Pro-Wrestling has always been fake but it has also been popular to millions of fans around the world due to its outstanding story lines and the talent each company has produced. Out of all the wrestling companies still being shown like TNA Impact Wrestling, Ring Of Honor, Lucha Underground and the new Global Force Wrestling, only one company stands as King of the Ring. The WWE has reigned supreme after its battles with WCW and ECW back in the 1990’s.
WWE and WCW went head to head for many years trying to win the wrestling worlds hearts and in the end WWE had prevailed victorious thanks to what many fans recall as “The Attitude Era“. Now that the smoke of the past has cleared we take a look at how wrestling is still so successful in this present day.
In the past the WWE had names like Andre the Giant, The Nature Boy Rick Flair, The Ultimate Warrior, Brett Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and Triple H that will live on in the history books, but its a new era of wrestling and these young guys have some huge shoes to fill. The new era has talented wrestlers like Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, Ryback, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Neville and Finn Balor to name a few.
Each individual in the WWE has something in common and that is the heart and dedication to put their bodies on the line for wrestling fans all around the world. True wrestling fans remember what these men do on a daily basis and understand that they can get hurt while they are entertaining us, but their pain does not go in vain. The fans support them and truly do cherish what these wrestlers do to put on a show. Some wrestlers have gone beyond expectations for the fans delight and that has put them in series danger but most wrestling entertainers would agree that the fans make the risk all worth it.
Wrestling has always had some fake punches and fake stomps but some moves used in a wrestling ring can be deadly if not used with the proper technique. WWE has banned moves before that seem to have series consequences on their employers. The Pile Driver was a move that Stone Cold Steve Austin knows all to well as a move that can put your life in jeopardy. In 1997 during SummerSlam- Owen Hart used a Pile Driver on Stone Cold and ended up breaking Steve’s neck and paralyzing him for a short while. This move is a big reason why Stone Colds career was cut short and is still banned in the WWE for everyone except Kane and The Undertaker.
Not all moves that are banned are done on the ground, take the Shooting Star Press that was last seen at WrestleMania XIX. Brock Lesnar got on the top rope and did a reverse moonsault onto Kurt Angle but he missed and ended up having a severe concussion and sever neck damage. The WWE is not the only wrestling organization to ban moves due to series injury. In Japans wrestling history a few moves come to mind that should have been banned due to causing severe injury to that person’s neck or almost turning their opponent into a human vegetable. The Burning Hammer, Tiger Driver 91 and The Poisoned Frankensteiner are 3 moves that should never be preformed in a wrestling ring again due to how much force the opponent is being thrown down head first into the wrestling canvas.
A finisher is a trademark that every wrestler needs and this move alone can put you over the top with the fans. Now if a superstar wants to take it to the next level they will add weapons or some kind of special match into the mix. The different matches vary from a TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) match to a Steel Cage match with thumbtacks and barbwire. Many wrestlers have put their lives on the line when adding high fly moves off a Ladder or putting each other through multiple tables.
Three Tag Teams come to mind that have probably put on some of the best TLC matches in the WWE and that is “The Dudley Boyz“, “Edge and Christian” and “The Hardy Boyz“. These 3 legendary tag teams have fought in three memorable TLC matches at SummerSlam 2000, WrestleMania X-Seven, and WWF Smackdown. Chairs were flying like crazy, bodies were getting thrown off ladders and multiple people were going threw multiple tables. Now from a fans standpoint these matches are what gets the blood pumping with excitement but we truly do forget what these men are putting their bodies through as they fly off a ladder into 4 tables stacked on top of each other. Not only does your body take a beating from all the pain you are feeling physically, it has to be tough on the wrestlers body mentally too so they remember what is next in the match.
One man in the WWE knew about pain more than any other superstar to ever be on the roster and that was Mike Foley and his 3 remarkable characters in Cactus Jack, Dude Love and Mankind. His most memorable match in the WWE universe was against The Undertaker at Hell In A Cell in 1998. Every real wrestling fan will remember the part of the match where Undertake throws Mankind off the top of the steel cage onto the announcer’s tables on the floor. Mankind was out cold for about 6 minutes but got up and continued the match because he knew it was all for the fans. He would be thrown threw the cage a few minutes later and hit the canvas like a rag doll. That still wouldn’t stop Mankind from continuing the match, in the end he was thrown onto some thumbtacks to just add to the damage he had already been through. Matches like this are a testament of the length these wrestlers would go through to please the fans that support them every night.
The final reason fans we love watching this sport is for the wrestlers with awesome characters and that know how to work a microphone. A wrestlers character is a huge decision because that will ultimately define if the fans connect with it and love it or if they just really hate the idea. Many Pro-Wrestlers have had multiple characters until they found the right fit and theme to be a hero or heel in the organization.
The microphone skills and promos during a show are great ways to reach out to the fans. In the Attitude Era Stone Cold and The Rock knew how to get the crowd involved and entertain them with humor and attitude. The Rock had the Hollywood looks and arguably the best microphone skills in the history of wrestling. His humor made fans laugh and his wrestling skills were top-notch. He would need a rival to counter him though if he wanted to grow even more and that is where The Texas Rattle Snake Stone Cold Steve Austin came into play. He had the attitude that countered The Rock and an F*** You attitude towards the Owner Vince McMahon. These 2 legends knew how to play off of each others characters and put on a show that wrestling fans loved to watch. These 2 superstars were like Superman vs. Batman in the WWE because you wanted to like both of them but their performance always made you pick a side.
For wrestlers with true skills in the ring and horrible microphone skills the WWE usually sets up an adviser for the fighter so he can still have a way to connect with the fans. A great example of a very talented wrestler and an adviser with excellent microphone skills is Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Lesnar is known as “The Beast” that makes every other wrestler right now look like a stuffed animal but he wouldn’t be as great a performer if it wasn’t for Paul Heyman interacting with the fans for Lesnar’s Promos.
In the wrestling business there is so much work and dedication that these fighters, managers and writers must do on a nightly basis so they can please an audience in an arena and all the fans watching on the television. One way to understand a wrestling fans mind when it comes to them liking professional wrestling is think about all the movies that comes out in theaters. Every movie made is fake since it is played by actors but it is still entertaining to watch a well scripted film. Wrestling is the same in fans eyes, it has an awesome storyline, the good vs. evil backbone and the jaw dropping moves that keep your eyes glued to the screen. This sport will not be liked by everyone but for the true fans that watch every week understand that this is much more than fake punches and kicks, this sport is truly something special.