Pro Wrestlers – Why Can’t They Get Any Respect?
Time to point out the obvious: pro-wrestling is not a sport. Why? Because pro-wrestling involves no sport[ing]. Wrestlers do not show up to work every day trying to do all they can to win; they show up to work trying to do all they can to do their job, which is entertain the fans. However, this line of thinking often leads to another conclusion: If pro wrestling is not a sport, then wrestlers are not athletes. This could not be further from the truth. What pro wrestlers do in the ring day in and day out may not be sport, but it is athletic activity on the most demanding level. It is high time that the men and women who work harder than any other professional athletes got a little respect.
Think about the four major sports in America: football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. Football players perform once a week. Hockey and basketball players work from 2-4 times a week. Baseball players may play up to five games a week, but the physicality of that sport is much lower than the other three (especially football and hockey). Now, how often do professional wrestlers perform? Well, for example, the World Wrestling Federation performs three weekly shows: Raw on Mondays, Smackdown! on Thursdays, and Heat on Sundays. In addition, each month there is a Pay-Per-View event on a single Sunday. Now, that means 3-4 times per week, already even with hockey and basketball players.
However, wrestlers also work what are called House Shows: non-televised "events-between-events." They can do up to 3 a week in addition to their already[-] busy schedules. Not wrestling today? Get on the bus and travel to the next town. Not travelling today? Get in the gym and train. The work never ends. Take into account also that the football season is around 5 months, basketball around 6, baseball is close to 7, and hockey is 9 months. Pro wrestling is year-round. There IS NO OFF-SEASON. For this reason, wrestlers take "Work Injuries," faked injuries that give them time off while their in-ring personas "get well."
As for the in-ring work itself, there is very little anyone can say to truly refute that wrestlers are incredibly talented athletes. I will give two examples of the hundreds of moves that can be in a wrestler's repertoire. One is an example of "taking a bump," or being on the receiving end. The other is an example of a tough-to-execute high-flying move of the "lucha libre" style (a Mexican-developed high-risk style of wrestling).
The first is called a "sidewalk slam." Imagine for a moment that you lie stomach-down over the shoulder of a man who stands 6'7" tall, facing behind him. He grabs you by the legs around your thighs, and swings you in an arc that takes...