If you’re a semi regular visitor to this blog (thank you, btw), you’d probably know that I’m still a huge wrestling fan.
Of course, people always ask, why???
Well, let me count some ways:
First off, it’s not fake. Let’s get that out there. Scripted? Yes. Fake, it is not.
I could ask the same for those who watch reality shows. And these wrestlers have more talent than any of the Housewives or Kardashians or Teenage Moms or Big Brothers out there.
They put their bodies on the line and the risks they take are real.
Check out this botched move:
EESH — so dangerous. And he still finished the match.
Then there are moments where we’re unsure of what’s reality and what’s scripted.
A “shoot” in wrestling terms is something that is real; not scripted.
A “work” is something that was planned and scripted.
A “work shoot” is something that was planned and scripted but made to look like it was real and raw.
The latest example of this was Adam Cole (wrestler) visiting Pat McAfee’s (former NFL punter) show. I’ll link the clip but it’s long. But go to the 13 minute mark to see how the show ended.
When that happened, we (the fans) weren’t 100% sure if this was a shoot or a work.
It ended up being a work and they wrestled a match and Pat McAfee did a helluva job.
Then you have guys who legitimately don’t like each other and yet have to make sure that you don’t legitimately hurt one another — aka be professional.
Best example I can think of is the Edge, Matt Hardy, and Lita triangle. In real life, Matt Hardy and Lita were a couple. Lita ended up cheating on Matt with Edge. So there was a legitimate animosity between Edge and Matt. What did WWE do with that? They worked the tension into a storyline and these guys had to wrestle and not just wrestle but take crazy bumps (wrestler hitting the ground/taking a hit).
I mean, you’re trusting the dude that stole your girl with your life and livelihood.
Finally, for the sake of brevity, when wrestling can throw you a curve, it’s the greatest thing.
This week, WWE gave me 2 HOLY SH!T moments, both brought to you by the company’s darling, Roman Reigns.
Roman, who’s in remission from leukemia, has been out of action due to COVID, and understandably so.
He made his return on Summerslam, but there was a different air to his return — almost an edginess. Roman has been shoved down our throats as the biggest face (good guy) in the company. His character was… boring. There were more wrestler who deserved a push (basically, get more TV time to gain popularity) but WWE kept insisting this was the guy. So naturally, every wrestling fan over the age of 12 revolted. It was more fun to boo Roman than cheer him. So you’d always have a mix of boos and cheers when he wrestled and chants like “let’s go Roman” counters by “Roman Sucks!”
This was basically Cena 2.0. John Cena who was also mercilessly booed during his prime.
So many people wanted Cena to turn heel (basically a bad guy) because that would give life to his stale character, much like when one of the most popular wrestlers ever traded in his yellow and gold for the new moniker “Hollywood.” (turns out this guy was/is a racist…)
But money usually drives all business decisions and Cena was worth more as the hero rather than the villain.
So when we saw history repeating itself with Roman… well… fans booed and revolted (although everyone relented when he announced that his leukemia had returned and then when he came back because he was in remission, we were just happy he was there).
Naturally, Roman is worth more as a face than a heel. My son loves Roman. Kids love Roman. So do the ladies, I think.
Anyway, when he returned to Summerslam, he almost seemed like a heel (and he had new teeth).
But then at the end of the week on Smackdown, the show closed with Roman shockingly next to Paul Heyman (for the sake of brevity, usually Paul Heyman manages or “represents” bad guys).
It’s the trigger we always wanted WWE to pull but never thought they would because it seemed like WWE was following the Cena route.
The only thing that was missing from all this was the pop (cheers) and reaction from a live crowd.
Anyway, wrestling still entertains the hell out of me.
And I just wasted everyone’s time writing about it.
PS. One of my favorite moments from wrestling was the double turn in a match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret the Hitman Hart.
It was wonderfully written and executed.
A “turn” is when a wrestler goes from a face to a heel or vice versa.
So the double turn — Stone Cold was the heel and Bret was the face.
But Stone Cold’s tenacity and unwillingness to give up started changing the crowd.
After beating the hell out of each other (real blood)
Bret won the match with the move pictured above. But Bret kept attacking Stone Cold even after the match was over (a very heel move) and then started to get booed like hell. And as Austin got up to leave the ring, he started getting cheered. A double turn. Bret started the match as a face and left as a heel while Austin started as a heel and finished as a face.
It was superb.
And of course, no wrestling post is complete without this:
This is part of the “WRITE ON” series that I’ve been doing. Most of these “WRITE ON” posts won’t have any depth– it’s just writing for the sake of writing (obviously, this wrestling post proves that), so I don’t forget how to write. I tell you this mainly because I’m more focused on writing rather than editing so you’ll find more grammatical usual than normal errors.