WWE Rankings: Top 10 Reasons Why Wrestling Is the Greatest Sport
Neither America's pastime nor America's most popular sport, pro wrestling has a better ticket value and is more consistently exciting than the ball and stick games.
The wrestling fan is marginalized, scoffed at and dismissed by fans of "real" sports.
The common anti-wrestling arguments are that it's fake, homoerotic and low class. But while those same fans struggle to keep their eyes open during a Rams vs. Browns 6-3 display of ineptitude, we wrestling marks are watching dropkicks, moonsaults and suicide dives.
To those already initiated to the world of sports entertainment, you may read this article and nod through most of it. It serves as a love letter to 'rassling.
For everyone else, it may not inspire you to burn your Kansas City Royals ball cap, but perhaps you'll see wrestling in a new light and at least be inspired to watch a match or two. Who knows, the circus of violence that is pro wrestling may snag another fan.
10. Colorful Characters
In most sports, attention-hogging, immature behavior (aka exciting television) is discouraged. Players can be fined or penalized for creative celebrations or saying something controversial.
In wrestling, that kind of behavior is rampant and expected.
You'll never hear a rehearsed, robotic interview. You won't have the type of guys who do everything right and disappoint journalists in search of a sound bite.
From the cowardly Mexican aristocrat to the demented masked man, wrestlers have vibrant and magnetic personalities.
9. Longer Careers
While an NFL running back slows down after 30 and is soon replaced by a kid out of college, wrestlers (sometimes to a fault) compete long after that age threshold.
Of course, it's no guarantee they'll make it there.
Wrestling has had far too many early deaths, but the WWE in particular has taken steps to change that. They've initiated an anti-drug wellness policy that will likely save lives.
But if healthy, a wrestler can still go at a high level in their 40s and 50s.
While Ric Flair is a shell of his legendary self now, we watched three decades of his fine work. That's something you don't see from many athletes.
8. Blowouts Don't Drag On
One-sided wrestling matches are over quickly by design. They serve their purpose, to make one wrestler look dominant, and then they're over.
A 45-3 halftime score for a football games means your two choices are to turn it off or to suffer through the rest of it.
Every game of a mainstream sport is a crapshoot. You don't know if you’re getting a classic or a clunker. The participants’ goal is not to entertain, but to win, while wrestlers at least attempt to steal the show every time out.
7. Special Guest Referees
Older stars past their prime and celebrities can join the fun as special guest referees.
In most sports, the refs are the despised, necessary evils of the game. Fans don’t notice them until there's a shady call.
In wrestling, they can add star power, tension or an added unpredictability.
It's a chance for crossover appeal. Anyone from boxers to pop singers might don the ref stripes.
Instead of spending the game cursing out the ref, in wrestling they improve the product.
6. Tribute Moves
When a wrestler decides to pay homage to a fallen friend or someone they hold in high regard, they can simply perform the person's signature move.
After Randy Savage's death some stars took to utilizing his flying elbow drop to pay tribute. If anyone where to do the Three Amigos, it'd surely be taken as a nod to Eddie Guerrero.
How would this happen in other sports?
"As a tribute to Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning is making a forward pass!"
5. Best Possible Matchup (mostly)
Remember in 2003 when the Cubs and Red Sox seemed destined to face each other in the World Series? How poetic would it have been for two such heartbroken franchises to face each other?
Things didn't work out that way.
Since the outcomes of wrestling matches are predetermined, promoters can create whatever dream championship matches they want to happen. Fans may gripe at the company's choices at times, but we've been witness to some incredible pairings of superstars over the years.
And unlike boxing where the fight of the century, Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, may never take place, wrestling doesn't let the wrestler decide who to fight. Wrestling at least attempts to give us what we want to see.
4. Gimmick Matches
Basketball is always basketball. You'll never be sitting at a Lakers/Celtics game and hear the PA announce, "Tonight's game has been changed to a No Flagrant Fouls match."
From ladder matches to the Elimination Chamber, from the Royal Rumble to the Iron Man match, wrestling fans get an appetizing variety of action. Well-placed gimmick matches can help intensify a feud.
Game 7's are never held in a steel cage.
Wrestling can change the complexion of a match with a little added steel, a time limit or throwing an extra wrestler in the mix. They have the ability to create unforgettable moments and classics with variations on the standard competition.
3. Anything Can Happen
You'll never see a Packers vs. Saints game where the Bears' entrance music comes on as the Bears roster rushes the field and starts tackling Packers at random.
You see that kind of incident all the time with pro wrestling.
Wrestlers can cash in their Money in the Bank contracts at any time and new champions can be crowned in an instant. Matches might end with green mist blinding an opponent. A good guy can turn into a bad guy on any given night.
Unpredictability breeds excitement and wrestling is nothing if not unpredictable.
2. Entertainment Gumbo
Wrestling is a hodgepodge of varied elements. It blends spectacle, violence, pageantry, athleticism, theater and humor.
As much a soap opera as it is a harkening back to the gladiator days, no other sport delivers such a multilayered experience.
Wrestling has the distinct advantage of controlling the storylines, so the backstage minds can include whatever they come up with.
Every show is packed with everything that time allows; dull moments and letdowns are far more rare than they are elsewhere.
1. Best Ticket Value
You are not limited to one game when you purchase a ticket to see wrestling.
A wrestling event has a handful of matches, a few dramatic confrontations, a funny backstage segment or two and scantily clad women in excellent shape.
In terms of the fan experience, you get to cheer and boo at the same event. Try doing that at Yankee Stadium.
When recounting what you saw at a wrestling show, you won’t be limited to "It sucked," "We lost" or "We won!" Fans can talk about all the twists and turns, all the booking choices, good and bad, variations on moves, counters and costumes.
There is nothing like seeing pro wrestling live and generally the tickets are reasonably priced. Go buy yourself a ticket and let the obsession begin.