By Omixam Sanchez
Professional wrestling is one of the biggest and most known sports in the world. It reaches the entire world, with WWE being an international business that reaches everywhere from the U.S. to countries such as Egypt, the U.K. and Scotland. There are other Professional Wrestling promotions all over the world as well, such New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) or Pro Wrestling Alliance Australia (PWAA).
As an international sport, many people know that it exists, but every sport has its critics.In a recent survey carried out by myself, 90 percent of the people that answered said they knew what Professional Wrestling was. Those 90 percent were then asked a second question: Do you believe Professional Wrestling is a “real” sport? Over 60 percent of people said it was not counted as a “real” sport.
As a fan of Pro Wrestling I’m shocked that people don’t see it as a real sport, but it is. A sport, in the Oxford Dictionary, is defined as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” This in itself is the definition of Professional Wrestling.
Everything these athletes do in the “squared circle,” as it’s called, involves physical exertion and skill. A common misconception is that it’s “fake,” but the way slams and punches work is that they do their best to make everything look real while attempting to not actually hurt each other too much. To stimulate actually getting hit, sometimes they actually hit each other, hard enough to “sell” the crowd and hard enough for accidental injuries such as bruises, contusions, hernias and separations to occur. Without the years of training and skill it takes to perform everything the wrestlers do, there would be even more injuries.
The second half of the definition of sport is: “an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” All wrestling has individuals and teams competing against one another for entertainment. Most promotions have singles and tag divisions. The way this works is that there is a champion of this division, and they have to defend this championship against others in the division. The dynamic is usually between a villain as champion and the crowd gets behind their hero to defeat this villain, or there is a hero champion that the crowd does not want to lose to this villain. The stories have all types of twists and turns, where the hero ends up being a bad guy or a forgotten hero has come to save the day. There are all types of different occurrences that go on in the Pro Wrestling universe for your entertainment.
Clearly, from breaking down the actual definition of the word sport, and giving factual details about the sport itself, Pro Wrestling should be and is a “real” sport. However, there still are and probably always will be critics and people that don’t believe it should be a real sport. Two of the big arguments against it are that sometimes in wrestling there is moments of just talking and that can’t be counted as a sport, and the second biggest argument is that Pro Wrestling is scripted so there’s no real competition which would disqualify it as a sport.
In the biggest Pro Wrestling promotion, known as WWE, there is a lot of talking, and obviously talking isn’t a sport. However, the talking is a big part of the entertainment factor. Without talking, this is just amatuer wrestling and there are no investment in the storylines and no reason for you to really care whats going on. Also, WWE and most promotions are a business; they need money to keep the show going. This money comes from t-shirt sales, ticket purchases, and the pay-per-view shows. The way to get you to buy these is having your “hero” wear his or her trademarked shirt and tell you how good this next pay-per-view is to make you buy that ticket and see how he stops the big, bad villain. The talking goes hand in hand with the wrestling and promoting the sport itself.
The next argument is that Pro Wrestling being scripted makes it not actual competition. Pro Wrestling is scripted: the outcomes of the match are predetermined to best fit the outcome of each storyline. This being said, that doesn’t mean there is no competition. The best wrestler in the eyes of the fans is the one that is going to make the most money for the company. The company is going to invest more time and energy into said person, and then maybe they will be your next triumphant hero. See how it works? Every wrestler has to put forth their best efforts to be better than the next guy, and that’s what competition is.
Ultimately, even though there may a lot of talking at some points, and the outcomes of the matches are predetermined, Pro Wrestling is still a sport. In some eyes, including mine, it is the best sport.