We are all very different. We look different, sound different and all are from different places.
However, if you are reading this, then chances are you are a fan of pro wrestling.
In the first chapter of this series, I reminisced about how I became a fan of pro wrestling.
For this chapter, I am going to discuss how I discovered that pro wrestling was "fake" and how it changed my perception of the sport we all love. So sit back, relax, and reflect upon your journey of fandom to sports' red-headed stepchild, professional wrestling.
Unlike many kids, I always had some idea that wrestling was scripted because of my parents' view of the sport. When it came up, they always would simply dismiss it as "fake," something they still do to this day.
When I got interested in wrestling, the idea of it being scripted faded in my mind. I had always heard it was, but I simply did not want to believe it. You could also blame this on the fact that, as I was just entering middle school, I was getting into it a bit later than most. To this point, I had ignored the scripted side of wrestling.
As you (hopefully) know, middle school is where you begin to hear "the birds and the bees," as they put it. Now before I go too far here, I digress.
Middle school is also the place where the groups develop. We all know what I'm talking about here: the geeks, the emo kids (to the older people reading this, I will best describe emo as the kids once known as "gothic"), the jocks, the preppy kids, whatever. I think you understand the point.
Anyway, at this point, the popularity of wrestling sinks as its scripted nature turns off a lot of people.
While I can't say I ever had the jaw-dropping moment when learning it was scripted, I have heard the classic smirk and arrogance in somebody's voice with the classic line, "You know wrestling is fake, right?'
Well, in mid-seventh grade, my friend Hunter, who got me interested in wrestling, became disinterested in it. Hunter would go on about another six months before he stopped watching it altogether.
I remember the last wrestling show we watched together (which is really scary, borderline creepy.) Nonetheless, it was the episode of ECW where Tommy Dreamer left "The Land of Extreme." Of course, by this time, we had known it was scripted for a while now.
We had fun mocking Dreamer, although I respect the man a lot, as he isn't exactly a body builder-type. And you know, sometimes you get carried away. This was officially Hunter's switch to "the real stuff" of mixed martial arts or MMA.
As time went on, I became bored with wrestling. At one point, I tested the MMA waters that so many had turned to. However, I found MMA extremely boring. I couldn't watch it; it just lacked something that pro wrestling gave me. While I couldn't put my finger on it at the time, I can now say it's the storytelling. This is something that I'll go more in-depth into later on in this series.
Despite all this, I kept watching wrestling.
I'm not really all that outspoken, outside of writing on this site, about pro wrestling. I just feel like wearing stupid-looking WWE shirts is asking to get taunted. So, to be honest, I don't get "you know it's fake" very often. This has probably saved me countless hours of debating with people about wrestling. I simply have avoided that. Honestly, I'm more of a NFL guy anyway.
It's truly sad that pro wrestling is treated in the way it is. It tells a story that movies, music, artwork or anything else cannot. It takes athleticism that football, basketball, baseball, hockey or all other sports do not. It takes passion and dedication like few other jobs do. Because if you are a pro wrestler, it isn't a part of your life—it is your life.
Lastly, to the idiots who say wrestling is fake. This past week, we saw the abrupt retirement of Adam Copeland, otherwise known as Edge. He was forced to retire by doctors because wrestling any longer could have resulted in permanent paralysis or even death. Edge was the full package: the mic skills, the charisma, the passion, the in-ring work and the reigning World Heavyweight Champion.
So, as the common theme to most of this week, I would just like to thank Adam Copeland for all he has done for the wrestling business. As I talk about how I got into wrestling in this series, Edge was the first heel I absolutely loathed. Whoever he was in the ring against, I would cheer for that other person.
Of course, I changed my tune a while back, and I was one of many chanting "Spear!" every time he bent down in the corner, ready to further damage his body to entertain us.
So once again, thanks Adam Copeland. You are a true legend and one of the superstars I'll always remember from my childhood. You put your body on the line night-in and night-out. You could tell a story with the best of them. This is what pro wrestling is all about, and if you don't give something so unique a chance, well, shame on you.
This is it for now! So until next time, thanks for reading.