Layin’ the smackdown on disrespect

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I&rsquo;m a fan of professional wrestling.</p>

Read that sentence over again. What was your first reaction? Happiness? Empathy? Indifference? Disgust? Well, if it didn’t land under disgust, I can 100 per cent guarantee that this very thought just ran through your head: “Doesn’t he know wrestling is fake?”

After 12 years of being a fan, that question still infuriates me. Yes, I know wrestling is fake! I’m not naive little kid wearing a barrage of John Cena paraphernalia, but nonetheless thank you for pointing out the obvious, ass clown! 

While matches are predetermined, segments scripted in advance, and moves highly co-ordinated, the actions preformed in the ring are in fact real and have the possibility in ending in injury or sometimes worse. Just ask former WWE champion Seth Rollins, who tore the ACL, MCL, and medial meniscus in his right knee during a live event early this November. Merely dismissing wrestling as “fake” is an insult to the men and women that literally put their bodies on the line for our entertainment and makes fans, like yours truly, insecure sharing this passion with others due to a fear of ridicule.

Wrestling may not be your cup of tea and I respect your decision — just show me and millions of others that same respect. You’re not going to interrupt somebody watching a “real” sport like baseball or hockey to explain how the they aren’t actual sports because of the rampant use of steroids, reliance on fights and overly violent hits, and lack of punishment for cheating, so I don’t understand why wrestling is the exception. 

I’m not here to force you to like professional wrestling. Like most forms of athletic competition, there are plenty of problems with it. I will be the first to admit that some storylines can be painful to watch. Just search Katie Vick or Mae Young’s son on Google to see what I mean. 

 While everybody likes to focus on the negative aspects of professional wrestling, there are great things to be found in this form of entertainment. To quote Max Landis, a fellow wrestling fan and creator of the short film Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling (find it on YouTube, it’s worth a watch), “a lot of wrestling sucks, but when it’s good — it’s fucking great!” 

Think back to watching the Blue Jays play game five against the Texas Rangers in October. That game took you on emotional roller-coaster up until the explosion of happiness that occurred when Jose Bautista hit the game-winning home run. 

The suspense, happiness, sadness, and anger captured in that four-hour game happens every time I, and many others, watch a great wrestling match or lay witness to a wonderful promo. It is the high of being a part of these incredible moments that keeps us coming back for more. It is the elation that comes from seeing a fan favourite finally claim the world title, the sting of betrayal when the good guy turns to the dark side, the mind-blowing tension when two titans clash. 

This is what professional wrestling means to us fans. Now, show us and other forms of fandom the respect we deserve instead of slinging your uneducated or homophobic reasons for putting us down. And if you’re not down with that, I got two words for you: suck it! 

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