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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Pro-Wrestling, Sports Entertainment, & You
June 23, 2006 by Anthony Fabio


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This is my first time writing an article so I thought I would start off by introducing myself. I am Anthony Fabio and I am 17 years old, I have been a fan ever since I saw Juventud Guerrera, Rey Mysterio, and Billy Kidman wrestle each other in WCW. I love ROH's product and I have hopes of one day wrestling for the promotion. Now I would also like to add I am open to any opinions.

Pro Wrestling" Sports Entertainment" Amateur Wrestling" Real Wrestling" These are some titles tossed around in the wrestling business. Now some of these titles insult, annoy, and confuse people so right now I'm going to clear the air.

Real Wrestling: Well like the name suggests it's what you see in high school, college, and the Olympics. There are freestyle, Greco-roman, and high school styles. What does this have to do with Pro Wrestling/sports entertainment" Well it is what pro-wrestling was based on. Now we cannot say the same for sports entertainment but I'll explain that later. Real Wrestling is a highly competitive sport and something I have had two years high school experience in. It is what makes me want to become a pro-wrestler. It is what makes Kurt Angle quite possible one of the greatest pro-wrestlers off all time.

Amateur Wrestling: Well it's the Pro-Wrestling/sports entertainment "codename" for Real Wrestling. They use the term "amateur" to make themselves seem more realistic and just downright better. Personally being someone who has done real wrestling I am disgusted by this term but I have to live with it.

Sports Entertainment: WWE, TNA Pro Wrestling: ROH, Pro Wrestling NOAH

Now that gives a basic idea based on style. Pro-Wrestling is based on real wrestling. Pro-Wrestling just spices it up with more athletic moves but at the same time outcomes are predetermined and the sport requires less skill than real wrestling (trust me I know). Pro-Wrestling might also require more toughness (involvement of weapons and slamming someone onto a mat which is not allowed in high school wrestling.) Pro-Wrestling is also based on competition style feuds and sometimes dramatic stories (ECW). Pro-Wrestling could also be compared to Mixed Martial Arts in that punches, kicks, and takedowns are normal as opposed to just takedowns.

Sports Entertainment is more based around gimmicks and a majority of the storylines are quite dramatic. Characters like Eugene and Doink the Clown are pretty normal. Also there are bodybuilders and really skinny guys and a majority of these men can not pull off technical, realistic exchanges of moves. Sports Entertainment has drifted far away from real wrestling because sometimes there is a massive lack of athleticism.

To finish this article I will give examples of wrestlers and where they fit in, in these forms of sport/entertainment

Pro Wrestlers: Chris Benoit, Bryan Danielson, Lance Storm, Low-Ki, Samoa Joe Sports Entertainers: HHH, John Cena, Jeff Jarret The Perfect combination of the two: Kurt Angle, HBK, Bret Hart, Carlito, Christopher Daniels, Paul London, Matt Hardy (possibly)

by Anthony Fabio ..


Looneyboyo wrote:
Interesting column. I'm glad that you mostly manage to be objective, save for your complaint about the term 'amateur wrestling'. On that matter, I can definitely see your point but what else should WWE and their ilk call it" My only complaint about your column, and it's a minor one, is your classification of TNA as Sports Entertainment. Under your definition TNA is, I would have said, Pro Wrestling with more emphasis on storylines and plotting.
JBL Vending wrote:
I sent a response to a column in. in one line, I said, "You would know, that an Amateur is someone who does a job for more money." I meant to say, "You would know, that an Amateur is someone who does a job for no more money."

If you could just add that in there when you post it, I would really appreciate it.
Doug Hagen. wrote:
As a former high school wrestler the term "amateur" is not an insult nor is it deprecating as an amateur as it relates to sports is an athlete who partakes of a sport without pay. This term to me probably has more basis in the Olympics, collegiate and high school sports as those athletes are not paid for partaking of their sport. On the flipside, Olympic athletes do receive a stipend for survival while training for the Olympics. This is merely a semantic legality for receiving pay for training, but necessary for the athlete to survive in the financial world. Personally I think it's a dirty shame that professional athletes who have received monies (usually large amounts) have been allowed to participate in the Olympics as of late.

As an example (I am a football nut), a collegiate player who receives monies or goods that relate to his participation in his collegiate sport is now considered a professional athlete and is no longer eligible for college ball. Hence he is now a professional and no longer an amateur. Mike Williams, wide receiver for the Detroit Lions declared his eligibility for the draft a year early (2004) but was disqualified as he didn't meet the criteria of being three years out of high school. He attempted to retain his amateur status (eligibility) and was denied by the NCAA and he ended up sitting out a year and was drafted in 2005.

Currently there is not a market on the televised circuit for professional Amateur Wrestling and there probably never will be as only the die-hard fans like myself and maybe you would watch it and it probably wouldn't have much of a fan base.

