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I Don’t Understand WWE. Why Do People Watch It?

Posted by on July 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm

WHAT DOES IT MEAN.

I know my parents love me because I didn’t grow up watching WWE (or WWF, as it was called back then). Oh, don’t get me wrong, I watched a lot of terrible kids’ programming as a young’in, but I knew, deep down, I was still better off because I wasn’t watching “wrestling”. When I was challenged to my first fight in the fifth grade (no, it wasn’t really a fight, it was more like a ‘push the other kid out of an arbitrary space’ kinda thing), my opponent’s hype man handed me a piece of notebook paper with BRET THE HITMAN HART scrawled across it with a bulls eye, as if some kind of earth-shattering threat. (Later, he quietly wandered back to my desk and asked for it back so he could erase the vile design and use it for the afternoon’s math test.) He had, in effect, mortally wounded me, like a splinter to the mind, but only ironically: I still have no idea what the hell any of it means.

When I got my first job, I asked again what all of this meant. “It’s a soap opera for men,” one explained, which had to be the worst idea I’d ever heard of.

“What’s in this drink? It tastes funny.”

“Oh, it’s poison.”

“Right, that makes se-”

I’ve never mustered the courage to watch a full WWE event because the few snippets I have caught simply blew my mind. Men here, because it is mostly men, act, but they are terrible actors, out comical storylines that don’t make sense. Everyone gets a championship belt and then they lose it. Or they get two. Then there’s a guy with a wig, and there’s music, but then there’s this other thing? I don’t know, I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it. The WWE made the most sense when its “wrestlers” transcended their humble sweaty-men-in-tights origins and entered the mainstream. Look at these graduates, for instance:

Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea moved on from the WWE to star in a series of shitty movies, his career recovering only slightly in WWE rematches long after his fame had faded.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin moved on from the WWE to star in a series of shitty movies, his career recovering only slightly in WWE rematches long after his fame had faded.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson  moved on from the WWE to star in a series of shitty movies, his career recovering only slightly in WWE rematches long after his fame had faded.

John “John Cena” Cena moved on from the WWE to star in a series of shitty movies, his career recovering only slightly in WWE rematches long after his fame had faded.

Tonight was perhaps the most special of nights for the WWE, with RAW’s 1,000th episode. Titled appropriately, RAW 1000. I searched the Twittersphere for answers and recovered only frightening results.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Grumpy_Dr_Doom/status/227605371819286529″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Evil_Mr_McMahon/status/227594039631941632″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/KellyKellyNet/status/227594947249983488″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/KeithLipinski/status/227589140806516736″]

…well, I concede. I will never break through this tangled web of… melodramatic testosterone? Whimsical calamity? Magical dosage of WTF? WWE fans, you can continue to have WWE. It’s all yours. I make no changes.

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  • Spanky_____

    I understand your feelings. I don’t understand the idiocy of it. When you really watch them they barely even “fight”. To me a match just looks like this. They just lay on each other for a moment while flexing their mussels, then jump up again and yell. Then start the whole thing over until someone decides they would rather lay on the floor with a guy on top of him then get back up. At they point the the man on top is declared the winner. Until he turns his back, then the other guy gets mad a tries to beat him up again.
    It all looks so silly. I wonder at what point they look back and wonder to them selves why they embarrassed themselves so much just to make some money. Its like selling your soul to the devil. You don’t like it later, but at least your rich, and that makes it better right?

  • SonOfThunder

    The “soap opera for men” trope is outdated and misinformed. As a fellow internet/gaming nerd, I think it would be more accurate to describe WWE in the same vein as a battle anime like DBZ/Bleach/Naruto. But it’s designed to go on indefinitely. Instead of a battle over…some nebulous concept like the fate of the world, it’s presented in the context of a sport, where there’s a never-ending struggle to be the king of the hill and hold the championship title.

    It’s somewhere between all of that and a circus performance. It’s definitely a quantity business. They do around 250 live shows a year.

    Anything can be mocked and made to sound absurd if you don’t understand it, pick and choose elements, and oversimplify. I could talk about how insane it is for grown men to dress up in plastic suits of armor and throw and kick an oblong ball around, and there’s scantily clad women waving pompoms and dancing for no apparent reason, and before each play they’re yelling nonsense like Omaha, Omaha, Omaha! Blue 42! It sounds like these people should be in straight jackets.

    • Jameel Qazi

      Yes, it’s just like football..if every football game was fixed and the outcome determined by the league in advance. Wrestling simply makes no sense. Incredibly boring, fixed, fake crap.