Sunday, 6 January 2008

So why wrestling?

Whenever I'm asked why I like professional wrestling, I always find that I'm slightly stumped to find an answer.

There's a stigma attached to wrestling that's as hard to explain as why I like it. I was in the States this summer on a roadtrip with my good friend Chris when our new friend from Buffalo, Joe, was describing the American equivalent of chavs by saying "You know, they like NASCAR and professional wrestling". Chris, who was driving at the time, looked at Joe as if he was going to kick him out and make him walk the other 600 miles to our destination. "What? Don't tell me you guys LIKE wrestling?!" was Joe's flabbergasted response. He couldn't believe that two, seemingly normal, British people actually liked wrestling.

But as a wrestling fan, when someone can't quite believe you like it, you feel threatened, and as if you have to justify your strange passion. I imagine it's harder to justify being a wrestling fan than it is to justify being a paedophile. At least paedos can say "There's something wrong with me noggin guvner". What can a wrestling fan say? "It's just that I like seeing two oiled up men writhing around in front of thousands of people..."

It's the stupidity of wrestling that really endears me to it though. TNA had a script for some upcoming shows leaked recently. In it, the phrase "Cue Pyro and Ballyhoo" was used. BALLYHOO. It was as if the script was written by Charles Dickens himself. It's the Ballyhoo (regardless of what that actually means) that makes wrestling. It's the je ne sais qua of it as a spectacle that truly makes it interesting. It's impossible to pick one single aspect as being the reason to watch it, just as it is (to a wrestling fan anyway), impossible to dislike it for one thing. All parts of it as a concept seem to fall together to make it what it is and make it so special.

This is the exact same reason that wrestling fans don't turn off wrestling in general when standards are crap all round (see this video). We endure the crap because we expect things to get better.

Incidentally, that giant turkey was Eddie Guerrero's big brother Hector Guerrero.

So why wrestling? Probably the same reason people rubberneck at crash sites - you don't know if you're going to like what you see (though at this moment in time, it's quite likely you won't), but what you do know is that you'll remember it.

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