Is the WWE Real Or Reel?
Is the WWE real or is it fake?
That’s a question that has been asked for as long as the WWE ( or its predecessor WWF ) has existed. But while there are still people who debate on that topic, it’s a question that has already been answered.
Biggest Secret Revealed
In February 1989, the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s biggest secret was revealed. In an effort to exempt itself from the regulations applied by athletic commissions to boxing and similar sports which cause serious physical injuries, Vince McMahon argued before the New Jersey senate that pro wrestling isn’t a sport and therefore should not be regulated.
McMahon’s representatives testified that pro wrestling ‘entertainment’ and that pro wrestlers are trained to void serious injuries. The World Wrestling Federation’s spokesmen added that pro wrestling should be defined as “an activity in which participants struggle hand-in-hand primarily for the purpose of providing entertainment to spectators rather than conducting a bona fide athletic contest."
As a result, a bill deregulating pro wrestling was passed by a vote of 37-1. Under the bill, the New Jersey state athletic control board no longer required licenses from wrestlers, promoters, referees and timekeepers. The wrestlers were no longer required to take physical exams before events. More importantly, the company didn’t have to pay state taxes on TV rights.
Scripted or Spontaneous?
If you time WWE matches, you would notice that the length of the ‘bouts’ are either 5, 15 or 25 minutes. If you think these are just coincidences, think again. The duration of matches is pre determined. And so are the outcomes of each match. Even the major events during a match have been discussed beforehand, carefully strategized and well executed according to plan.
But while there is pre determination of major events and results, most of the wrestling match is spontaneous and not scripted. Wrestlers tell each other discreetly what moves they are going to give or want to receive. This is referred to as ‘calling spots’. Wrestlers are good actors because they sell their act to the audience convincingly.
The notion that the referee is in the ring to enforce the rules is merely an illusion. He is the third man in the ring primarily to take to keep track of the time and tell the wrestlers to wrap up the match. He is also there to help communicate between the protagonists and assist in the overall story. He is also key in making matches ‘bloody’.
Yes, blood is real in the WWE. Contrary to belief, it isn’t fake blood, blood capsules and not especially thick ketchup that you see on wrestlers. The process is called blading. This usually happens with the referee secretly passing a razor to the wrestler and the latter makes a small cut on his own forehead.
Fake Or Real?
In some ways, the WWE is both fake and real. It’s fake because if it were not, then there would be broken bodies all over the place in every match. It is real because not only is it physically demanding but the pain isn’t an illusion.
Sure, the mats are rigged with microphones so the sound of the fall is amplified but when a wrestler takes a ‘back bump’ ( how they fall to the mat ), he slams himself to the mat with more force than just falling down naturally in order to make it look and sound more convincing.
Look, the mats aren’t concrete but they aren’t mattresses as well. No matter how ‘trained’ you are, pain is real when you get slammed to the mat. The same goes when a wrestler is thrown to a steel step or a metal railing. It’s no different when one is hit by a championship belt, ring bell or a steel chair.
Those steel chairs aren’t fake props. In some instances, they may be pre-cut so that they break in a predictable manner than doesn’t injure the wrestler with unexpected splinters. But the impact from a steel chair attack is still real and damn it hurts no matter how trained you are to absorb the hit.
Danger of Serious Injuries
It’s not just the hurt or the pain. What makes the WWE very real is the danger of serious injuries. Even if these wrestlers are professionally trained to avoid physical harm, the repetitive nature of their actions puts them at a high risk of getting seriously hurt. Concussions and spine injuries are two of the most common.
If football players suffer concussions even while wearing safety helmets, you can just imagine the real danger for WWE wrestlers. Multiple concussions can lead to permanent brain damage, particularly CTE ( chronic traumatic encephalopathy ). CTE is linked to memory loss, depressions, aggression, impulse control problems, dementia and memory loss.
Aside from concussions, spine injuries are also common among pro wrestlers. Repetitive moves and trauma can cause herniated discs. Spinal fractures and Spinal stenosis are also a couple of serious threats that can happen at any given time. But perhaps the most concerning injury is that to the spinal cord. A fractured or dislocated vertebrae can cause paralysis or even death.Yes, you can call the WWE fake but the injuries involved are real.
Strictly speaking, the WWE action isn’t as real as the boys and man-boys force themselves to believe in. But in a way, the physical nature of professional wrestling makes it just as real. But whether you like it or not, pro wrestling isn’t a combat sport. The WWE is purely sports entertainment. In fact, it was even Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon himself who coined the catchphrase to describe his now $1.5B business empire.
What’s real is this: Vince McMahon is the majority owner of the WWE ( World Wrestling Entertainment ) company as it has always been depicted in the promotion’s events and storylines. Together with wife Linda, children Shane and Stephanie plus son-in-law Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque, the McMahon family owns 70% of the World Wrestling Entertainment’s equity and has 96% of its voting power.
But whether the WWE is real or fake isn’t that very important, really. What truly matters is that the WWE is a spectacle gives fans excitement and fulfillment. It’s also a business that makes Vince McMahon power walk his way to the bank.
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