I’ve been a pro wrestling fan my entire life and, unlike a lot of people, I’ve always been more than willing to admit as much.
As such, it probably won’t come as much of a shock to you that I’ve received more than my fair share of snark over the years from non-fans.
I’ve heard the following phrases probably eleven bajillionty times:
“You know it’s not real, right?”
“How can you watch that garbage, it’s all scripted.”
“That’s all so fake!”
“Dude, they’re not even really hitting each other!”
“They’d be dead if that was real.”
..and so on and so on.
The thing that non-fans rarely get is that it’s not about it being real. It’s about it feeling real.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. It is plenty real in the sense that you can’t fake falling off a ladder through a table. You can plan it in advance. You can do everything to mitigate risk, but you can’t fake it.
…but that’s not why – and this is an old wrestling fan trope if ever there was one – it’s still real to me, dammit.
It’s real to me because it is long-form storytelling with compelling characters and plot twists that you’d see in any other entertainment format and never question. It’s fiction that exists in a cartoon world of legalized violence where bullies get the comeuppance, underdogs triumph, and everyone goes home happy.
The problem is, before you get more than ten seconds into trying to explain why you actually like wrestling – and not, like, ironically, but legitimately – the detractors’ eyes have glazed over and they’ve stopped listening and labeled me a total rube who is entertained by low-brow, fake violence.
Luckily, filmmaker Max Landis has done something that – if any non-fan will actually watch all 25 minutes – will do more to legitimize wrestling as “entertainment” than any single fan has been able to do in the last fifty years of defending their love of pro wrestling.
The short film “Wrestling Isn’t Real” chronicles the career of one wrestler, Triple H, and explains over the span of 25 minutes why loving pro wrestling isn’t about thinking that what you’re watching is “real,” it’s about loving that it’s not real and still allowing yourself to get lost in it the way we do with all forms of entertainment.
If you’ve got 25 minutes, sit back and enjoy the ride.
(Note: mildly NSFW because of language and because you may be embarrassed about your co-workers knowing you’re into pro wrestling)
I laughed. I cried. I geeked out over all the cameos. I fell in love with Chloe Dykstra.
..but that’s just me, please let me know what did y’all think?
Especially you non-fans.