I had an experience with my friends this past Friday and there was something that the Omnibus advisor suggested to a sports writer that has led me to write this blog post. I’m going to take this time to talk about wrestling and what I see when I watch it. Last Friday I was sitting at the lunch table with my laptop out because I wanted to watch Roman Reigns break Kane’s record in the Royal Rumble. Since Reigns is out for a couple of months because of a hernia, I have to make do with what is available for me. As I’m sitting there watching the footage from the 2014 Royal Rumble, the most popular guy on campus Brian Archer walks into the dining hall and sits next to me. Now usually when a person says, “Most popular guy” we all get that image that it’s that guy all of the girls want, but Brian is not that guy. Brian literally knows just about everybody on campus and everybody likes him.
I’m sitting there with my head phones on while Brian is up getting food. I have a friend named Andrew, who is sitting right across the table from me and apparently he tries to talk to me, but I’m so focused on my computer that I can’t hear him. Then Brian sits down and shouts out “SHE WATCHING HALF-NAKED MEN PRANCE AROUND AT EACHOTHER ON A STAGE!” I started cracking up at this, and then explained to Andrew what I was watching. Brian then says “it’s staged.” At this point we see Kofi Kingston pull off one of his magnificent ways of saving himself from being eliminated. I started showing Brian and explain to Andrew about Kingston’s talent, all the while Brian is continuously repeating “It’s staged. It’s staged. It’s staged.” I didn’t let this get to me at that point but it did start a pile up of what was to come this day.
I start telling Brian, “We know it’s fake Brian. We know that when they when those Championships they really aren’t achieving anything. It’s how they work the match that we’re interested in.” He continued to repeat, “It’s staged. It’s staged.” That gets annoying. I go back to focusing on the screen but then decide to watch something else because I can always watch the Royal Rumble on the WWE Network for just $9.99. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Before I clicked on something else to watch, my friend Jared walked up to the table and saw what I was watching.
(A little back story: Jared and Andrew have been telling me that I have a wrestling problem and that I need an intervention. I say I don’t have a problem and that I can stop whenever I want.)
Jared put his stuff down and walked away to get some food. By the time Jared walked back to the table I had already started watching a Drake Younger interview from his indie days. Jared put his food down and immediately says, “You have a problem! I saw what you were watching when I walked in.”
“YEAH SHE’S WATCHING HALF NAKED MEN PRANCE AROUND AT EACH OTHER ON A STAGE!” shouts Brian.
“NO I’M NOT!” I yelled as I turned my laptop over. My friend Andrew reads the title of the video and makes the comment that it was still wrestling related. Both Brian and Jared start talking about it, Brian mostly making bad jokes about it. I only heard half of what they said because the dining hall started to fill up, it always does at that time of the day. I did retort by telling Jared, “I do not have a problem. I can stop whenever I want!”
“Oh yeah, says the girl that is going to use Poley’s laptop to watch the Network,” says Andrew.
“Wait, what?” asked Jared, him being Poley’s roommate. So Andrew fills him in on what my plans were for that night, which led Jared to ask about my computer. I show them what happens when I try to watch the Network on my laptop, it’s an Acer and the Network just doesn’t work on them. I go back to watching the video, while my friends thought it would be a good time to start cracking jokes about me and wrestling. It was Brian that led this round of jokes. I was getting so annoyed at Brian that I just turned the volume all the way up to them out and ignore them.
Jared tried talking to me about my laptop but I would have none of it. I was pretty steamed and they knew I was purposely ignoring them, but they continued with their jokes. Once my video was done, I turned the lap top off and packed it away, even though I was suppose to let Jared look at it. I sat there for the next thirty minutes, staring at my class notes, just ignoring everyone around me.
Brian eventually left and other people sat down, one of whom was Alan. He initially struck up a conversation with his pal Brady before turning his attention on me. I’m sure he knew what was wrong and it was really hard to ignore him, but I did it. That lunch ruined all of my plans for the rest of that evening. They think I have a problem, so I was going to show them that I didn’t. I cancelled my plans for watching the Network that night. Andrew and Jared apologized and I’m thankful they did, Brian did not.
So why did I share all of this with you? Well there were two things that Brian said to me about wrestling and it is the same stuff every wrestling fan hears from non-wrestling fans. “Wrestling is fake.” The other thing Brian said that bothered me was, “half naked men prancing at each other on a stage.” I just want to clarify what is so wrong about the things he said.
Yes, wrestling is fake. Yes, wrestlers tend to wear the trunks for their ring gear. Wrestlers are not pieces of meat! When I watch wrestling I don’t see half naked men or women! That is not why I watch wrestling. I don’t focus on their bodies. I focus on what they are doing. As for wrestling being fake, that is the worst thing a person could say. Could you at least try and be original? Why do you watch movies, aren’t they fake? Most of the people who say wrestling is fake don’t even know what it is that makes it fake. “Well they don’t really hit each other and the ending is predetermined.” Yes that is true, but you know what, WE ALREADY KNOW THAT!
Wrestling fans know that there is no contact with those kicks and punches. We know that the end results are predetermined. In fact, it’s at the point where we don’t even need to wait until the end of the match, because we already figured out who would be the winner. When we watch wrestling we are looking for talent. We’re looking to see how well the wrestlers “sell” and what they do in that match. There is no faking a fall from a twenty foot ladder or from the top of a cage. When a wrestler jumps off the top turnbuckle and lands on their opponent, THERE IS NO FAKING THAT! Those wrestlers still get hurt. We know that not all of the feuds are real, not all of the relationships are real and that those are not their real names. It’s called a gimmick. We watch for the talent presented with that gimmick and how those feuds carry through. You will never see the exact same thing happen twice. Except the move sets. There is no exact match done twice. Wrestling is always different than the day before.
I watch wrestling because it is fake. I don’t want to see two guys actually beating the mess out of each other. I know what is real and what isn’t with wrestling. I also like watching for the wrestlers to communicate to one another during the match. I don’t tolerate someone who sits there and tells me that wrestling is fake, when they don’t even know what is fake about it. I especially don’t tolerate someone who is annoying when they say “wrestling is fake,” that’s just rude. I like talking about wrestling, but don’t be ignorant to me about it. I was okay with Andrew and Jared making jokes, because they actually do know wrestling, but not Brian.