The amazing thing about popular culture is that it never stays the same. It’s always changing, with new ideas catching on every day. Something that’s been part of pop culture for as long as I can remember is wrestling. Over the years, there have been many famous names to come out of the business: Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Triple H, Edge, CM Punk. But what makes them memorable? Why do people who’ve never watched a match know who they are?
As someone who’s been a fan of wrestling since childhood, I’ve been constantly amazed by how much dedication has gone into entertaining people all over the world. Often dismissed as ‘fake,’ this is what makes wrestling so compelling.
What makes me enjoy the WWE is the passion every wrestler has for what he or she does. They put their bodies on the line to entertain people on a nightly basis. They are storytellers who make the audience believe in them through their personas and talent. The results of a match may be predetermined, but the risk of injury is real. Many wrestlers have suffered from life-threatening injuries such as broken necks, yet they’ve continued to perform because the show must go on.
I remember wanting to be a wrestler from a young age. I trained with Futureshock Wrestling from 16 to 18. I was convinced I could dedicate everything I had to it. And you know what? I couldn’t. I didn’t have the drive to travel day and night, to wrestle in front of tiny crowds and bust my ass simply to entertain people.
What makes guys like Chris Jericho or CM Punk memorable is that they sacrificed everything to get where they are. Their passion opened doors and their talent helped them walk through. The same goes for women wrestlers. They don’t get nearly as much respect as the men, but they are just as talented. They keep striving to put on awesome matches and the division has picked up in the last few years with stars like Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch.
Look closer to home and you’ll find a thriving indie circuit. There’s lots of young wrestlers making a name for themselves. They’re hungry and dedicated to a sport that very few make it into. Wrestlers to watch out for on the indie circuit include The Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate.
So, next time you’re flicking through channels and come across a wrestling match, I urge you to watch it. See how each wrestler communicates. Watch how they sell a move and protect each other in the ring. Think about the psychology and athleticism that goes into putting together each match. You won’t regret it.