Recently, there have been many arguments that the Professional Wrestling section should be removed from Bleacher Report.
Let's take a good look at some of the arguments that have been presented, and let's take a look at the fact-based rebuttals against said arguments.
1. Wrestling is not a sport
Sport, such a very interesting word in the English language as it has multiple definitions Let's take a look at the ones that concern anyone who watches sports on TV.
Let's examine the first definition.
By definition, a diversion is something that amuses or stimulates somebody.
If I'm not mistaken, every fan is amused or stimulated by wrestling—or whatever sport they watch—in some way, hence why they watch it.
We can often see physical exertion in some way in any sport and wrestling is no different. This is because we can often see the wrestlers sweating as they walk away from the ring.
Now, let's take a look at the second definition.
Well, if I'm not mistaken, wrestlers are paid very well, though not nearly as much as some other athletes.
Now the question becomes: Are wrestlers athletes? Well, an athlete is someone who is trained to compete in a sport. Wrestlers are highly trained, often spending years doing such.
Since wrestling technically follows the first definition it can be called a sport; and so, by default, it follows the second definition.
An allegation was also made against female wrestlers as being something there to arouse the audience. Once again, "arouse" is one of those interesting words in the English language that has more than one definition. It can mean:
- To awaken from or as if from sleep.
- To stir up; excite
- To stimulate sexual desire in.
- The act of competing, as for profit or a prize; rivalry.
- A test of skill or ability
In the case of wrestling, as adverse to other sports, the wrestlers are competing for a very particular prize: fans. In wrestling you can't go anywhere without fans. They are your backbone, your everything. They follow you and are fiercely loyal in some cases.
How do wrestlers get fans? They do it by showing off their skills and abilities, along with testing them in an act to garner fans. Therefore, wrestling is laced with competition that goes on weekly.
The competition is just different from the competition you watch if you watch say a baseball game.
4. Promotion of steroids
Anger. Fury. Annoyance.
In recent years attention of steroid abuse has steered away from baseball and more towards wrestling due to one of the most famous cases in all of wrestling history, the Chris Benoit double-murder-suicide. This is despite the fact that it has been proven that the incident was not an act of "roid rage" but brain damage.
Now, If I'm not mistaken I believe the argument presented in the opposing article was that the wrestlers are built to an inhuman extent and that the NFL doesn't even have 400-pounders.
Looking at mainstream wrestling, there aren't that many there either. The largest wrestlers I can think of would be Big Show, Matt Morgan, and the Great Khali; and they are all genetic freaks of nature.
In fact, most wrestlers fall in the average of 200—265 pounds; and counting the number of football players over 300 pounds, the number is outrageous.
Furthermore, the wellness policy of the WWE has wrestlers submitting to random drug tests every month or so. There have been a slew of suspensions and firings on WWE's part.
In a concentrated effort to fix the problem, the WWE recently offered any current or former employee of the company a fully paid trip to a rehabilitation clinic, an offer that was taken up by several wrestlers including Ron Simmons.
5. Professional Wrestling hinders the sanctity of sports
Allow me to quote the opposing article one more time.
"Growing up, all of us who participated in athletics surely learned what playing a sport is all about: teamwork, effort, selflessness, sportsmanship, fitness, and safety.
So, how does professional wrestling promote any of the aforementioned ideals?"
Teamwork: The wrestlers must work together in order to make sure that, even when performing the most dangerous of moves, they can still walk away from the match in one piece.
They must trust each other in order to make sure things go off OK, so not only does it promote teamwork it promotes trust.
Effort: Wrestling matches may be fixed, but if a wrestler does not put forth effort to not make that blatantly obvious the fans will turn on him and so will the other wrestlers backstage.
It is a wrestler's job to put on a good athletic display; and that isn't possible without effort. Wrestlers also put forth tremendous effort to get to the Big Two American companies.
Selflessness: A common allegation is wrestlers are in it for themselves and for their paycheck. Well, that can be said of professional sports in general, as the definition of a professional sport is a sport in which you are paid to compete which why almost every athlete is signed to a contract so they don't jump ship at the end of each season.
Everyone—from baseball players, to soccer players, to football players—does it because they are paid. Personally, I know I wouldn't go out and entertain millions of people I've never met if I was being paid for it.
Sportsmanship: It is true we do not see the wrestlers interactions backstage too often. The fact is the wrestlers are mostly friends backstage and get along very well. They often congratulate each other on matches that were preformed well.
Fitness: Just reference policies on fitness to discover that trying to maintain a great physique with steroids is something that is very difficult in wrestling today.
Furthermore, wrestlers are expected to go gyms to maintain their own physical fitness. They are expected to move at a constant rate in the ring, a feat that requires outstanding cardio to achieve.
Safety: Wrestling in itself embodies this concept because one of the very fundamental goals of wrestling is to NOT HURT YOUR OPPONENT!!!!!!
I feel I can accurately say that anyone who understands Professional Wrestling can say it embodies all of the key principles of sport in its purest form.
These people would also say that is does, as a result, belong on Bleacher Report; and I say to all those who feel otherwise please do your research and don't feel that you can understand wrestling simply by briefly skimming over it on TV.