What is Wrestling?

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What is Wrestling?

Postby Modified Cravate » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:11 pm

Posted this earlier on pulsewrestling

I was browsing the Chikara Website looking for updates on the King of Trios Tournament. When I was about to close out the window, my eyes wandered to the bottom of the page and found the Chikara Copyright with a question next to it: "What Is Wrestling". Well of course, I thought to myself "Oh, this question is easy. I'll write about it in my Opening Segment". I sat in front of the computer with a blank word document, finding myself at a loss of words. I couldn't write anything down. The question was a LOT harder than I thought it was. This is a question Ring of Honor fans, Chikara fans, WWE fans, and even TNA fans need to ask themselves.

In an effort to find what others think is the correct answer to this question, I asked fellow Inside Pulse writer Aaron Glazer and contacted Mike Quackenbush to see their interpretation of the answer. Below is what they sent back to me.

"Wrestling is the performance art of competition building drama in order to tell a compelling story with a satisfying resolution. To this end wrestlers will chose a style, present strengths and weaknesses to engage the audience, causing emotional investment in seeing the story resolved through pure competition." - Aaron Glazer

"So...what is wrestling? Why is that question even worth asking? Or, are we just being sarcastic or obtuse? Well, in spite of our penchant for both being obtuse and being sarcastic, it is a question worth asking. For the last 20+ years, the world of professional wrestling, at least in the U.S., has been one of two things - an imitation of Vince McMahon's creation, the WWE (then WWF), or an imitation of something from another country. I don't want to get into details here, but so much of what American independent wrestling is today can be traced back to either the WWF model, or the extreme nature of ECW (which is in itself an extension of FMW, W*ING, etc.) So let's say, just to get started, that we reject those two models immediately. Their interpretations of our performance genre are out-dated, rusty and moot. Forget about them.

So...what is wrestling, then, when you want to re-invent that wheel? It is a performance genre that marries violence and vanity and molds it onto the framework of the classic Greek morality play. Can it be sophomoric? At times. Does it flirt with homoeroticism? You bet, but boy does Vince and the gang not want us to talk about that. Pro-wrestling, like theater, like a good novel, should provide escapism, provide engaging characters in whom the viewer can make an emotional investment (be it good or bad), and maybe even show us something about ourselves, our lives and our culture, that we might otherwise not see. But unlike so much of what makes up the modern wrestling genre (imitations of the same monotony), all novels are not imitations of Shakespeare. All plays are not imitations of Tennessee Williams.

Just like a writer chooses his genre, so too can any creator - when you realize that you can make anything you like - so long as there is an audience to accept it. Sci-fi novels have an audience. Comedies have an audience. Fantasy films have an audience. And Shakespeare never wrote Sci-fi...but that doesn't make it wrong, bad, or non-viable.

So....what is wrestling? It's whatever your imagination can mold it into. It is a limitless art form, with limitless possibilities. Why keep exploring the same two over and over?" - Mike Quackenbush

What Is Wrestling? Do you have an answer? If you do, please send it to jkirschner@insidepulse.com. I will read all of the responses I recieve and send feedback. Not only that, but next week there will be a special section titled "What Is Wrestling" where all of the responses I got from my readers will be posted.

I'd love to hear your guys' answers.

Feedback is always appreciated... whether it be good or bad.
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Modified Cravate
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