Judges or writers? Who determines the winners and losers in wrestling?
Vitaly Vesely July 13, 2023, 10:30 am Moscow time
The artistic component and the sporty one get along well with each other.
Brutal giants with bare chests, blood and broken chairs – this is all about wrestling. And all this for fun? Not precisely! To begin with, it is worth immediately revealing the cards and clearly saying that wrestling is primarily related to entertainment. And therefore the main thing that is required of the fighters is the ability to artistically embody everything that is written in the script. But the audience must get genuine and real emotions.
And yet this is only part of the truth, and therefore the debate about whether wrestling is a sport or just an attraction for the joy of the public has been going on for many decades. In the last century, the main wrestling promotion WWE, it seems, decided to dot the i’s by beginning to actively use the term “sports entertainment.” And this is more than reasonable.
The president of the UFC MMA promotion, Dana White, who after the merger of both leagues said that cross fights between promotion fighters should not be expected, agrees with this approach: “The difference between the UFC and WWE is that WWE has value of entertainment. They have these guys who are incredible athletes. They go there and do their job. Everyone knows that everything develops according to the scenario. When you see fights in the UFC, you understand that everything is real there. This is our motto. There are no predetermined results in the UFC. So there will be no crossovers.”
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In fact, the results in the fight are predetermined by the writing team, although in rare cases, the fighters themselves do this. The results depend on the current situation in the plot: if this is the beginning of a confrontation, the winner, in order to exacerbate the intrigue, will most likely choose a “hill”, that is, a villain; if the matter is approaching a denouement, then most likely the triumph is behind the “face” – a positive character who has overcome many obstacles on his way.
To be fair, the sports component in wrestling is also present, and to a large extent. Wrestling came out of wrestling, and its elements haven’t gone anywhere yet. The fighters themselves look more spectacular than many MMA fighters and spend a lot of time in the gym, working on their fitness. What’s more, the situation in wrestling sometimes gets out of control, and then before the eyes of the organizers who don’t understand anything, things begin to happen that they are no longer able to influence. Such situations are called “jesters”, but they happen very rarely. Yet they do happen.
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And it’s also amusing that despite understanding the nature of scripted wrestling, some American states only at the turn of the last century stopped regulating it as a professional sport. The same leading WWE league contributed to this, only it did not pay sports license fees.
But it would be a mistake to think that everything in wrestling is “vegetarian”… Of course, they try to minimize the risks during fights. But there is nothing to do: the public demands shows, and the organizers, and therefore the fighters themselves, have to raise the stakes. Which sometimes just doesn’t happen in the ring! Dangerous jumps, back landings, overcoming excruciating pain, and even performances through injuries, if only the fan were satisfied. A sad example of the risks involved in wrestling is Darren Drozdov, who was left paralyzed after a hard fall on his head.
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Yes, everything is much more intense in the UFC… Wrestling is more like a movie or a series, where we know that not everything is real, but we are still looking forward to new movies or series.