Brock Lesnar didn't really break Triple H's arm, so why do people insist he preserve the illusion offstage? Via WWE.com
Who are we fooling?
Triple H walked out with Floyd Mayweather for Saturday's big boxing match, with a brace on his arm, selling the storyline that his arm had been broken by Brock Lesnar. Apparently the brace wasn't enough for some people, who thought Triple H undermined the seriousness of the broken arm he was supposed to have suffered.
Yet these people apparently understand what I would wager that everyone reading this sentence knows and understands: WWE is a performance, not a sport.
What's the point of maintaining the facade that Lesnar actually broke Triple H's arm? To fool the densest fans? To maintain some sort of archaic wrestling code that hasn't been relevant in decades? Maybe it mattered 30 years ago, but why would it today?
WWE is generally clear about exactly what it is. That's where the term "sports entertainment" came from. The wrestlers, while performing a very demanding and physical task, are not fighting with each other or trying to hurt each other or competing in any normal sense of the world.
Really, the insulting thing is to pretend that wrestling is a genuine competition offstage. WWE openly tells us it's not real, then wrestlers try to perpetuate the facade anyway out in public: What kind of sense does that make?
Enough of this madness.
There's no reason for performers to act in character outside the WWE's stages. It doesn't happen in any other artform. We know movies aren't real, but that didn't stop "The Avengers" from breaking box-office records this weekend.
It might be wrestling tradition, but it's become a very silly one.
The wrestling industry once believed preserving the illusion of reality (or at least plausibility) was essential to its survival. But that belief turned out to be mistaken, as we discovered in two major wrestling booms after WWE went public about its true nature.
There's a certain romance in the old days when wrestling pretended to be a real sport and fans either believed or pretended to believe it was real, too. I understand the affection that some of us place on that.
But it's over: The cat is out of the bag. There's no way to make it "real" again. So why bother with some muddled middle ground? Let's just move on and accept that the show is the show.
WWE wouldn't have to concentrate on getting one over on its fans. It would liberated to simply present compelling stories within the confines of their TV or live shows.
We could end all the debates of whether such-and-such moment was real or fake. We could just accept that what happens on television is stage (outside of an injury or a flub here or there).
We could just discuss the merits and flaws of the performances. We can appreciate WWE for what it is: A show and a great artform.
What do you think, Cagesiders? So is the illusion of reality really worth keeping outside the confines of WWE's stage? Is it a unique aspect of the artform of wrestling still worth preserving, or would it be liberating if WWE abandoned it all together?