“Wrestling is fake” are words that many wrestling fans usually tend not to be too fond of. To them it’s disrespectful or off-base, and when you hear someone say something along those lines, you’re guaranteed to hear a whole host of responses. Sometimes you’ll get a response where the wrestling fan sarcastically answers back and acts like they didn’t know that is was “fake”, or maybe you’ll hear the response where they explain that a lot of things on TV are about as “fake” as wrestling is.
However, out of all those responses you’re bound to hear from wrestling fans, the one that’s most used is them indignantly asking “IS THIS FAKE?”, as they post a link to a picture or video of a wrestler being severely injured. Yeah, that’ll show them.
While I can understand wrestling fans trying to defend their medium to an extent and completely agree that the statement “wrestling is fake” lacks a lot of nuance, bringing up a wrestler’s injuries as a response to that lacks just as much. Injuries factor into wrestling insofar as something that should be avoided. Was John Cena’s broken nose or Steven Austin’s broken neck supposed to happen in the matches where those injuries occurred? No, because in an ideal wrestling match, injuries aren’t supposed to happen. They’re simply mistakes.
Another reason why using wrestler’s injuries doesn’t make a lot of sense is that is just comes off like a ham-fisted way of trying to legitimize wrestling when it doesn’t necessarily need to be. More or less the point of pro-wrestling (at least to me) is to tell an effective story through performance art, and to get the viewer emotionally invested through that performance. As ‘pretentious’ as that sounds, it fits perfectly with what wrestling is and in my opinion, that’s honestly all the legitimacy pro-wrestling really needs.
Finally, and call me sensitive, but responding to “wrestling is fake” with a wrestler’s injury just comes off as really distasteful to me. Like I said, I don’t mind people defending wrestling to an extent, but if your defense includes getting so indignant at someone snidely dissing something you like that you need to show someone a video of Hayabusa breaking his neck and frame it as some sort of checkmate, then I think you’re being tons more disrespectful and off-base than they are.
Trust me, I get it. Wrestling gets A LOT of shit and there are tons of people who still don’t get the appeal (sometimes for very good reasons), but showing them injury after injury when that’s all it really is isn’t going to somehow get them into it or even necessarily get them to respect it. I think we’ve all used this argument at some point when talking to someone who doesn’t know a lot about the wrestles, and there’s no problem with that. I’ve used it plenty of times before I was told about awful it really was. Hell, I don’t even expect people’s perspectives to change about this, but this is a perspective that should be at least entertained. Maybe the less we use injuries as arguments, the less over-reactive we’ll come across when someone tells us that “wrestling is fake”. Thanks for reading.