Current IssuesProfessional WrestlingWhen some people hear the word wrestling they think of 2 points takedown orheadgear and singlets. But most people think of the WWF, WCW, NWO, and theWolfPac. They think of names such as Hollywood Hogan, Sting, Stone Cold, DiamondDallas Page, and Golberg. If you have been alive in todays TV culture, you haveundoubtedly heard these names.
Although professional wrestling has been enjoying newfound success lately, it isnot a new sport by any means. Professional Wrestling has been around since the 1800sbut it was mainly confined to barns and other small areas with people betting on thewinner. These were often bloody and dangerous fights. Dangerous for the wrestlers aswell as the audience as sometimes the fight would spill out into the crowd.
Professional Wrestling became more of a spectator sport in the early to mid1900s, but it resembled very little of what we think of Professional Wrestling today.
Today, as opposed to old-time wrestling, it is just a spectator event with people cheeringfor a hero against a vilian. Most all matches are set up in a way that there is alwaysone crowd favorite, and one that the crowd hates.
Today Professional Wrestling is no longer a sport but a entertainment industry.
The fights are rigged, the wrestling is fake, and the only thing real about wrestling is themoney. Millions of dollars are generated by professional wrestling. TV contracts,t-shirts, posters, Video games, movies. These all generate enough money and interest tomake professional wrestling the most watched entertainment event today. One of thereasons that wrestling has become such a powerful force in entertainment is that it has allthe action of a Jackie Chan movie, all the drama of ER and all of the eye-candy ofBaywatch.
I am going to tell you some of todays biggest stars and give you a littlebackground on them.
One of the most entertaining people in professional wrestling is current worldchampion Goldberg. Goldberg grew up as a doctors son in Oklahoma with his twobrothers. Goldberg was even an imposing future at a young age as he was a bouncer in abar at age 17. He went on to play college football at SEC power Georgia. As a GeorgiaBulldog, Goldberg earned all-confernce honors as a nose-guard and was drafted by theAtlanta Falcons and eventually ended his career as a LA Ram.Goldberg was not donebashing skulls after he hurt his knee though. He shaved his head and got a tattoo andfollowed many former football players into Pro wrestling. He has enjoyed a career thathas seen him rise to the top. Each wrestler has his specialty finishing move and Goldbergdraws on his football influence for his finishing move, the Jackhammer. He runs acrossthe ring and spears the opponent in the stomach much like a NFL linebacker into aquarterback. Another one of todays rising stars is Diamond Dallas Page. DDP as he is knownwill challenge Goldberg for his World Championship soon. DDP is known for hissignature move- The Diamond Cutter. Another of the crowd favorites in professional Wrestling is Sting. Sting is amysterious man who always has his face painted and wears a long leather coat. He isoften armed with a baseball bat which is wrapped with barbedwire. Sting is just one ofthe many unique people that are involved in the spectacle of wrestling.
Professional wrestling is considered by many to be dumb or stupid because it isfake. Television is by definition a release from reality. The crazy stuff that you seegoing on in a wrestling match is always staged. People need to realize that this is fakeand that is why it is so attractive to the masses. It distracts you from reality just likeSeinfeld, or David Letterman. Does anyone really believe that someone could be hit witha baseball bat and jump right back up and win a fight? One of the greatest entertainmentvalues that professional wrestling possesses is the fact that the wrestlers are in fact highlytrained actor-athletes. They spend hours in the gym and hours training for the fights-practicing falls and maneuvers so that the audience gets a perfect show. Everything thatthe wrestlers do is potentially dangerous and they are putting their bodies at risk. Toeven become a professional wrestler you have to audition at a training camp. At thesetraining camps, everyone from former football players to plumbers try to break into thescene. Each person learns how to take a fall and throw others around like ragdolls all thewhile making sure that they are safe. To become a wrestler you must also have agimmick or something special that makes your act unique. Each person has a uniqueidentity or move or costume that makes them stand out.
Professional wrestling is not just an American phenomenon, either. Professionalwrestling, be it WCW or WWF, is broadcast all over the world in many differentlanguages. The second most popular language besides English is spanish. In manySpanish speaking countries, where boxing was once king, WCW and WWF matches aretelevised with spanish announcers, and radio broadcasts are in Spanish as well. All in all, professional wrestling should not be looked down upon for beingviolent, after this is the country that made Jerry Springer and Mighty Morphin PowerRangers hit shows. Nor should it be looked down upon for being fake, instead it shouldbe praised for its ability to distract us from the troubles of our nation. Even if it is justfor an hour or 2. Professional wrestling is nothing more than an entertainment venue. While it may not appeal to everybody, it has influenced this country in a way that fewmovies or television shows have. Just look around you as you wonder the halls and countthe shirts depicting Goldberg or Stone Cold Steve Austin.