Pro-Wrestling, Its Characters and Human Nature

ChinmaySenior Analyst IIMay 21, 2010

LAS VEGAS - AUGUST 24:  Fans hold up signs during the WWE Monday Night Raw show at the Thomas & Mack Center August 24, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In my opinion pro-wrestling is too real to be unreal.

Sounds creepy, doesn’t it? Well I think, I can explain my stance. We all know that pro-wrestling is scripted and booked as well. It is performed not played. Still I say that it is more real and true than other reality shows and movies.

What makes it so then? Answer is, in our regular life there is always a thin line between the reality and a reality we crave for. Pro-wrestling captures the very essence of that line and presents it in a dramatic way. They not only make it look real but they offer it in a package we want.

following are some of the factors, that in my opinion make all the difference. 

The very basic factor, which separates it from others, is all the wrestlers live together for far more time than others do. The whole thing they enact in front of us reflects the impact of their together living and real life issues. Both the sides of affection for each other are too apparent to be ignored when they perform it out there.

Again, the kind of connection they share with masses is really amazing. Almost half a week they perform before thousands of people who love them and also those, who hate them. The passion they bring out is amazing. For years, they perform a role with extreme passion and play their character to such an extent, that over the time their true identity is washed off from our mind. Yes, such a clan is diminishing these days, but if it wasn’t for HBKs, Takers, HHHs, Stone Colds, the Rocks or Stings of this wonderland how many of us would have watched wrestling anyway? Their characters were made and carried out in such a way that we wanted to see them, hell, in fact we wanted to feel them.

Here I come to the most important part, characters. It’s ‘the factor’ in my opinion. It is the reality and desired reality I talked about earlier. Tell me, do we not go through mood swings all the time? Someday we are full of charity, other days of hostility. Sometimes we try to be an epitome of chastity just to get some pretty girl a little bit closer. I know am exaggerating it, but this contradiction is the exact reason, because of which we can connect with these characters.

As we all know, there are many types of characters in wrestling. There are faces, heels, Anti-heroes, underdogs and superheroes. Here I'll be dwelling upon all characters except the 'underdog' character. It is because, i feel that other fours are the paradigm of the psychology of fans. It keeps changing all the time, so does the nature of these four characters. Anyways, let's move on.

When it comes to 'Faces' sometimes we cheer for them, because we want to be that good, otherwise we despise them because we cannot be that good. the whole character of a 'face' is a frail proposition. A single act of insolence can wash away all the hard work. 

where as 'Heels' is certainly a better job. I think it's always easy for us to hate than to love. Ironically, it is because of the very trait people root for ‘Heels’. they like the attitude. They like the nonchalance and of course that unreal audacity. They like the way these heels kick the a** of authority. However, At the same time some people do dislike heels, as they are supposed to. I was pondering over this 'heel' character for sometime. then i realized that 'Heels' are nothing but a cruel mirror, which no one wishes to look into.

The most intriguing category though is of Anti-heroes and Superheroes. It is very interesting to see how people react to these characters. We dream of anti-heroes and cheer for them like anything. I guess it is basically because of their brash and ‘hell may care’ attitude. However, what fascinates us more is the fact that not only they have the liberty of making mistakes but they have a privilege of glorifying them as well. This is something we vie for in our life but never get it whatsoever.

Now the last case, that is of superheroes. I wonder all the time about the heat they generate. Some of us love them and others cannot stand them, yet nobody dreams of ignoring them. These guys are all weather faces. They are the least real of all the characters (there are few exceptions, most glorious being the undertaker. However, I am taking into consideration current generation.) Still, in my opinion they are the most significant one. It is because deep down, these characters serve a subtle need of human beings to be good. We all grew up in the company of superman, Spider man, batman and legion of other heroes. We knew it all along that they are unreal, fiction. Even then, we have come across a moment in our life when we have thought, that if, only if superman could have been real. I guess all of us have lived such a moment. And in my opinion, it is because of such a moment John Cena sells.

I think that is all to sum up my thoughts, my so-called analysis. Therefore I welcome your views and of course criticism. It will only enrich me. Thanks a lot for reading.