Before I begin, I want to confirm that I do NOT think wrestling is a sport. I am just trying to show you that it takes a lot of talent, determination, heart, and passion in order to be a pro wrestler and perform moves like these.
WWE Scripted? Yes. WWE fake? NO!
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestlers (and other brands for that matter) DO actually fight each other. I mean you can’t fake being thrown off of a 20-Foot-ladder into a wooden table, in front of a LIVE arena. And of course it’s scripted, otherwise the story line would mean NOTHING! However people have gotten SERIOUSLY INJURED and have even DIED by wrestling.
I‘ve heard many people say things such as, “All the punches and moves are as fake as Santa Claus.” Ok, let’s get this straight. Yes, the outcomes are predetermined. Yes, the tables are usually meant to break with a little weight and leverage (except for those which don’t break after the move to put the person through it, those are always funny though). Yes, the chairs are made thinner so that they dent easier. But a lot of the moves are real. They put their bodies on the line. People have been seriously injured, and have died due to wrestling. Joey Mercury lost 20% vision in his left eye due to a steel ladder to the face… that wasn’t meant to happen, but he took the chance, and it did. Jeff Hardy jumped of the top turnbuckle, and landed on a ladder, which was leaned on another ladder. This made it like a see-saw. The ladder came flying up, and cracked Joey Mercury right in the face, below his eye. It was a scary, bloody, gory mess. He was then rushed to the closest hospital’s emergency room, where he got 5 stitches inside, and 15 on the outside of his nose. This also broke his nose.
There have been a few deaths in wrestling too. But I think the most known one is Owen Hart’s. “On May 23, 1999, Hart fell to his death in Kansas City, Missouri during the Over the Edge pay-per-view event. Hart was in the process of being lowered via harness and rappel line into the ring from the rafters of Kemper Arena for a booked Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather.” (Wikipedia). The rope went into a quick release during said event. Hart plunged 78 feet until he slammed into the ring, landing chest-first on the top rope, about a foot from a turnbuckle, throwing him into the ring. Owen later died on the way to the hospital due to such force crushing his body onto the rope and turnbuckle.
Total Nonstop Action (TNA) has a match called the Ultimate X. In this match, there is a steel X-shaped walk-way suspended 15-feet above the ring. The wrestlers are trying to get a title or a red X hanging from the steel. To do this, they have to fight each other 15 feet above the ring. Yes, that means they do death-defying moves to each other off of the 15-foot high X. Thus causing many wrestlers to fall that 15 feet onto the ring mat.
Now, let’s see how this is ‘fake’. Oh, let me guess. He can fly? No, wait. They used a computer to make it seem like he fell, although it was attended by a live crowd and was on PPV, LIVE. No, hold up, I’ve got it. He has strings attached to him that nobody can see. And they didn’t get tangled up with his opponent during the rest of the match. No, that’s not it. Ummm… I give up. There is absolutely no way of faking a fall of 15 feet into the unforgiving ring mat.
Now let’s take an example from a real match that really happened. There was once a match between Rob Van Dam and Finlay. Rob Van Dam is jumping off of the 15-foot-ladder. Finlay is laying on the ground, receiving a Five Star Frog Splash. That move wins matches just from jumping off of the top turnbuckle. Which I believe is a little less than five-feet. Now imagine that , but off of a ladder. Okay, once you’ve done that, tell me, how was that faked? Note that Van Dam was on the very top rung.
Now, check this scenario out. Edge vs. Randy Orton. Now, Edge uses his signature spear (something like a football tackle, except with extreme force) against Orton. This is a match ending move as well. Is that fake too? Did Edge NOT really nail Orton’s gut and send the back of his head into the canvas? Was that just great acting too? I think you non-believers need to think again!
Okay. Now let’s move on.
Something else I hear… “Well it’s just a soap opera .” Yes. Yes it is. However, the drama of it all makes the matches flow better together than say Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). I mean, don’t get me wrong. I like UFC. I really do. However, compared to wrestling matches, UFC’s are more off the mark. If you know what I mean. With all of the drama, the matches between two or more superstars flows better, and makes sense.
