Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Real to Me, Dammit!

My friend Chad created this for me.  

If you've never seen the Youtube hit, "It's Real to Me, Dammit" click and watch it real quick.  It's only 30 seconds  long.

While this guy does not necessarily speak for all wrestling fans, I think he does make a very valid point.  One of my biggest pet peeves as a fan is when someone who doesn't watch asks, "you know it's fake, right?"  I respond the same each time.  I'm aware that it is scripted, the outcomes are pre-determined, but please don't call it fake.

I view wrestling the way non fans would view a movie or a television show.  Do we really believe that Bruce Willis could survive all he did in Die Hard?  Or that Kevin James would have such a hot wife?  I mean really, come on.  It's all entertainment.  Or mostly entertainment.  It's sports entertainment.  A phrase coined by Vince McMahon (I guess he was the first) many years ago.

Just because it's "sports entertainment", the men and women who participate are some of the most physically fit people on the planet.  Don't believe me?  Look at John Morrison, Beth Phoenix, A.J. Styles, Evan Bourne.  I could go on and on.  They put their bodies on the line week in and week out, traveling around the world, and many times working through injuries.  

Immediate examples I think of are Shawn Michaels working Wrestlemania 14 against "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.  Michaels back was shot at that point and after that epic battle, HBK had surgery and was gone from wrestling for more than four years.  I'm amazed he even came back after that.

Another would be the Mr. Perfect-Bret Hart match from SummerSlam 91.  Perfect too had a lot of back trouble in that match.  I remember Bret giving him props for working the match and putting him over.  Perfect would be sidelined with that injury for about a year.

Of course there's also the death of Owen Hart, which happened in the ring. While it had nothing to do with the actual wrestling, and more about the gimmick, I think it's another obvious sign that wrestling is indeed not fake.  

Another reason I get frustrated by the "fake" talk, wrestling doesn't have an off season.  Wrestlers work their weekly shows, the PPVs, and then tour the world on the house show circuit.  It's my understanding, they typically get three or four days off a week.  Even when they're not in the ring, they're doing promotional work.  Visiting TV and radio stations getting the word out that they're in town.

So to the nay sayers who try to remind me that wrestling is fake, I point to the examples I've listed.  Of course that's only the tip of the iceberg.  I could make a better argument, but if you're reading this, chances are we already agree with one another.

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