Boom! TD Bank Garden erupted in cheers as the lights went down and pyrotechnics fired off on Monday night. “Sports” entertainment company World Wrestling Entertainment aired their 900th episode of Monday Night RAW. Since its debut 17 years ago on January 11, 1993, the WWE has produced the most episodes in the history of primetime TV. In fact according to a fun fact displayed during a commercial break, if MTV’s Jersey Shore continues to run at its current rate, it will reach its 900th episode in 2083 when Snooki is 96 which is older than Betty White’s current age.
To some, the professional wrestling of Monday night RAW is considered a sport, but it hardly deserves that classification and shames the title of “wrestling.” Here’s why:
1. It’s scripted
The purpose of watching sports is to be entertained by the competing parties trying their best to win. Sports are about pushing oneself and enduring pain because the best participant has better odds at being victorious. WWE does not seem to honor this sacrifice. Who is going to win is decided by the franchise’s writers who probably choose the matches and winners of particular “fights” weeks in advance so they can create a complex storyline of grudges and rivalries that spans episodes, seasons, and even years.
What becomes particularly obvious when watching WWE live as opposed to on television is the degree to which the fighting is choreographed. Without clever camera angles to hide behind, every punch looks pulled, every kick looks knocked off, and most moves look missed. Frequently, it appears that Newton’s third law is violated because poundings to the face seem to be taken without giving the slightest appearance of recoil from momentum transfer. Clearly most punches are pulled. Especially popular “take-out” moves like all the variations of body slams give the impression that the attacker’s full momentum is not being directed to their victim, but rather to the floor of the ring which is rigged to be suspiciously loud and gratuitously dynamic. The result is a very strong looking man rolling around in defeat because of what appears to be someone jumping next to him on a trampoline and making him flop around like a flounder. It’s down right ridiculous to call anything that entertains through false pain rather than competition a sport.
2. There is an obvious lack of rules.
All real sports are governed by a set of rules that are enforced for fair play and in which players are honored for following. In contrast, the “rules” in WWE are meant to be broken. Fights often break out, and are continued, outside of the ring where it appears that everything goes including badgering opponents on pieces of the set. A far as fairness goes, there seem to be few rules governing it as shown by the many matches that have mismatched numbers of participants. Furthermore, the referees are just for show. When the officials do interfere it is for inconsistent reasons and very rarely is their decision actually respected by the “fighters.” In fact, the only referee interference at this particular event was a few times for pinning in the ropes and one disqualification for an unprompted physical attack on the referee.
In opposition to professional sports, the “competitors” are applauded for breaking the “rules” and clearly the entertainment gained from this is why WWE encourages it. In doing so, however, all legitimacy as a sport is forfeited.
3. It’s gimmicky.
There’s excessive hype for each “match” and introduction of the wrestlers. For the first match, a girl came out to accompany the first wrestler and performed various stripper-like moves. In real sports, you can’t bring out your own female escort out on the field. Imagine if a scantily-clad woman accompanied Tiger Woods before he stepped up to the first hole (well, maybe Woods is a bad example, but you get the point). She clearly was there solely to rev up the crowd.
The speeches before the matches are excessively cheesy: Think Howard Dean’s infamous campaign speech times ten. Dramatic pauses don’t add to their speech delivery; instead they just give the audience a chance to laugh at the overly overdone speeches.
The most outrageous introduction was the introduction for R-Truth. He came out with his signature “What’s up” rap that contained even fewer words than the amount of clothing he was wearing as his costume. The saddest part? His rap was infinitely better than his “wrestling” skills. He should have pursued a rapping career.
4. It involves ridiculous extraneous props.
Conveniently placed items are all too common. In real sports, you have standard sports equipment. In most, they even check to make sure you haven’t hacked your own equipment in your own favor. For example, in the UFC, the referees even check the fighters’ nails before each fight. In contrast in the WWE, Alberto Del Rio magically whipped out a metal chair from the corner of the stage in the middle of a fight with Evan Bourne (of course allowed because of point number 2).
As even more evidence of crazy props in the WWE, let’s introduce Zambonis and beer hoses. Because it was the 900th episode of the WWE, they showed flashbacks to earlier episodes. One was from episode #279 when Stone Cold entered the ring on a Zamboni and beat up Vince McMahon. Another was from episode #304 where Stone Cold sprayed beer on The Rock, Vince McMahon, and Shane McMahon. And in case Stone Cold didn’t already have enough fun, they also showed episode #754 when he sprayed beer all over Santino Marella. The lesson here? The WWE likes pulling random objects you might find in a college gym and throwing them in with fake fighters.
So in conclusion, the WWE doesn’t deserve to claim to be wrestling. It’s fake, it’s gimmicky, and it’s simply a waste of time and money. So instead, the WWE should adopt a new name: World Wrestling Emasculated.