Reality TV fighting here to stay?
Throughout human civilization fighting for entertainment has been a peak interest of human society—particularly wrestling. But an unlikely kind of wrestling took the stage: a sort of live-performance theatre. Thanks to World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE), this kind of “wrestling” has become a household name. Everyone knows that the contenders are not actually fighting but putting on a storyline-driven performance that is choreographed and scripted. Why are people entertained by ‘fake fighting?’ Wouldn’t it make more sense to watch real fighting sports?
Unless you’re a young kid that doesn’t know what’s going on, you may come to believe real fighting is taking place, like I did at one time. These fighting performers do an excellent job of portraying these fights live, bringing it to real-life since many matches often include risky moves to perform, with major potential injuries or even death, if not done correctly. Although there’s no actual physical combat in WWE, these fighters/performers are well-versed in a variety of fighting techniques and disciplines and great athletes in numerous instances. To pull off many of the stunts and life-like fighting scenes, these performers have to be prepared physically and mentally to ensure outstanding performance and no injuries or worse.
This led me to think, maybe the simple fact that there’s a storyline combined risk of injury or death that draws so many into live entertainment wrestling. It’s not like this form of entertainment just showed up out of the blue, since the WWE has been around since 1953, under the name Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC) and live entertainment wrestling as a whole, as far back as the 1830s in France. You can think of the WWE as a reality TV show, like The Kardashians. But, instead of watching sisters grapple with their life problems and catfight, you can watch athletes perform scripted live fighting. This is likely why supporters of entertainment wrestling get behind their fighters with such passion and support and are true fans.
So, the WWE is right between reality TV with an engaging storyline and an acrobatic circus performance, with risky moves and stunts, with a massive following. Regardless of its growing popularity and fan base, I just wonder if it will always be in the shadow of popular combat sports.