The Ramblings of an Indian Pro Wrestling Fan

Author’s disclaimer: This article isn’t a hardlined prophecy by a wrestling nerd.

Pro wrestling or rather WWE (WWF before 2002) for casual viewers is associated with megalomaniacal storylines revolving around caricatured steroid-injected Davids and genetically freakish Goliaths, thrown in with buxomly ladies. A major section of the  wrestling demograph is built up of especially pre-adolescent freshly testosterone invigorated young boys in schools. The charm of gravity-defying high-flying moonsaults and hard bumps to the ring mat present an exciting entertainment-cum-inspiration source for a lot of these viewers. To do something that isn’t realistically possible in their disciplined and inactive school life hooks them onto the product for the latter viewing experience.

Billy Kidman off the top rope with The Shooting Star Press.

After a few years  and a few revelations later (read as THE INTERNET!), the naive wrestling fans get “educated” about the base realities of the sport and some of them take that as if they’ve been told Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy aren’t real. [By the way, if you didn’t understand what that meant, I was hinting at the part when we realize wrestling isn’t all real and the winners are determined beforehand.] They become disillusioned with the entire product as a whole and disconnect themselves from it by terming it as a step in the process of “growing up”. I digress. Also I digress because I’ve wanted to use this thing because it’s quite cool these days! Okay, let me digress back to the story. But my noble engineering compatriots, the process of growing up isn’t actually that easy.

That’s Mick Foley falling from a height of 20 feet.

The basic underlining concept behind every wrestling match is a good guy going against a bad guy, which is similar to your any television programme like Dexter, Sherlock Holmes, Mandira Bedi’s Shanti and almost every mythical story ever told. The good guy might get siphoned off by the bad guy’s corrupt practices, and other subversive ways. But the money lies in the former defeating the latter eventually at a major event. As governments and economics changed, the characters became more convoluted and rooted to our lives, for example, perhaps the greatest superstar of all times: Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin wasn’t glamorous or a Hulk Hogan with sculpted biceps, running on the beaches of Daytona in yellow-and-red, brother. He was just a bald guy with a small beard and a black vest with black boots by entering the ring to a straight guitar riff following the sound of glass-break, who gave the finger to his tyrannical boss and kicked his derriere (this article isn’t NSFW, what else do you expect to read?) for everyone’s good!

Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!

The character was simply a hardcore mean machine and the audiences never gave a more resoundingly unanimous loud positive reaction to anyone else.  The point that I’m trying to make is how different yet same the wrestling product is. There’s comedy, romance (ugh), action (obviously) suspense, anticipation and most importantly a conflict for the viewers which guy do they like more, often cheering for the villains rather than the quintessential white knight of the company. To look down upon wrestling fans isn’t too uncommon globally, but our breed has a nasty image of taking the entire show business very close to our hearts. The obsession with the stars has waned out through the years but I kid you not when I claim wrestling fans are more extreme than Justin Bieber (or One Direction / Weezy/ Brezzy / Deezy / Whateverzy) fans.

CM Punk is a straight-edge, punk-rock loving ‘current day Stone Cold.’

I’ve seen toddlers, punk rock chicks, heavily tattooed dudes, freakishly awesome bearded guys (yours truly is a proud member of this category), mothers, and even grannies in the same arena chanting for their favourite superstars. But the Indian scene is quite different, most of the viewers are derivatives of the XY-chromosome and usually young. If you’re a wrestling fan and you tell your friends that you can’t go out with them because there’s a pay-per-view (monthly major attraction show) on TV, you must really be prone to supposedly demeaning jibes like “What are you? Ten?” and a cocky laugh. Or the lamest of them all, “Man, wrestling isn’t real.” Yes, whiz kid, you must be Arnold from Terminator who’s arrived to save me from the fake world. You must also observe how I avoided attempting to type his surname. Who’s the real whiz kid now?

Did you say, “wrestling isn’t real?”

Pro wrestling’s also had a deep bond with rock music, except for the occasional Flo-Rida and Limp Bizkit, it’s all smooth Rollin’. (Another inside joke) Sure we do have our Undertakers, Kanes, Ultimate Warriors and Papa Shangos but who doesn’t? Aren’t Indian films and TV shows filled with larger-than-life-ridiculously-powerful villains and vamps? And those who complain how wrestling isn’t the ‘same’ as to what it was back in their day simply need to roll their eyes and take a whiff of their surroundings, it’s 2012. Kids have i-Phones!

Papa Shango

Fair enough?

So sit back, reminisce the old days on Youtube, or watch the new product on television or the internet. There’s TNA, ROH and a lot more independent stuff too. And for the sake of whatever you believe in, don’t ever taunt wrestling fans with a “That isn’t real.”, because you could be right in the middle of a real fight if your friend’s flipped to the right amount.

P.S. This is my entry for my college magazine.

  1. April 8th, 2014

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