So wow, right? Last week, I was fully expecting a bunch of backlash for talking about video games on a wrestling blog but that never happened. Turns out you guys (at least 95% of you) are actually pretty cool. Who knew, right?
This week will be a little bit more simple. I’m really going to ask you a question just out of my own curiosity. It was a discussion brought out by Joel on this week’s Classy Ring Attire podcast featuring Jonah Kue (out later this week).
There’s one question that’s basically every single wrestling has been asked, regardless of which brand you watch or you’re just a fan of indie wrestling live shows. It’s the one question that truly binds the entire IWC.
“You watch wrestling? You know that’s fake, right?”
And the discussion we had was how exactly did we each respond to that and that’s now the question I pose for each of you.
Personally I liked Jonah’s answer the best but you’ll have to listen to the podcast for that.
The way Joel and myself have always handled it was we had certain go-to matches that we would show those asking the question in an attempt to explain that the fact that it’s “fake” doesn’t really matter at all. We both agree that the best example of this would be the Mankind and Undertaker Hell in a Cell match. I also like to throw in CM Punk vs Cena at MitB 2011 just to show how easily it is to get swept up into the excitement of it all to where the “fakeness” is the furthest thing from your mind.
Of course the wrestling fans know that yes, all moves are done so that no actual harm befalls each other but that doesn’t escape the fact that body parts are making contact with other body parts and usually at a high velocity. A lot of my non-wrestling fan friends are often surprised that the only thing that’s predetermined is usually the finish and who is going to win. I then show those friends the “everybody talks too much” segment from a Botchamania video and they’re surprised that most of the match is thought up by the wrestlers during the match (usually not as loud as Cena calls them).
If they don’t appear satisfied with those points then break out The Montreal Screwjob. This subject usually works for me because most of my friends are film nerds and they tend to take something more seriously when they see a documentary about it (I’m including myself as a film nerd). Just show them Wrestling With Shadows to get Bret’s perspective and follow that up with the rivalry interview Bret and Shawn did for WWE to get all the angles and perspectives. There’s something so compelling about the entire story of that situation that catches the interest of just about everyone. It’s one of the rare moments where a fantasy world blends with reality and everyone involved has dirt on their hands, just some with more dirt than others.
I suppose there’s always the “shut up, you don’t know what you’re talking about and you’re an idiot” method of handling the question but you’re not going many favors to the overall perceived intelligence of wrestling fans.
There’s always the times where the person asking the question is doing so in a smug way and you know there’s absolutely no way you’re going to explain and convince them otherwise and they’re so closed-off to things they don’t know about that they wouldn’t be open to watching anything you present. In those cases, my answer is simply “so what?” I find it fun and it’s way better (probably less scripted) than most reality shows so what’s the big deal? Of course that type of person is always going to have some sort of snarky response to anything that you say so I elect to disengage because there’s no progress to be made with the closed minded and it’s not worth our time.
In any decent wrestling organization (I’m including TNA, calm down), the product tends to speak for itself. Sure there are lulls in quality but it can still be a lot of fun. After considering myself too cool to watch wrestling during high school (even though I overlooked that I was an awkward marching band kid), I returned to watching WWE on a weekly basis in college in early 2007. At the beginning, I would be huddled around my tiny TV screen in my dorm while my roommate and the rest of our friends made fun of me as they played Halo. By 2008, I converted Joel into the mix because of his surprise that Bret Hart was returning to WWE and now Joel knows more about wrestling than I do and is a fellow writer on a wrestling blog and co-host to our wrestling podcast. By the time we graduated college, all the friends and roommates that scoffed at wrestling had become fans. And now every year, we as adults, travel to one of our apartments (some now with spouses that are at least tolerant with wrestling) and watch Wrestlemania as a group. Are they all die hard wrestling fans? No. But they grew to enjoy it and, mostly, it became an excuse for all of us to hang out (which proves to be increasingly more difficult after we all graduated).
We all know wrestling is scripted but so is Parks and Recreation, Walker Texas Ranger and Game of Thrones. You show me someone that argues that Ron Swanson, Chuck Norris and dragons are stupid and I’ll show you a poor soul that’s never dreamed.
So how do you handle it? How do you answer the question “You know it’s fake, right?”
Be sure to follow us on twitter @CRAttire and check out last week’s podcast here.
Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,
The Answer: I’m going to remake some of Dr. Seuss’ books but change certain details to avoid copyright infringement:
Green Pancakes and Waffles
How the Finch Stole Daylight Savings Time
Morton Hears The Who! For the First Time and Eventually Becomes a Stoner
Oh, The Places You Probably Won’t Go Because West Wing is on Netflix Now