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Opinion

Pro wrestling a soap opera for men

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March 12, 2009

I’m going to make a bold declaration here. To understand where I’m at, you should know where I’ve been. When I was a little kid, I had a grandpa who taught me a lot of what I know today. One day, while he was watching me, he sat me down in front of a TV on a Sunday morning. I saw many people that I see as legends today.

As I got older, I continued to rent these certain events when I went to the video store and continued to love them. I still watch many of these events today and am thoroughly entertained by them. So what am I talking about? I am a fan of professional wrestling and I don’t care what you think about it.

Usually, when I drop that bomb on anyone, they immediately look at me in disgust and ask a series of questions. I like to think of it like an insanity test. Let me run you through it.

Don’t you know that wrestling is fake?

Of course. As a matter of fact, I once heard a great quote in a news report about wrestling. It’s a soap opera for guys who don’t admit to watching soap operas. It’s supposed to be fake. It’s just like your favorite TV show. There are good guys and bad guys, just like a soap opera. People anger people and whereas in soap operas they don’t actually fight, wrestling takes that step that most soap operas won’t. Physical violence.

Also, even though it’s fake, some people can actually relate to some of the storylines, and I’m not just talking about beer swilling rednecks. Take the case of Stone Cold Steve Austin in the late 1990s. Mr. Austin had a problem with his boss.

So he took it out in a way that only professional wrestling would allow: by A), chugging beer on the job and B), beating the living hell out of him. I would probably assume that most of you have had a conflict with your boss and probably wanted to bash them with a steel chair afterwards, but in the real world, it’s not smart to do that sort of thing. That’s the escape from reality that wrestling provides the average person.

You do know they’re just acting out there, right?

Let me tell you about my childhood hero. His name was The Rock. Maybe you’ve heard of The Rock. Actually, he changed his name to Duane Johnson and is now a B-list actor. This was because The Rock was really an actor from his work on the microphone. He was the man who could get millions of fans to scream his name at the drop of a hat. Wrestlers have to get people behind them and therefore they have to play a character, just like an actor. The Rock, for example, was “The People’s Champ,” and played his character so well he actually became a movie star.

That was just a sample of some of the questions I get asked. Then, the conversation turns into one big giant attack towards me. “How can you watch wrestling? It’s so fake!” and “I used to like wrestling too, when I was in fifth grade!” are uttered in my direction, but then I relay the simple truth. It’s a TV show. Just like your favorite show, I enjoy it. It’s an escape from reality which is what most TV shows offer. After all, if you don’t like it, simply pick up your remote and change the channel. And that;s the bottom line, if you smell what Crishad is cookin’.

Chris Schad is a student at UW-River Falls.