a bit more. If I always go on about it then they will likely annoy me with the old "wrestling is fake" thing.

One of the major plus points of going to University is that I have met a friend who actually likes wrestling and as he has Sky and I don't he is able to tape it for me every week.

The main problem is that people who say wrestling is fake just don't really get it and it is gonna be hard for you to make them change their mind about it.
 

K.J

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Originally posted by Cactus Jack
. And Billy Gunn will never be WWF Champion because he’s not as good a wrestler as Triple H.
I'd probably say thats debatable at this point in time, other than that I agree with everything you've said there. I don't watch WWE so much at the moment, I always get this.

Not Watching Raw Tonight?

Nope.

Finally grown out of it then?

Erm no, it's just got a bit boring lately.

I agree with the Eastenders argument and it's one I've often used in the past, especially once with my father in law when my reply was "you watch bloody Emmerdale every night at 7pm, so you have no room to talk".

Also wrestling is a much a sport as any form of Gymnastics, Ice Skating, Dancing etc, in that the Wrestlers are not competing against each other in a physical battle as it is portrayed but in a performance sport.
 

Craig Van Dam

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I get that all the time from aunties uncles older cousins etc "Do you still watch that wrestling" when I say yeah there like "Dont you know its all fake yet? I thought you would have grown out of it by now" that really annoys me
 

joejericho

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I totally agree with that, 100%. I also get "You watch men in speedo's, their gay, you watch gay-boy wrestling, ugh...your gay" But that's just from some twats at school. Anyways, thanks for posting that. :thumbsup If Cactus Jack doesn't win the best post of the week and the writers competition I will personally protest.
 

Goldy

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Good post Cactus!, I get it all the time. I think its worse being female and not young enough to have the excuse "it's just a phrase".
Last time i went to London for a show everyone thought i was mad going all that way "just for a wrestling show", but i just shrug it off!.
Another comment i hear regulary is "what a waste of money", not to me..and anyway it's my money i damn well work hard for it!.
The worst comments i get are the sexist ones, like "whats a nice girl like you doing watching wrestling", even the coppers at the GWF shambles dared to say this, but worse still was them saying "i hope hes worth it" implying that i was only there to meet a lad, aargh they made me mad.
My mate always tries the old favourite "theyre all members of the actors union you know"..so?..
The problem with non wrestling fans is that they're stuck in a timewarp, automatically thinking of Big Daddy etc when you mention Brit wrestling, and that the winner is always the wrestler who comes out last!, yeah right. I wish i could take them all with me to a show so they can see for themselves how far wrestling has progressed, but they would run a mile.. anyway their loss! :)
 

Simon

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Yeh, its a shame but I suppose its always going to be the case since really when it comes down to it its very easy just to look at wrestling as grown men wearing tights pretending to fight in a ring.

It's always going to be a love/hate thing isn't it. I mean the only time when I have ever known for it to seem to be trendy to like wrestling was during the whole Austin/McMahon thing. And that was wierd. These days there isn't much to appeal to the casual fans in my opinion and shows like Smackdown are really only going to appeal to actual pro-wrestling fans (trying to think of a phrase there that wouldnt offend our non-US wrestling fan members :p ).

In my opinion thats not a bad thing. At the end of the day to like wrestling is just another slightly embarrassing thing you have to deal with, much like admitting that you watch Coronation Street, Crossroads or something (I don't ok). Personally I can't see it ever being accepted in non-American societies so the best thing for everyone to do is just hold their hands up and answer "yes, I know its silly, but I like wrestling", before delivering a Stone Cold Stunner to the person trying to mock it :)
 

Anime Otaku

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my personal retort to being called a wuss for watching wrestling is to lower my glasses raise an eybrow and say "Just bring it!"
 

Cactus Jack

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Can I clear something up?

It has come to my attention that this post as caused a mini storm.

May I point out that I did not right this piece, but my good friend and talent writer Luke Constable did. I did this with his full permission. Although I never said I wrote this, I do agree it was mis-leading.

The reasoning I posted it was:

*I used to own a site, for which I gave Luke his *break*. This was a piece he wrote for me for the site, and when looking at old material from my site, I found this piece.

I have now learned this has appeared in WrestlePress. May I make it clear I did not know this, and in the same turn, congratulate Luke.

I now feel, and look, like the proverbial prick.

Again apologies,
Cactus
 

The Crippler

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No real need to apologise Cactus - it was a good piece regardless of who wrote it. Anyone who was irritated by it should lighten up a bit.
 

Goldy

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It was a good piece, but where do i know the name Luke Constable from ?, It's going to bug me now, i think he was at GWF?, but thats not where i know him from. Can you clear that up for me Cactus or anyone? Cheers!
 

Kam

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Luke posts on the two forums as Jactus Cack...and hes worked on the TWO Newsletter too.
 

Goldy

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Yup! thats it!, the newsletter!, i didn't realise he was Jactus Cack! Thanks, i will sleep better now! :)
 

DraVen

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And on a lesser note, he also posts at a few other sites and had a letter published in Power Slam concerning Stately Wayne Manor :thumbup2:

As for the debate, very true. I always get the "it's fake" to which I usually reply "Well so are your mom's tits but I don't complain". That usually shuts them up (or makes them angry :p). They can't see how Eastenders or Coronation Street is more of an act than wrestling, even though they enjoy those aformentioned soaps. It's quite funny, actually. But alas, that's how the world works.
 
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