For example, the Chris Jericho v. Shawn Michaels story line. It turned out to be an awesome rivalry. How did it start, though? Well with a little bit of drama. But to sum it up… Two great friends, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels face each other in a match at WrestleMania 24. Flair loses and has to retire. Then Batista gets steamed that his good friend, Flair, is out of wrestling. Thus challenging Michaels to a match. It turns out that Batista was just mad that he himself wanted to end the career of Ric Flair. (well so it seems). Chris Jericho, the king of being a drama queen, who loves attention, comes along. Gets involved with Batista and Shawn. Then what do you know? It’s Chris vs. Shawn… to make a long story short, Chris gets someone trained my Michaels on his side, then destroys Shawn’s eyesight giving him a detached retina. This was caused by Chris Jericho slamming Michaels face-first into a the Jeritron-5000 (Plasma TV). You see how all that drama made the rivalry better than it just being Chris Jericho v. Shawn Michaels? The drama made the story line more exciting and thrilling, and most important, Personal. Also, the drama makes the the match less forced, and seem over-done.
What ticks me off the most about anti-wrestling fans is that they think all wrestlers do drugs. All because a few wrestlers have done drugs, doesn’t mean that every single wrestler has done or does do them. In reality, wrestlers probably have more heart in what they do than any other sport’s athletes. Now I know a lot of you are going to doubt this, but I want you to think long and hard about this: Those wrestlers who don’t do drugs work their asses off. They get heat from people like those of you who think that they’re on drugs because they’re huge. When really, you should be amazed by the fact that they actually spend at least two to three hours in the gym a day. They work their asses off, and just because a few wrestlers did drugs, those with the heart and determination get blown off and forgotten about. For example: John Cena is drug-free, and doesn’t get any credit from you guys. I would absolutely LOVE to watch you squat even 100 lbs for ten minutes straight. Let alone three hours, much like Cena does. Hey, how come when someone like, say Barry Bonds does drugs, nobody goes, “Wow. Every baseball player is on drugs.”?
Now, let’s take a look at these moves. Look in even closer to see what such pain they have to go through…
Spinbuster (the wrestler starts by facing their opponent. They then grab the opponent around the waist and lift them up, turning 180°, and toss them forward onto their back or slam them down while landing on top of them) (Wikipedia), and Power Bomb (when you lift your opponent up so that they’re sitting on your shoulders, and then you slam them down back first) (Wikipedia). Both mess up your spinal cord and neck . Mess those moves up and wind up paralyzed or seriously injured. Take John Cena for example again. A few weeks back, he had had a match with Batista at SummerSlam 2008. John jumped off the top turnbuckle, legs open. Attending to land on Batista’s back, sending him down to the ring-mat. But “The Animal” Batista reversed John’s leg drop. Thus catching him in a Batista Bomb (Power Bomb) and slammed Cena down. With all of the tension in the jump and in the slam, it caused Cena’s head to bounce off the canvas, and snap back up and back down into the ring-mat again. Cena suffered broken disks in his neck, and needed surgery.
That brings me into my next topic, commitment. John Cena breaks a few disks in his neck. He needs surgery. Gets it. Then what does he want to do? Go and see the guys in the locker room back with the WWE. So here John is walking backstage of the event; drinking a Gatorade, with a band-aid on his neck. When just three hours before, he wasn’t even conscious, and was on the operating table. Triple H (wrestler) says John Cena came in wearing a band-aid on his neck “…like as if he just got a mosquito bite, acting like nothing happened.” If that’s not commitment, then please, tell me what is. His doctor had even suggested John to go home and go to sleep. However, John lives for this company and decided to make his on decision.
Another sign of commitment ALL superstars have to face is the pro-wrestling season.
There is no off-season in pro-wrestling. These superstars are on the road, traveling, for about 300 days a year. They go from state-to-state, country-to-country for 300 out of 365 days a year. Imagine not seeing any of your family for almost an entire year, and working the entire time.
Finally, I want to talk about the German Suplex (when you grab your opponent by the waist, and throw them over your head). Mess this up, and break your neck.
If you think you can endure that much pain… think again. Chris Benoit once had a match with the suicidal, homicidal, genocidal, death-defying Sabu at Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW)’s 1994 November To Remember. Benoit hits his signature German Suplex. Sabu, being, well, Sabu, attempted to turn mid-air. They landed wrong and Sabu broke his neck.
I hope that this has gotten my message across that wrestling, in some ways, is indeed real. So what if it’s planned-out? My money says most people wouldn’t have the guts to do half the things pro-wrestlers do. Also, wrestlers do deserve most respect. Again, most people wouldn’t be able to do the things they do. Still disagree? Then let me choke-slam you off of a 20-foot ladder through–Yes through the ring, like Undertaker did to Edge at SummerSlam 2008. Then you can tell me how fake wrestling is, and how much respect they deserve.