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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Why Do I Watch Wrestling"
October 30, 2005 by Corey Erdman


"You know it's fake, right""

It's inevitable that I will hear that comment once a day, usually as a startled mockery of my response to, "What'd you do last night, man"" Save for a few nights a week when the perks of the teenage social scene override the antics in the squared circle, my answer will always be: "I watched wrestling."

For many, wrestling is a joke. An unappreciated art form, that is cast off as nothing more than a redneck's attempt at fooling an audience. Pro wrestling has been a phase in most peoples' lives--our parents likely have stories of Whipper Watson, or Chief Jay Strongbow. Children in elementary school may still have their Stone Cold shirts stashed in the bottom of their drawers, collecting dust. Why is it that that wrestling has only been able to hold our attention" It's seemingly something special to be a wrestling fan in the new millennium. The curious, glamorous hey-days of the 80s have past, and the resurgence that came a decade later via Steve Austin and The Rock has fizzled away as well. But to be part of the current wrestling community is to be part of a family, and in short, that is why I hold wrestling so close to my heart. It's irrelevant to bring out the old arguments that I'm sure each and every one of us whipped out after various "Secrets of Pro Wrestling" shows and articles came out. But they're incredible athletes! But those falls still hurt like hell! We know that. And to those that don't understand it now, they won't learn to appreciate it. Beyond simply enjoying watching the sport, and appreciating athletic talent, being part of the wrestling community is what gives me passion for sports entertainment. Seeing fathers taking their sons to the matches, in matching t-shirts, teaching them to chant, and rile up the heels. Sitting beside a senior citizen at a local indy show, with no more than 100 people in attendance. For him to be there, claiming to have been watching wrestling for "50 years now"--that is what keeps me watching. As scarce as wrestling fans are these days, and I know, we've all had our troubles finding people in the area to talk to about wrestling, belonging to such a scarce, dedicated community, is something that is perhaps beyond description.

I've tried explaining this to my girlfriend for months. I decided that pictures would speak louder than words. So I took her on the most exciting date that our year together has seen: to a RAW house show. Five minutes after arriving in the parking lot, I had already struck conversation with several people about the wrestlers arriving, Matt Hardy, and Samoa Joe. Maybe he's not insane for drumming on me and yelling 'The Champ is Here!' After the show was over, her comment was: "I didn't believe you that everyone knew those chants."

And chants we do know, but it is more than our jingles that we treasure. As fans, we value tradition, respect, and dedication. Each wrestler, we know, is a step above even our rabid commitment as fans--they love it enough to get in between the ropes, and do it. We wait anxiously to shake the hands of our larger-than-life heroes, and we celebrate the ones who have fallen. The men and women in the ring are bigger than us, because they were once one of us. However, they are giving to us, what they once felt as they were perched atop their seats. A few weekends back, I decided to do nothing but watch non-stop wrestling all weekend. Go through all of my DVDs and all in all, have a great time. I found myself pausing the video twice. In Beyond the Mat, as an aged Terry Funk rolls out of bed slowly, gets changed, and is met by his wife to tell him, "the branding iron is in the trunk, honey." And, during ECW One Night Stand, as the little old lady, who seemingly attended every ECW show in New York, leaned over the guardrail to hug and thank Tommy Dreamer. As I pressed pause both times, I simply said: "That's wrestling."

That is why I watch wrestling.

by Corey Erdman ..


Noman Shaikh wrote:
A nice column indeed, I know many people who think that wrestling is for kids, but wait those are the people who have never watched a single match for the indies. There are millions of people out there who only started to watch wrestling for the attitude era, yes im talking about nWo, Austin, Taker, The Rock days. It's sad to admit that WWE has lost its charm , it was somewhat good in 2003 and 2004, but since Wrestlemania 2005 we dont see that charm anymore. A true wrestling fan watches wrestling for an entirely different reason and that reason is the art not to see a wrestler's entrace and the result only. Recently I started watching wrestling from the indies and clssic WWE times and also some action from the WCW especially the Cruiserweight division matches etc. Trust me wrestling is a wide area and it never gets extinct. I started to watch wrestling when I was 11 and watched it for the sake of entertainment and never took PPV's and indy matches seriously until I was 17. But now times have changed now its not about entertainment, its about the art of the sport, so I dont care about the attitude, fueds or anything as long as the wrestlers fighting in it have ths skills. If you ever feel that you are the only wrestling fan, just go to some forums and participate and discuss what you see and etc. I hope the era of Tna X-division starts, or we see the return of Brock Lesnar, and the end of reign of John Cena and Batista. Even HHH vs. Orton or HHH vs. Batista times were good. It's just that we dont get to see good main event matches. With Wrestlemania coming near, I hope everyone's interest is going to get plunged in WWE again. Till then have a good time with some TNA action or Classics.
Jesse Lee wrote:
It confuses non-wrestling fans on why people enjoy the "fake" stuff. I believe it has something to do with them not really sitting down and trying to look into it in a different perspective. Many of these fans are football fans, basketball fans, baseball fans, and sometimes martial artists. It confuses them on why someone like me can watch wrestling, but not watch football.

All I have to say that I watch wrestling to enjoy a show. I enjoy watching athletes (and sometimes non-athletes) put on their best performances for the fans. Whether it be lame comedy sketches, A+ athletic matches, high risk-filled matches, or an "occaissional" beautiful woman showing her goods. I'm not saying I'm a fan of all these and I'm definatelly not goign to say that there aren't any dangers or athleticism in baseball or football. I am just saying that wrestling gives the audience a variety of what you can watch, depending on your taste. In football, you're always going to see some guy run down the field with a ball in his hands, but in wrestling, you have many styles to choose what you wish to watch; whether it be technical, highflying, power, rough, dirty, or any/all of the above.
Ross Walker wrote:
You are so right. The masses don't 'get' wrestling, and probably never will. At some point, they all must have had even a tiny bit of interest in it, but it eventually fizzled out when they realised wrestling was 'fake'. To them, I say nothing, merely smile and walk on. I think about the many times the Dudleys/Team 3D have put people through tables, Jeff Hardy doing the Swanton off wherever could support his weight, New Jack diving off the balconies of the ECW(sorry if that gets you sued) Arena, and many other amazing leaps. I think of something Diamond Dallas Page said in a recent interview I read: You can't fake gravity. Simple, yet it sums up perfectly how wrong the masses are. We all flock to wrestling shows because we are willing to bring something thhat the haters never will. We are willing to suspend our belief. We all join in the chants of 'This is Awesome!', 'Holy S**t!', 'A-J Styles', 'Cena, Cena', 'Fallen Angel' etc. We also boo the guys the company wants us to boo, chanting 'You Suck' etc. Nobody will ever take that away from us.

So I come to one conclusion: Wrestling is as real as you want it to be, and we who want it to be real, we fill the arenas, we fill the superdomes, we chant 'This is Awesome!', we pay our money because we love this sport. And that is why I watch wrestling.
Nick Currier wrote:
Great column I believe wholeheartedly and i especially believe what you mean about being a family great analogy
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