Watching The Wrestler sort of got me back in touch with the reason why I love professional wrestling. I’ve been watching the fake sport since I was a kid, but these days I find the product stale. WWE is not something I watch as often as I used to: John Cena has five moves, the Hardy Boyz angle is getting stale, and the outcomes of matches are starting to get really old, really fast.
Then I saw Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) get into a hardcore barbed-wire match with Necro Butcher in the movie… now that’s a pro wrestling match I’d pay to see anytime. I swear that Rourke should win the Academy Award for that performance alone.
Over the weekend, I watched a lot of hardcore wrestling matches over at YouTube as a way to decompress. There’s just something about hardcore wrestling that I can’t explain; maybe it’s the tendency of twenty-somethings like me to watch canned athleticism combined with the gross-out power of real blood. Forget tetanus, forget the risk of hepatitis. There’s just something almost visceral, gladiator-like even, about setting people on fire, putting people through thumbtacks, and watching them bleed.
Yup, I think that hardcore pro wrestling has turned into my version of Gossip Girl. XOXO, fuckers.
All this talk about “real fighting” and mixed martial arts is all good, but I want extreme theater when two or more people fight each other. There is a science behind a takedown and a choke, but lots about fighting is not scientific. I’m sure that Freddie Roach would probably cringe at the footwork of a John Zandig vs. Nick Gage match at Combat Zone Wrestling, or the sick Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka match at the first ECW: One Night Stand pay-per-view.
These days, I no longer think of “strategy” during combat. I now think of fights in terms of delivering a piledriver on your opponent on top of a semi-explosive land mine while your partner whacks the other guy and cracks his skull open with a lead pipe. Now that would seem a bit extreme, but when you’re a professionally trained athlete, that shouldn’t cause a big problem.
Would watching all this wrestling be the cause of all my unhealthy anger whenever I’m writing about politics? Well, not exactly; it’s just one way to channel all the pent-up rage; the very reason why screaming voices from death metal albums are perfect for smoking…
But that’s another story.