Wrestling expose insults fans
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM!
Hiding their true identities, the stars of Exposed! Pro Wrestling's Greatest Secrets.
Wrestlers bleed like stuck pigs by cutting their foreheads open with razor
Wrestling rings are miked underneath to amplify the action.
If executed correctly, most bone-crushing moves hurt but don't seriously
Well, triple duh!
For the four or five wrestling fans out there who've been sleeping in Mr.
Slate's rock quarry, NBC in conjuction with Nash Entertainment aired
Exposed! Pro Wrestling's Greatest Secrets Sunday night disclosing some of
the industry's trade secrets on national television.
What the producers failed to understand is that these reputed "secrets"
are common knowledge amongst wrestling fans. A fact that an unenlightened
mainstream media still hasn't picked up on. Things have changed remarkably
since Gorgeous George or Whipper Billy Watson donned the tights. Which
would explain why the backward-thinking producers of Pro Wrestling's
Greatest Secrets insulted the viewers they sought to educate.
Demeaning fans throughout the broadcast by suggesting that they "think it's
all real", the prime time special depicted wrestling promoters and their
talent as sneaky con men pulling the wool over the eyes of the gullible
spectators. Eight masked wrestlers worked matches in the ring and spoke
openly about the wrestling business in interview segments. Each were given
new gimmicks (Brute Force! Brash Knuckles! Ben Hurt!) and had their voices
electronically altered so as not to reveal their true identities.
In addition to explaining the obvious about how various moves are
accomplished without sending grapplers to the emergency room, the NBC
special also revealed that...
- Wrestlers sell each other's moves.
- Promoters make and hand out some of the signs seen on television.
- While in the ring, wrestlers communicate with one another through rest
- The ring is miked and a large spring acts as the ring's shock-absorber.
- A ref's real job is to relay moves, slip in illegal objects and
communicate changes from the booker.
- Bookers and the wrestlers plan out the matches.
- Ringside announcers sometimes convey the booker's wishes as well through
- Props are broken and glued back together to break on impact.
- Salt thrown in the eyes is weight-lifting or talcum powder.
- Chair shots and tables slams are real.
- Wrestlers bleed by sometimes cutting their foreheads open using a razor
- Plants are put in the audience during angles (i.e.: a heel attacking an
"innocent fan" at ringside.).
Brash Knuckles, one of the wrestlers who told all on last night's Exposed! Pro Wrestling's Greatest Secrets.
No news flashes there to any self-respecting squared circle aficionado.
Though researched extensively enough to use the jargon correctly, the
special devoted very little time to the real dangers wrestlers face except
for a brief mention during the quick wrap-up.
Thirty or forty years ago when "marks" outnumbered "smart fans" such an
expose would've shocked the naive public at large. Back then, promoters,
bookers and wrestlers alike feared the end of their livelihood if their
trade secrets were revealed and therefore remained tight-lipped.
Not so in this the "information age". Nowadays, the majority of grappling
fans are fully aware of what REALLY goes on in the ring and likewise in the
backstage area. They know the outcomes are planned beforehand. They know
the wrestlers are working together to put on an exciting show. They know
that the salt thrown in Mr. X's eyes is really baby powder anyone can
purchase at a neighborhood drug store.
Wrestling fans just don't care. They "suspend their disbelief" like
filmgoers do before taking their seats in a movie theatre. Ignoring reality
for a short time enhances the experience and the audience's overall
enjoyment of the presentation. They are willing participants playing their
role as extras in a larger-than-life production in which they have some say
in the events that are unfolding.
In "exposing" pro-wrestling's "secrets" what the producers really did was broadcast
their ignorance for all to see and hear.