Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why I'm A Pro Wrestling Fan

I figured I would take a bit of a break from looking at recent WWE happenings this week and answer a question I get frequently.

I'm a 23 year old male. I consider myself to be a normal guy. I hang out with friends. I go out drinking. I enjoy sports, movies, girls you name it. But there's one thing I enjoy that 99% of my other friends don't: pro wrestling. I get it from my friends all the time. How can you watch something that's so fake? You realize you're watching half naked guys fake fighting right? I'm sure you're rolling in the girls when you talk about wrestling right? Any kind of derogatory question people would ask about pro wrestling I've probably gotten.

Every single time I get these types of questions it frustrates me to no end. Why do you think you're better than me for not watching wrestling. I have male friends that love Glee, and I'm sorry, but I find that much more embarrassing than watching wrestling. So with how good WWE TV has been recently, and instead of me repeating some of my same thoughts on storylines and wrestler to death, I figured I would take this opportunity to tell you why at 23 years old, I'm still a pro wrestling fan, and why I find myself being one for the foreseeable future.

1. Pro Wrestling Has Been A Part of My Life for 20 Years
Not many things stay a part of somebody's life for 20 years. I've had friends come and go. Gone through a couple different cars. Been to different schools. It seems at times that your life goes through different cycles and different things are a part of it at different times. Lots of things change as you get older.

For me, however, pro wrestling has stuck. It's been a staple of my life for 20 years. I can't remember the very first show that I watched. The first pro wrestling moment that sticks in my head for me was watching Jake "The Snake" Roberts take his cobra and have it bite the arm of Randy Savage. I remember being terrified watching that happen as a small child. It probably caused my fear of snakes that I currently have today.

Being at the 20 year mark of my pro wrestling watching, I can tell you it feels like it's become a staple of my life. Every Monday I watch, or if for some reason I can't watch on Monday night I DVR it and watch first thing Tuesday Morning. I then right my review for my blog. My job usually doesn't allow me to watch Smackdown regularly. I've watched the last couple. If it moves permanently to Tuesday, it will actually be even tougher for me to watch. Sure pro wrestling has had its highs and lows over these 20 years, but even at its lowest points, it still hasn't caused me to walk away. I still enjoy it for numerous reasons that I will list soon. Very few things stay with you for this long. For me, it's my family and pro wrestling, that's pretty much it.

2. Pro Wrestling Can Be An Escape From Reality
Sometimes, watching pro wrestling is just like watching a movie. People watch movies to take a break from the norm. I mean, do we really believe Godzilla exists out there? Is there really a Dolorean that can take us back to the future? No, but we enjoy watching movies like that because it takes away from the hassles of every day life, even if it is only for a couple of hours.

Every Monday night, or PPV Sundays, or Friday night watching two hours of WWE programming helps me escape from everything else going on in my life. Lots of times, if I'm having a bad day, I go online and watch some wrestling just to take my mind off of whatever is bothering me. I've probably watched the C.M. Punk/John Cena match from Money in the Bank about 10 times since the PPV. Just sitting back, and watching two pros like those two put on a great show takes my mind off everything else. Everybody has their own escape from reality. Unfortunately, some people turn to things like drugs and alcohol. Others have TV shows or movies that they can stick in and turn their mood around in a heartbeat. Me? I have pro wrestling. I can watch anything with C.M. Punk, Shawn Michaels, or Chris Jericho and it can make me forget about anything that bothers me for the time being.

3. Pro Wrestling Is No Different From Any Other Form of Entertainment
Listen. I'm not an idiot. I've known wrestling is fake since I was 12. I've been on insider websites for the last 10 years. I'm not a mark who buys into every little thing that happens. Whenever I talk about wrestling with my friends that too watch it, and a friend who doesn't comes by and listens in, I always get the "You do know it's fake?" comment.

Well, you know what, I bet you your favorite TV show is fake. Your favorite movie is probably fake too. Pro Wrestling is referred to as Sports ENTERTAINMENT!!! Now if it was just called sports then you could have an argument. But the word entertainment is in it. No matter how any wrestling promotion tries to swing it, they are sports entertainment first and foremost. To me, at age 23, pro wrestling is no different than any other TV show out there. It's on every Monday Night, a regular schedule just like any TV show. Wrestling has storylines, action, drama just like any good TV show has. Sure, it can be a bit over board sometimes, but that's what makes it a bit different than other shows, and that appeals to me. Everyone likes different forms of entertainment, and pro wrestling is a favorite of mine.

4. But There Is A Bit of A Sports Aspect to It
Pro Wrestling is entertainment first and foremost. No way around that. But there's a little bit of a sports aspect to it. Rooting for your favorite wrestler is just like cheering on your favorite sports team. You are happy when they win, and at times you can be just as disappointed when they lose. If you have enough $$$, you also buy shirts and different apparel of your favorite wrestler. You make sure you let people know what side you're rooting for. That's why it's called sports entertainment. Sure pro wrestling is scripted, but what these guys go out there and do everyday is real. Putting their lives on the line to please their fans, just like sports athletes.

5. Pro Wrestling Is A Great Form of Live Entertainment
I always tell my friends the same thing: Going to a live event is so much more better than watching it on TV. I went to Wrestlemania this past year and it was probably the best event I've ever been too. It falls #2 on my list including sports. I went to a Sabres/Rangers playoff game a few years ago that can never be topped. But it's such a great experience being at a WWE Event live. Interacting with other fans that care about the product just as much as you do. Now sure, some of the fans are a bit out there and still buy everything as real. But the fans that truly like the product, get the business as a whole and have the same passion for it as you do are great to interact with. Being able to voice your opinion at the show, get involved in the chants, bring signs and hearing and seeing everything first hand can't be topped.

6. Pro Wrestling Can Tell Some Great Stories
Lots of times, people can identify with a certain wrestler or two. My favorite type of wrestler is the small, under-sized guy that has to bust his butt in the ring to win over the fans. I loved Eddie Guerrero's climb to the WWE Championship. Christian's World Title win this year was a great moment. The C.M. Punk/John Cena/Vince McMahon storyline was the best story told in any form of entertainment I've seen in quite some time, in my opinion. People can identify with wrestler's stories. If you ask me, stories in pro wrestling are the best stories told in all of entertainment. If the right story hits at the right time it can be great. Christian winning the World Title right after Edge retired was perfect. At times, if the right story at the right moment hits, it can grab almost anyone into it.

I'm sure everyone has their own reasons for remaining a pro wrestling fan. I've listed mine. What our yours? Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow me on Twitter @JCWonka

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