Real or Fake?

By Richard Leonard

    Wrestling has been around for over 50 years. It's been one of world's most enjoyable forms of entertainment for an audience of all ages. At some point in time, people stop and ask themselves, how real is wrestling? Is it scripted? Is it fake? As a fan myself, it's something that us fans always wanted to know. At the end of the day I know regardless I would always be a faithful fan. Would you? Let's take a look at what I was able to dig up.

    Above you see a live script that Mark Ambinder, Analyst for “Theweek.com”, has brought to the internet to show the fans. The script details an entire show that would take place. It lists everything from a word for word promo, the match line ups and the commercial break. This outlines that the wrestlers are given certain lines to say, that is also on a time limit. A superstar is given a line to say that corresponds to their character. This is what makes each superstar unique. Before some matches, the superstars like to practice and rehearse in the ring, but most times they just flow together in the ring. Meaning they get in the ring and they think of things to do as the match goes on. The best way to sum everything up is looking at it as a live play.

    So one of my further questions I ask is, how does one determine who becomes popular in the WWE. WWE wrestler Daniel bryan said, “I may be a very good pro wrestler, but if they don't find me marketable, then obviously it's a business and they gotta make money”. At the end of the day, it’s a business. A business that needs to make more money in order to keep its everyday product going. Superstars are chosen based off charisma, looks, personality and someone that would appeal to kids and adults. Its gotta be someone everyone likes that is sure to attract viewers.

    Another unique thing about professional wrestling is the uniqueness of their character. Everyone has a different character that will be different than others. Some people actually are they same person inside and outside the ring. This isn’t the case for everyone. The Great Khali, also a professional wrestler, appeared on an indian based television show called “Aap Ki Adalat”, explaining the character an individual will play. “In WWE, there’s different characters, when you see someone that don’t speak it doesn’t mean they were born deaf without speech, it's the character that has been created”. Everything works according to the character, says Khali. Superstars have to maintain a high profile to keep their character as authentic as possible, which requires them to play their role in and out of the ring.  

    Former professional wrestler, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, sat down with host Donny Deutsch of the “The Big Idea show”, on CNBC, giving an insight on what goes on in the ring. He elaborated that the punches are intended to be “fake”. Their job is to make it looks like the strikes hit them, so the reaction time creates the idea that they were hit. In order to have a good show, everything needs to be on point. Its meant to make its viewers believe there product is real.

    Also, current superstar Brock Lesnar did his interview with an unnamed Ultimate fighting Championship reporter mentioning that “it doesn't go this way all the time”. He's been hit countless times in his life in which have left him with minor injuries, but injuries nonetheless injury  nonetheless. As for the actual grapple moves, they take the risk of performing moves that are professionally done, but not being injured from the move is not guaranteed. “There’s a high risk in pro wrestling. It's not mom's california king size bed”. The ring is made of plastic and wood beneath it, so landing down hard isn't promisingly comfortable.

    After gathering facts and information from 3 superstars; some being present, and some being current, I intended to inform the viewers that its is indeed scripted.  It’s a form of sports entertainment that comes with many risks. At the end of the day, wrestling is only as fake as you make it out to be. Sure the program is scripted, but the injuries are real. They perform well, but that doesn't guarantee they will avoid an injury. They put their bodies on the line for the sake of entertainment. A at the end of the day, only you can decide for yourself how real it is.