I remember when I first saw pro wrestling on television. I was eight years old. It was an airing of Sunday Night Heat and since that night, 12 years later, I'm still a dedicated wrestling fan. I was already hooked on other sports as a young kid, but wrestling I watched non-stop.
It was a great time to be a fan, in late 2000, close to the end of the Attitude era. I had been watching the WWE for a couple months when I heard the eight words that no little wrestling fan should:
"Hey, you do know that wrestling is fake?"
This came from my babysitter at the time. I looked at her confused and just kinda blew it off as nothing. Those words always hung in the back of my head, but it would take me a couple of years to understand what she meant.
It was an NHL game that got me thinking. However it wasn't the game itself, it was everyone's favorite part of hockey, the fights! This is what caught my attention.
In the NHL game, a player got knocked out by a right hand. How come when my favorite wrestler, The Rock, would hit someone, they would not get knocked out?
I then did something that I thought would give me the answers. I went on the Internet and I learned the truth about pro-wrestling. My reaction at first, well let's just say I was a little confused. But then as it sank in, I realized I didn't care. I still liked wrestling better than any other sport.
So here I am, many years later and still a huge fan. However like some wrestling fans I still get really annoyed when people say, "Oh hey that stuff is fake." For the last time, get it right wrestling is not fake!!! It is simply scripted. Allow me to elaborate to those who see it just as 'fake."
Nearly every month I order that month's WWE pay-per-view events. Yet whenever I do, I always get an earful from my sister.
"You know it's fake, right, Its just all padding and wires?" She will always say something along those lines.
It just makes me think, "Wow, could there be a bigger misconception?" If my sister thinks that I can only imagine what many non-wrestling fans think.
First things first, a wrestling ring contains a very limited amount of padding. These athletes are not landing on piles of pillows like we all used to do as kids. They are in a solid wrestling ring. Check out the video I got from YouTube so you can see just how much padding there is.
Then a misconception of wires. Sorry people this is just not true at all. From Shane McMahon's leap of faith. To Rikishi falling from Hell in a Cell. To Jeff Hardy's many swanton bombs off ladders. To the most famous image of Foley being thrown off the Hell in a Cell at the King of the Ring pay-per-view back in 1998.
If anyone thinks as my sister does that there are wires used in free falls spots—guess what...there aren't. Just accept the fact that these wrestlers are willing to put their bodies on the line for the sake of entertaining millions of fans around the globe.
I know these are just a couple of misconceptions that many non-wrestling fans have and I'm sure there are more absurd claims than just these two.
The next three slides show some famous spots that have occurred in the WWE throughout the years. So to those people out there, how fake is falling 20 feet, I ask?
In this video: Mick Foley falling 16 feet through an announcement table.
Jeff Hardy jumping nearly 20 feet.
Shane McMahon falling from 30 feet.
Any non-wrestling fans out there wanna jump 30 feet?
In any physical competition at any level or age, injuries can and will happen. In many sports, they happen frequently. It is very much the same in the WWE.
Many wrestlers have had their careers end due to a long history of injuries. Two of the most famous include Stone Cold Steve Austin and more recently, Edge.
Pro wrestling requires your health to be on the line night-in and night-out. The injuries I will be highlighting are only a few of the many that take place inside the ring.
Many injuries that occur are played into story lines, which is the scripted part of pro wrestling. However, there are usually ways to write off a wrestler who has suffered legitimate injuries.
Triple H suffered torn quadriceps in April 2001. To his credit, he stuck it out to finish the match. He would require surgery and be left out of action for nine months. How fake is that, I ask you?
Joey Mercury suffered a broken nose because of this ladder spot. The ladder was supposed to hit his hands; however, the spot went wrong and it hit his nose.
He was out for months and lost 35 percent of his sight in his right eye. Again, a legitimate injury.
The man pictured in this slide is Darren Drozdov, known by his WWE ring name Droz. Drozdov was injured in a match after an in-ring accident. Droz was left paralyzed as a result. Originally a quadriplegic, he has since regained the use of his arms and upper body.
These are just a couple of unfortunate injuries that have befallen WWE wrestlers. There are numerous injuries that have happened. So try telling these guys what they do is ''fake."
It's okay though, in most sports there are off-days to rest some injuries. So what about the WWE?
In most sports athletes get an off-season that consists off a number of months off from competition. This time period allows athletes to recharge and rest up any nagging injuries they may have. So what if there was no off-season? Could you imagine the backlash of it?
The WWE and many pro-wrestling associations in the world do not have any off-season. This is due to the demand the WWE and other wrestling companies are in. They are on tour 365 days a year.
So those wrestlers do not have any time to rest up unless they are personally given time off, which does not happen very often.
Night-in and night-out these athletes tour the world, entertaining millions of fans. There is no time to rest any nagging injuries or time to see family. Along with this comes the mental fatigue, stress and exhaustion of being a part of a pro wrestling company.
So how fake is it to not have any time off, see family members, or rest a nagging injury?
When I hear people say wrestling is fake, I just grin and say "well, not so fast."
Wrestling is not necessarily fake, but scripted. The lines are rehearsed. The matches are predetermined. The wrestlers are not really trying to hurt each other, but rather entertain the fans who sell out arena after arena worldwide.
The risks, injuries and fatigue that come with being a pro-wrestler are all 100 percent real and genuine.
So the next time you think wrestling is fake, hopefully you remember some of the things stated in this article.
I know that many people out there will always view wrestling as being "fake.'' However, to true wrestling fans such as myself and millions others, wrestling couldn't be more real.
Wrestling is sports entertainment; it's scripted but not "fake."