Ronda Rousey said some things today that got the pro wrestling world all up in arms. An interview she did with Steve-O made the rounds, featuring one particular quote that her contemporaries were none too fond of.
She called pro wrestling fake fighting.
Alexa Bliss was sure to point out how much time she missed due to injuries suffered while wrestling. It wasn’t long after that Rousey came back with this, which has led to at least one wrestler physically threatening her over it:
Here’s the thing: she’s kinda right! She’s kinda wrong, too.
Look, you can love pro wrestling while also acknowledging how deeply silly it all is. It’s a bunch of grown folks pretending to fight each other. I often watch the shows and marvel at how they can get through entire matches pretending to be hurt without breaking out into fits of laughter.
It’s ridiculous! It’s also hilarious!
That doesn’t mean it can’t be taken seriously, of course. In fact, pro wrestling makes the most money when folks are taking it as seriously as possible. That doesn’t mean it is anything other than what it is, though, and recognizing that fact is not inherently bad.
She’s right in the sense that an accurate way to describe a pro wrestling match is to call it a “fake fight.”
She’s wrong in the sense that there is nothing fake about the physical toll said matches take upon the participants. It’s understandable, then, that those participants would take offense to anyone calling what they do into question in such a dismissive way. It hardly matters that it’s accurate in a literal sense — it’s more about the lack of compassion it shows.
There’s also the matter of the worker maintaining the work. Pro wrestling is something close to magic. The magician must always maintain the illusion because it is essential to the show. It is the show. There’s no value in the magician telling you he can’t actually make the elephant disappear. The value is in his convincing you that he can, and then never telling you how he did it. It doesn’t just hurt the magician when he doesn’t adhere to this, it hurts all magicians.
That’s essentially what this boils down to.
I can see both sides of it, and I can agree with both sides of it. It’s not that big of a deal, except it’s a huge deal. Rousey is right, and Rousey is wrong.
Then again, it must be said that it’s at least possible this is all a poorly thought out work anyway. Like I said before: it’s silly!