It’s Days of Our Lives with chair shots.
It’s As the World Turns with body slams.
It’s General Hospital with… Well, I think you get the point.
Pro Wrestling as we know it has developed from its grass roots beginning as a quasi-sport into a full fledged soap opera… But not just any soap opera, a male soap opera.
Let’s get this out of the way now. When I say “male” soap opera, I don’t mean it’s only for men. I know plenty of female fans that are just as into it as I am. What I’m saying is it’s testosterone driven. It’s men threatening to beat up other men. Good guys and bad guys. Athletes trying to become a champion… All with a script.
I’m sure you noticed just like I have. WWE on an average show has more time dedicated to people talking and driving a storyline than actual wrestling. Sure, I love a good technical wrestling match just like everyone else, but what really compels me to tune in next week is the drama.
I remember as a young teen seeing my Mom watch her favorite soap, General Hospital, and wondering to myself “how the hell can anyone watch this crap?”. I’d ask her why she was so excited to see the next episode, and the answer would always be the same, “I want to see what happens”.
Why do you think, on average, a show aired the night after a pay-per-view has higher ratings than most others? Because we want to see what happens next. I can name for you a million different articles on this very site that try to predict just that, and I’m willing to bet my house that those articles get three times as many hits as the articles about how great the wrestling is in a match.
Storylines are written with certain demographics in mind, and that goes with everything on TV. Wrestling is written to cater to males (and in some cases *cough* John Cena *cough* women and children). My girlfriend loves watching shows like Grey’s Anatomy because the storyline is focused on things she cares about. I watch wrestling for the exact same reason.
Guys, it’s not anything to be ashamed of. It’s fun to believe that two guys really hate each other enough that they would want to hurt one another. It’s fun to step away from reality and live in someone else’s life for a while, even if that life is made up. I for one am glad that every Monday (and every now and again Thursday) I can put my own life aside and project myself into the wild make believe world of professional wrestling. I am damn proud to say I’m a wrestling fan, regardless of what other people think.
Now if you will excuse me, my favorite soap is on.