Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Gaurav Mehrotra and I am the advocate for the reigning, defending, undisputed, and arguably the oldest form of sports entertainment in the world, the art of Wrestling. Now, even though I may have started this monologue like Paul Heyman, and make no qualms about it, I am a Paul Heyman guy through and through; Jericholism runs in my blood even more. Hence, as a true Jerichoholic, and a mark for this form of entertainment, I would be bringing to you a weekly dosage from the world of wrestling, primarily WWE, which is the biggest Sports Entertainment organization in the world and a platter of news from the other sporting organizations as well, on this fabulous website called MySportsAdda.
Now that this is out of the way, one simple question arises is what the hell is a 26 year old guy doing following this stuff for kids? Isn’t it a taboo to talk about wrestling once you have passed out of college? Aren’t you supposed to act mature and talk about stuff like Game of Thrones and other such family sagas? Well, yes and no. No, because we do understand that it is probably the most basic and crude form of entertainment that is present on TV, with violence, gore and crass language all present in a packaged environment. However, as a wrestling fan, and as my answer is going to be a resounding “YES! YES! YES!”, let me elaborate on why I think that as much as a taboo wrestling might be, we still need to appreciate it none-the-less:
- The risk these performers take- When the companies flash the often repeated warning, “Please! Don’t try this home”, they aren’t wrong. The moves, when tried outside by untrained kids and adults alike, have severely injured and sometimes have even taken lives of those individuals. This highlights the amount of risk that these guys take, in order to entertain us mortals. Even inside the rings, the performers have sustained gruesome injuries that have paralysed them or in few cases like that of the late great Owen Hart, killed them as well. Hence, instant respect should be bestowed upon these brave men and women for all that they do for our entertainment.
- The gruelling schedule of the companies- If you are a superstar or a diva that is on the main roster for a company like WWE, your schedule is as follows.
Monday- TV tapings for Superstars and Monday Night RAW
Tuesday- TV tapings for Main Event and Smackdown (Yes, Smackdown is a taped show, unlike RAW, which is the longest weekly live show in the history of television)
Wednesday- NXT training or Performance Centre
Thursday- Off day
Friday and Saturday- Live Shows across various cities in USA
Sunday- If there is a Pay Per View (PPV) scheduled, then the superstars required would be there at the show, otherwise it is an off day
Now, you can see that on an average, a superstar or a diva would be on the road for close to 270 or 280 days. The schedule on those days would be to get up in the morning, drive out to the airport, catch a flight, reach the city, check in to a hotel, hit the gym, sign some autographs, reach the arena, take the script, rehearse, wait for your part, deliver, cool down, take a shower, leave the arena, repeat all over again! Now, with the same monotonous schedule, along with the fans trying to take selfies, autographs and hounding them in all public places, you have to, nay, you need to appreciate the amount of effort they put in and the patience they exhibit for the enjoyment of the masses.
- The athleticism, acting and mic skills required to be a top superstar, and the effort that needs to be put in- Now do not be fooled by The Great Khali becoming the World Heavyweight Champion of the company. That’s just one of the mistakes that the company has made over the past few years. If you look at the Mount Rushmore of the company, or rather the top draws of every era, the top faces of the company have had these skills in spades. Some may have lacked in one department, but they made up for it in the others, which not only made them the biggest stars of the industry, but also, at times in cases like those of Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena, and unarguably the biggest superstar to come out of the wrestling business, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, one of the household names across the world!
- Art imitates life, so does wrestling- There is a simple philosophy in the business. The biggest storyline that catches fire is the one that can appeal to the audience. Whether you like him or not, you can almost relate with Kevin Owens when he claims that he wants to provide for his family. You want to support Dean Ambrose because he is pissed off at Seth Rollins whom he considered his brother, and is now mad for his backstabbing almost a year later. However, the biggest and the most recent example would be the meteoric rise of Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 30 last year. Even though he was catapulted into the main scene due to the departure of CM Punk (One of his stated reasons being the misuse of Daniel Bryan), the crowd believed that he was due for the push that he received. In almost a decade, ever since the departure of The Rock and Steve Austin, barely has the company or even the industry seen a monster face reaction that Daniel Bryan elicited in the start of 2014; all because, the audience could relate to the underdog who was good in his job and loved it with all he got. However, the biggest story ever created was that of the rivalry between the evil boss in Vince McMahon and disgruntled employee Steve Austin. In all honesty, almost everyone has at least once wanted to kick their bosses’ ass for one decision or another, and they have vicariously lived through Stone Cold doing that on a weekly basis. Be it the stunners, or the beer bash, the fans enjoyed the reality of the situation and wished that for once they could give their bosses the middle finger as well. And that’s the bottom line.
- Because everyone needs a good fashioned slugfest at times- It doesn’t matter who you are. At times in your life, you are tired of all the political manoeuvring that you face around you, be it office or college, or sometimes even inside the In those times, there is a fleeting moment of anger that is so close to the violent side of humans, it longs for an escape. Wrestling world provides that real form of escape to everyone. In this world, you know the outcomes are pre-determined. You know the storylines are fake. You know that the performers are even friends outside, who are claiming to be enemies inside the ring for the sake of a storyline. However, they are still going to beat the living hell out of each other so that the audience can get their monies worth. At times, when they get it right, the drama unfolding in the ring inspires awe, respect, sadness, joy and love or hatred. And this, is the beauty of the industry that sometimes even rivals the other form of entertainment.
All that being said, I have tried to present my case as to why I am a fan of this business. Even if this piece doesn’t turn you into a fan or regular for the programme, I hope that at least you can now see these performers in a better light than as mere “wrestlers” and appreciate what they go through for our entertainment.
In any case, I would be seeing you once a week from hereon, on this great website, with my weekly review column. I am also open to starting parallel series, along with the weekly columns, the first of which would be the greatest events that changed the history of the business, and for which I have created the following list:
- The Montreal Screwjob
- The Slam heard around the World at Wrestlemania 3
- The Age of Austin begins at Wrestlemania 14
- The Rise and Demise of WCW
- The ushering of the PG Era
If there are any more suggestions for these series, you can let me know and I will add it to the bucket list. However, till then, hear out this fun 16 bit Brock Lesnar theme. I can call it “The Bits Incarnate”. No? Me out.