1. “Wrestling is fake.”
No! Hell no! Even though the moves and the outcome are predetermined, wrestlers still endure physical pain. Staged? Yes. Fake? No. Wrestling is like a Broadway show or a TV drama. You wouldn’t call Mad Men fake. You wouldn’t call Sunday in the Park with George fake. So why would you call pro wrestling fake?
Also, I would like nay-sayers to enlighten me as to how Mick Foley managed to fake this:
2. “Wrestlers aren’t real athletes.”
I dare you to tell that to Cesaro, who lifts weights like a beast seven days a week! Go ahead. Tell him… WWE Superstar Seth Rollins lays it down perfectly: “I consider myself an athlete. I train like an athlete, I eat like an athlete, I recover and get sore just like any other athlete… [Wrestling] is a mental and physical grind.” Oh, and there’s another thing: Pro wrestlers, especially in WWE, don’t have an off-season. Their work schedule is a year-round ordeal.
3. “Wrestlers are heavy steroid users.”
This one is a bit complicated, tbh. Yes, steroid use was rampant in wrestling up until the early 2000s. A steroid scandal almost sent WWE owner Vince McMahon to jail back in 1994. However, A LOT has changed since those “wild west” days. Today, WWE enforces a strict drug policy and testing that makes it impossible for current wrestlers to use enhanced substances (at least according to Bruno Sammartino). If you compare the bodies of wrestlers from the ’80s to those of today, you can see a distinct difference in body size.
4. “Wrestlers are only in it for the money.”
Not all wrestlers are Rolex-wearin’, limousine-ridin’, jet-flyin’, sons of a gun (wooooo)! Think of wrestling as a ladder. At the bottom are those who start off in wrestling school, who work two or three jobs just to stay afloat. Higher up the ladder are the indie wrestling circuits, where wrestlers have to make and sell their own merchandise just to make ends meet (à la Kevin Steen and Colt Cabana). Next up are wrestling companies like ROH and TNA, where wrestlers perform on TV, but are permitted to wrestle outside the company to make extra money. Finally, at the top of the ladder is WWE. Only when wrestlers get to the very top (and I mean very top) of this company, do you find wrestlers who make the big bucks. Although there are exceptions (looking at you, Lesnar), wrestlers aren’t in it for the money. They’re in it because they LOVE the wrestling business.
5. “Why do you still wear wrestling T-shirts? What are you? A kid?”
No. I’m a grown man with a badass shirt.
6. “When wrestling fans start talking about wrestling, it’s UNBEARABLE!”
I’m going to switch out two words of that statement: “When Beyoncé fans start talking about Beyoncé, it’s UNBEARABLE!” People like talking about the stuff they like. If you don’t like the conversation, don’t be part of it. Now, excuse me while I talk about how terrible this Daniel Bryan-Kane feud really is.
7. “Ew. Wrestling is just, like, too violent.”
Not any more violent than Game of Thrones and people seem to dig that. WWE has shifted to a more family-friendly product. Because of this, fans look forward to magnificent displays of athleticism, as opposed to blood, flaming tables, and raunchy storylines. That’s not to say you can’t find your diet of violent wrestling in today’s world. Smaller companies like CZW and ROH will provide all the “extreme” wrestling you want. Not to mention the countless Japanese and Mexican wrestling promotions that cater to the “hardcore” fanbase.
8. “UFC (Mixed Martial Arts) IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN WRESTLING, BRO!”
They are two different things, bro. Wrestling concentrates on putting on a show. The wrestlers work together to tell a story between a protagonist and an antagonist, and they settle their conflict within the squared circle. On the other hand, MMA is purely about the competition. A K.O. is their ultimate goal. So which one is better? The question is irrelevant.
9. “Wrestling is so stupid. It’s for the dumb and uneducated.”
Here’s the story of an uneducated dumbass: There once was a wrestler who had an impressive 300-1 wrestling record (The Undertaker would be envious). This wrestler would eventually retire from wrestling to become a slightly well-known politician who went by the name of ABRAHAM FUCKING LINCOLN. That’s right. The 16th President of the United States was a World Champion. SUCK IT!
10. “It’s 2014, dude. Wrestling isn’t popular any more.”
Ummm, no. In 2013, WrestleMania 29, which involved John Cena and The Rock in the main event, broke records when the pay-per-view (PPV) was purchased by more than a million people. It was the highest-grossing PPV in WWE’s history, making an astounding $72 million, breaking the previous year’s record of $67 million. WrestleMania 29 also sold out New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, packing in more than 87,000 people. Today, cities bid on WrestleMania, just like they bid on the Super Bowl, the Olympics, and the World Cup.
11. “Wrestling is a terrible business. They all just end up being drug addicts and alcoholics anyway.”
Fighting personal demons is not a new thing among wrestlers. However, WWE has opened their own rehab program that pays for wrestlers’ treatments. There are also the truly heartwarming stories of Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Scott Hall, whose lives were turned around with the help of Diamond Dallas Page (Creator of DDP Yoga). Both Roberts and Hall were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.
12. “Why do you even like wrestling?”
Because it’s one of the last forms of live American theater… AND IT’S FUCKING AWESOME.