According to the ratings, professional wrestling is a popular pastime for many people all around the world. In fact, a recent episode of WWE Monday Night Raw drew in over 1.9 million viewers. With so many eyes on wrestling, many people wonder whether or not it is real.
Is Wrestling Real?
Wrestling isn’t real because the outcomes of the matches are predetermined. While stunts like jumping off the top rope and getting slammed through a table are real, overall, wrestling is considered fake because each of the wrestlers knows the outcome before the match even begins.
If you’re new to WWE and professional wrestling, read on! In this article, I’ll talk a little more in-depth about why wrestling isn’t real and what that means for the athletes involved in wrestling.
Why Isn’t Wrestling Real?
Wrestling isn’t real because the finishes are predetermined, the athletes aren’t fighting to win, and there are scripted moments during a match. Because of this, wrestling isn’t considered real.
When it comes to professional wrestling, there has always been a level of predetermination. Though this was a well-kept secret for years, eventually, the truth came out. Vince McMahon, the chairman of WWE, called wrestling fake back in the 1980s. This statement came as a shock to wrestling fans who McMahon led to believe it was real.
McMahon spoke out about the true nature of the business in order to keep WWE exempt from traditional sporting regulations. While this revelation completely floored many fans, it was a calculated move from the chairman.
Since that day, wrestling fans everywhere have been aware that the outcome of wrestling matches is predetermined, removing the veil of reality. Fans now understand that wrestling isn’t real because the winner of each match is chosen ahead of time.
Another reason that wrestling isn’t real is that the wrestlers aren’t truly fighting. Since they already know the ending, there’s no urgency or need to actually fight their opponent. Instead, wrestlers put on a show for the audience to make it seem like a real fight.
Along with predetermined endings, wrestling features scripted moments or “spots,” as those in the business call them. These are moments throughout a match that are discussed and planned for before the start. Though they are still impressive feats of athleticism done in a single take, scripted spots add to the fact that wrestling isn’t real.
When Did Wrestling Become Fake?
Wrestling has been fake since around the 1920s, when traveling wrestling shows gained popularity. These shows were for entertainment rather than actual fighting. This was the beginning of what is now known as professional wrestling.
These shows were the first steps into wrestling becoming more than a fighting competition. Traveling wrestling shows added flair and drama to the sport, creating something new altogether. During this time, the tagline “fake” became part of wrestling.
Since then, wrestling has been set apart from similar sports because of the scripted finishes and artistic expression. Even though people recognize it as fake, wrestling has continued to grow from those traveling shows. Now, you can see a professional wrestling show five nights a week on television and even more with YouTube and apps.
Are the Hits in WWE Real?
Most of the hits you see in WWE aren’t real, although some things cannot be faked. Wrestlers do hit each other most of the time, but they’re not using their full strength to do so. Wrestlers train to put just enough force behind their hits that they look real without truly hurting their opponent.
WWE is all about entertainment, and the company has a lot of money invested in their talent. So, the plan is never to hurt the wrestler you are facing but protect them instead.
How wrestlers protect their opponent is they make sure not to hit with their full strength. This type of hitting allows their hits to look real enough without causing any injuries to their opponent. Remember that mistakes can happen with timing and judgment, though. So, it’s possible to see a real hit every now and then.
Additionally, there have been times when hits by wrestlers in WWE have caused concussions and even ended careers. For example, Bret Hart’s career ended after a stiff hit from Goldberg that caused a concussion. So, real hits still happen, but they’re accidental.
Some hits can’t be faked in professional wrestling. For example, when you see someone smack another wrestler in the back with a chair, that can’t feel good. Anytime you bring an object into a wrestling match, it’s going to hurt when used.
Has Anyone Ever Died in the WWE?
There have been deaths in the WWE, some notably young, but only one to occur in the ring was Owen Hart. He died during a stunt. Before his match, he was supposed to be lowered to the ring on a line from the rafters. But the line snapped, dropping him over 70 feet to the ring.
This tragedy never aired on television, but many people saw it happen live in the stadium. Many new safety measures were put in place after this tragedy, but the loss of Owen Hart has never left the minds of professional wrestling fans since it happened 22 years ago.
Though there have been other deaths related to injuries, alcohol, and substance abuse, WWE has never experienced another tragedy quite like Owen Hart. No wrestlers have died in the ring before or since Owen, though legends like Eddie Guerrero and Curt Hennig have died at a very young age.
Though wrestling isn’t real, it’s still a popular pastime for many viewers every week. The hits may not all connect, but there’s still a level of athleticism and finesse needed to pull off a decent-looking fake hit in one take.
Over the years, we’ve come to know wrestling as a form of entertainment rather than a real sport. But one thing is for sure, despite it not being real, wrestling certainly has kept our attention.
Interested in Wrestling? Check Out My Recommendations
- Prowrestling.net: WWE Raw viewership for the Money in the Bank Fallout Edition
- Sports Keeda: 4 Incredible Sacrifices Vince McMahon Made for the WWE
- The Ringer: Wrestling Is Fake, But the Injuries Are Real
- Wikipedia: Professional Wrestling in the United States
- Cageside Seats: The New Pro Wrestling Schedule Is Bonkers
- Bleacher Report: Examining the Art of Realistic Striking in Pro Wrestling