Secondly, all mainstream forms of "professional wrestling" which includes WWE, TNA and ROH are all forms of sports entertainment as each event has a predetermined winner and every successful wrestler has a gimmick, whether they are the limited speaking, far beyond driven Chris Benoit to Doink the Clown.

Furthermore, to compare professional wrestling to Mixed Martial Arts IS an insult to the martial artists who do not have a predetermined winner. I would think that during Ken Shamrock's time in the WWE that he would've destroyed every wrestler on the roster if allowed to do so. If professional wrestling was anything like Mixed Martial Arts, these wrestlers would wrestle once a month, max and the move sets would be real-world as the wrestler wants to win. Injuries would be numerous and wrestlers would be retiring early due to these injuries. Does one really think that Jeff Hardy would perform a Swanton Bomb if it was real and risks of breaking his neck would huge"

"Sports Entertainment has drifted far away from real wrestling because sometimes there is a massive lack of athleticism." I quoted this sentence simply because one can look at any wrestling promotion and find a massive lack of athleticism in some of the wrestlers. Some might mention that Mark Henry doesn't have any athleticism, but his strength is his strength as he has competed in numerous Strongman Competitions which requires some degree of athleticism. Each wrestler has their niche and if they didn't have some degree of athleticism they would not be in that ring. Whether it be strength, agility, quickness, technical background or high-flying maneuvers.

In closing, I think your article is pretty much wrong on all counts in the comparison of these wrestlers as they are all sports entertainers.
Daniel Johnson wrote:
Shawn Michaels is not a perfect combination of pro wrestler and sports entertainer. He's a sports entertainer. Also, the reason it's called "amateur wrestling" is because the people aren't getting paid. A professional is "One who earns a living in a given or implied occupation". People that do "real wrestling" are in college, high school, or the Olympics, so they are not getting paid for it. Therefore they are amateurs. If people that did "real wrestling" were getting paid for it, they'd be professionals.
Dylan L. wrote:
This column is terrible. You state these things as if they are facts. These are your opinions. Plain and simple, your an idiot.

Professional wrestling and Sports Entertainment are the same thing. Vince McMahon decided to call his product Sports Entertainment to get less criticism from the critics.

Amateur Wrestling is what's the name is. It is not some degrading name that people use to make fun of it. Yeah, that's why Kurt Angle called it Amateur Wrestling in his book. If you had any brain cells. You would know, that an Amateur is someone who does a job for more money. Guess what, "real" wrestling, and "amateur" wrestling, whatever you want to call it. They don't make money. That's why they call it "AMATEUR" wrestling. God, people these days. No wonder today when the word Beethoven is said, people think of the dog, and not the musician.

As far as your "list" of Professional, Sports Entertainment, and "The Perfect combination of the two". That "list" was simply opinion.

Oh yeah, genius. You started five sentences in a row with, "Pro-Wrestling..........". When I see people like you write a column, one word comes to mind..... imbecile.
Jesse Lee wrote:
Just a quick note, many people call "real wrestling" amateur wrestling. It may have gotten its roots as a degrading term by the "pros" but what I believe it shows is that it's the style where there's more competition within both the athlete and style than prowrestling does in storylines. Besides, "real" wrestling won't involve points or scores, so they throw in the term "amateur" to help people not familiar with the sport recognize what it is. I heard it being called shoot wrestling nowadays though.
Unknown wrote:
I am impressed with the fact that someone finally set the record straight and breakdown the meaning of wrestling at all different views. I myself have been watching wrestling since 1997 and have been confused over the fact that the commentators have been using terms to describe wrestling. For an example during a Kurt Angle or a Scott Steiner Match, the commentators mention that they have a amateur wrestling background and I sit back and scratch my head and think of what do amateur wrestling fans think of this term. Now I am not a amateur wrestling fan but Just like you Anthony I am appalled at the fact that they could think of "amateur" wrestling like this.Now whenever I hear somebody refer to pro-wrestling as "fake" or "Phoney" It ticks me the f*ck off. And they ask me "is the blood real"" Then I just break it down for them and tell the that it is just sports entertainment and of course the blood is real. Thanks for telling folks the real deal on wrestling
theXenigma wrote:
I would like to thank everyone for their opinion on my column. Personally I must say I dont like the opinion about my grammer and the fact that I started 5 sentences with "Pro-Wrestling". I didnt know I was writing an essay for english class during the summer. Now I must clear the air briefly. I compared MMA and pro-wrestling and someone did not like that but I compared it in the sense that pro wrestlers use takedowns, punches, and kicks. I only meant to say this because in real wrestling only takedowns are allowed but in MMA all are allowed therefore I was not insulting MMA because I know how rough of a sport it is and I know that it is one of the most natural sports ever and I am a big fan of it. Now I also know that Kurt Angle calls real wrestling "amatuer wrestling" now I also know that he has said that he has more passion for Pro Wrestling than he ever had for real wrestling. Finally, I know that professional athletes recieve the money and I am sorry for not putting that in my article. Thank you.
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