Welcome to Why I Love Wrestling, a collection of reasons - big and small - I have fallen in love with and continue to engage in a torrid affair with a "sport" which has predetermined results and by and large, is fake.
Fake is a peculiar term, especially in connection with professional wrestling. While the outcome is faked - Survivor Series 1997 notwithstanding - as are many of the strikes and holds - Stan Hansen and Vader notwithstanding - there is very little else fake about pro wrestling.
The story two wrestlers weave with their actions, the emotions felt by the audience watching. These are not fake. These are the foundation of what makes pro wrestling great and what makes so many fall head over heels for it despite many logical reasons we shouldn't.
Volume I: Kota Ibushi defends the KO-D Openweight Championship against his tag team partner, Kenny Omega
Good friends, better enemies. As cliché as it may sound, the saying rings very true in pro wrestling. When two men join forces to form a full-time tag team, they are more often than not, inseparable. They travel together, they train together, they wrestle together.
Through this bond, a trust is formed which is usually not created between two men. The amount of time a tag team spends together translates beautifully when, and if, the two ever collide inside the squared circle.
Such was the case on August 18, 2012 when Dramatic Dream Team or DDT, celebrated its 15th anniversary by holding its first ever show at the Budokan, a venue steeped in pro wrestling tradition. The then-champion Kota Ibushi (he has since lost the title to El Generico... ¡OLE!) took on the King of DDT tournament winner Kenny Omega, a man who happened to be have been his tag team partner for the past two-plus years. These two had achieved tag team superiority not only in DDT but also in New Japan Pro Wrestling capturing the IWGP tag team titles.
The match begins slowly and eventually devolves into somewhat of a spotfest but the two pull stuff off I have yet to see in all my years of watching wrestling. To do that, quite simply, is remarkable.
That's why I love wrestling.
Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating and happy Thursday to all those who are not.