COMMENTARY | At some point in their lives, every wrestling fan has dealt with some smart ass who feels the need to try to run them down by criticizing pro wrestling.
"You know it's all fake right?"
""Why do you want to watch two men in tights wrestle each other?"
And so on…
These bastions of knowledge usually move on to tell us that mixed martial arts and boxing are "real sports" and pro wrestling is a waste of time. Nearly every commentary I've written for Yahoo has featured comments from someone tearing me down for liking wrestling.
But in the words of the great Owen Hart "enough is enough and it's time for a change."
The majority of wrestling fans over the age of 10 know wrestling is scripted and know the outcomes of the matches aren't pure. We know that most of these guys don't actually hate each other and they certainly don't fight outside of the arenas they perform in.
Still, the reason I've loved wrestling nor nearly 30 years and people like me continue to enjoy it is because pro wrestling provides us an opportunity to be entertained on a consistent basis. Whether we agree on the direction of the story lines or not, wrestling fans know they can tune in to the WWE or TNA each week and find someone or something to make them happy.
Unlike MMA where the top fighters compete maybe three times a year in fights that last maybe 20 minutes, wrestling allows people in arenas across the globe to see their favorites up close while others can watch from around the world.
I respect everything that MMA and especially the UFC has accomplished and am a fan of the product, but the fact that Jon Jones, George St. Pierre, Jose Aldo, Anderson Silva and Cain Velasquez combine to fight fewer times on PPV each year than John Cena does in the WWE is a major drawback.
Not to mention that usually when I order a UFC PPV there are two or three fights with guys I want to watch and then an under card of fighters I have no real interest in seeing. I'm sorry if I'm dropping $60 on a PPV for a major fight, I want the action to last more than a round.
When I order a wrestling show, I know the main event is going to at least last longer than five minutes. And if it doesn't I know it won't be another five months before I see my favorite fighter in the ring again.
As far boxing goes, "the sweet science" hasn't been relevant in two decades thanks in large part to a lack of stars. I bet if you asked the average sports fan to name 10 active boxers not named Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao they couldn't do it.
The one mega-fight that most of us wanted to see, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao isn't likely to ever happen for many reasons. However, in the WWE, with a few exceptions, every dream match that fans have ever wanted to see has taken place.
The WWE and wrestling companies across the world continue to improve their product and find ways to keep their fans entertained. Whether you enjoy the over-the-top characters like The Undertaker, the technical masters like Bret "The Hitman" Hart and Daniel Bryan or the hell raisers like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, wrestling offers something for everyone.
So yeah, it's fake. And yeah when Triple H "hits" Randy Orton with a sledgehammer, it probably is a rubber hammer. But like any good TV show or movie, professional wrestling is about entertaining fans and getting us to suspend our disbelief. When done right, wrestling feels as real as everyday life.
It's a feeling that no other form of sports or entertainment can provide. So keep making fun of the wrestling fans of the world. Because while you may hate it, there are millions of us who will continue to pack arenas, fill message boards and read the articles about our favorite wrestlers.
Matt Durr is a reporter from Michigan who has watched professional wrestling since he was 3 years old. Not just a WWE fan, Matt enjoys Ring of Honor and Japanese wrestling. He has covered University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University athletics for Annarbor.com. Follow him on Twitter @mdurr84.
- Sports & Recreation
- pro wrestling