EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 16: Triple H attends a press conference to announce that MetLife Stadium will host WWE Wrestlemania 29 in 2013 at MetLife Stadium on February 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images)
With World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) all set to host its 1,000th episode of its flagship program, Monday Night Raw, tomorrow night (July 23, 2012) in St. Louis, Missouri, the company is playing full court press in promotion. That means we're getting interviews from the likes of major players like Triple H, who is scheduled for multiple segments on tomorrow night's edition of Raw.
During a recent interview with STLToday.com, I found Triple H's explanation of WWE programming rather fascinating:
"Every guy we have, whether it's me, whether it's the Undertaker, whether it's John Cena playing the character John Cena, is a performer. What we did is very much the beginning of reality television. ‘Jersey Shore,' whether people want to believe it or not, is a scripted kind-of show. They don't give them every single word, but they give them premises and they set things up. It's not a documentary where you follow them around brushing their teeth. And that's what we are - we blur that line and that's what people find intriguing."
When reading the interview, this didn't come off as bravado or an attempt by "The Game" to prop up the product into something it's not. Instead, it was his way of explaining the business, one that will always deal with the dreaded "fake" label.
He addressed that in the interview as well:
"A word we hear a lot and that we dislike is ‘fake.' ‘Oh, the WWE is fake.' But let me tell you, it's physical and it's hard. If a 300-pound guy jumps on you from five feet up, does it hurt any less if you know it's coming?"
We know the wrestlers aren't actually trying to hurt each other for real but their work does require a great deal of physicality that often results in serious injury. How they get to that point, the soap opera type storylines and what not, is what he's seeking to explain here.
And, really, he'll always have the answer questions like that because there will always be those who refuse to allow themselves to give in to the idea that they are watching a scripted show. Perhaps it's because of pro wrestling's connection to sport. In reality, it's closer to what you would see on Jersey Shore or any other show on television that plays itself off as reality when, in fact, it's far closer to fiction than anyone cares to admit.
Reality television writers and producers are using the same formula pro wrestling has been utilizing for what seems like forever. Because they, like pro wrestling, realize they can do so much more with what they have when they directly influence or control the outcomes.