Wrestling with Hook

Here I go again. For the second time in three weeks, I’m entering the ring-only metaphorically.

I admit, I’m not the biggest wrestling fan in the world. For one thing, I have all of my teeth, I don’t own a beat up ol’ pick-up truck, and I understand that the scenes brought before us on television depicting wrestlers wailing on each other are staged.

I have a hard time distinguishing my sidewalk slams from full nelsons. I can’t name off every single finishing move from every single wrestler ever to have graced the squared circle.

What I can determine, though, is the athleticism and yes, even a little bit of acting that makes up the professional wrestler. It is obvious that professional wrestlers are athletes. As much as cheerleaders, body builders, and gymnasts are athletes, wrestlers are athletes.

Professional wrestling is a combination of the three above genres of athleticism. They stunt, lift weights, and do acrobatic maneuvers just like their above counterparts-yet receive less recognition or credibility for being athletes.

Yes, pro wrestling has show. Yes, it has a Hollywood glamour factor. But that doesn’t change the fact that these men and women work their bodies to the max both in and out of the ring.

Which leads me to Wrestlemania X7, the WWF’s pay-per-view from last Sunday. Billed as the “Granddaddy of ’em All,” due to its prestige, Wrestlemania has been the icon on which PPVs were based.

After witnessing the event, despite the monopolistic cable provider Mediacom’s shortcomings which resulted in missing the first hour (which should be a topic of another editorial), my respect for these athletes has grown.

Not only did each and every wrestler in the WWF put on a great show, but they also pushed their bodies to the edge of the human capabilities. Between the blood and the sweat, the cheers and the jeers, these athletes, who although their lines were scripted their actions were far from it, entertained a live crowd of nearly 70,000 and an at-home audience that pushed the millions.

The owner of both WWF and WCW, Vince McMahon, truly knows how to work his magic. From the “Tables, Ladders, and Chairs II” match between three of the best tag teams around, to the World Heavyweight Championship bout where both men left the ring bloody, Wrestlemania X7 was great.

In all, wrestling is it’s own microcosm. It takes on a life of its own. From the road crew that travel each and every week to a different destination, setting up the ring, TV and sound equipment, pyrotechnics, and all of the other ‘pop’ equipment, to the actions of five guys and a girl watching from an apartment alongside the Tuckaseigee River in Cullowhee, NC, wrestling is more than a show. In a way, it’s a small reflection of life, and in all of its glory, it’s an escape.

So perhaps we shouldn’t judge the fans of wrestling or their pick-up trucks; after all, aren’t they just a reflection of us and society?

Well… maybe not…

Until next time… botched moves and slow three counts.