Why Wrestling Is Awesome

by EMILY TOOPS
edited by ANDREW HICKS

A handful of WWE beefcakes Emily Toops would do naughty things with. Not pictured: Diversity.

Let me start this confession of sorts with a brief disclaimer that is common knowledge to those who know me personally: I am basically a 13-year-old boy on the inside. I adore fart jokes, monster truck rallies and the first two Transformers movies. I secretly wet myself every time I see trailers for upcoming Oscar-worthy tour de force of cinema Cowboys & Aliens. I don’t mind admitting any of that. But what I am about to tell you, I am almost never willing to reveal to friends and acquaintances without some pretty insistent prodding simply because I know it’s meant to be a guilty pleasure, not a dark obsession a la Dexter.

But to hell with it, I knew my cool kid act would never work on you people, so I’m going to come clean: I am a fan of the WWE. A big fan. Like, so much so that I have Alberto Del Rio’s theme as a ringtone on my phone. I watch Smackdown every Friday night on SyFy and Raw every Monday on USA. I yell at the screen when things don’t go my way. I went to a WWE event in Champaign, Ill., this past semester and cried tears of fan-girl joy at the realization that I am not the only girl under 200 pounds in Central Illinois who screams when she sees The Miz in person.

Most of my friends and family don’t understand my love for this noble sport, nor do they desire to. But I want to show the world what they’re missing, so I came up with a list of reasons Why Wrestling is Awesome. (Fun fact: I wrote an English paper with the same title and overall theme in the 3rd grade. Got a C+ on that bitch.)

1) Cast of Characters
For the most part, the WWE universe is made up of some pretty interesting folks that are genuinely fun to watch. Whether they’re heels (bad guys) or faces (good guys), the wrestlers are a delight to watch on the mic and in the ring, as long as they have a good shtick and somewhat decent oratory skills. Or lack thereof. Really, it doesn’t matter either way.

WWE superstars don’t really need layers. Randy Orton’s crazy and monotonous. So is Cody Rhodes, but he wears a plastic mask and puts bags on people’s heads. Zack Ryder’s a Jersey Shore-esque guido type. John Cena is that jocky, wannabe-urban guy you went to high school with. They’re not terribly multi-dimensional because they don’t have to be. They’re basically comic book characters come to life. And not the bawww-filled, Dark Knight-type superhero: the Captain America, Nazi-fighting, red meat-inhaling UBERMENCH archetype.

2) Blatantly Unrealistic Feuds and Violence
For just a minute, let’s pretend you’re an average Joe. You’re married, you’ve got 2.5 children and a nice house, and you’re reasonably well respected at your place of employment. One day, you show up at work and learn that somebody’s not only trying to steal that promotion from you, but they’ve been talking about you behind your back. What do you do? Calmly approach them and try to settle your differences in a collected, professional manner? Or do you call the guy a pathetic excuse for a man and put the guy in a cross-arm bar after beating the crap out of him with a folding chair? If you do the latter in the real world, you’re gonna end up with a lawsuit and a restraining order against you. In wrestling, you’ll end up getting sued if you DON’T dropkick that punk for talkin’ smack about ya!

Studies have shown that children and young adults who are exposed to violent video games and television programs like WWE Smackdown and Raw are more prone to committing violent acts. Well, I say young adults around the age of 20 who work in an office, selling opera tickets to disinterested rich people every day, are far more likely to commit violent acts if they don’t watch Smackdown or Raw. Just sayin’, nothing takes the edge off a long day quite like seeing big muscular dudes have at each other with shooting-star elbow drops, suplexes and snap DDTs.

"Hey Andre, you wanna leave this wax museum and get a sandwich?" "Nah Hulk, I'm still full from breakfast."

3) Aesthetics
Let’s go back to the last paragraph and look at the last sentence. Highlight the phrase “muscular guys.” As much as I hate to sound like your typical, uninformed wrestling fan girl, I will admit that looks are at least a small contributing factor to wrestling’s overall level of awesomeness in my book. Seriously, try to tell me Sheamus isn’t one fine slice of Irish corned beef. Mmm, I’d let him use his finishing move on me any day. But not really. He’d probably break me with his pasty white fury.

4) Inspiring Millions
I’m going to go to the heart of the reason of why I love wrasslin’ so much: I legitimately find it inspiring. I don’t find it inspiring because I myself want to become a wrestler; on the contrary, I think I’d be utterly destroyed after just five minutes in the ring with even the weakest of diva wrestlers. It’s inspirational because it brings people together. The WWE has wrestlers from all over the world, and race and ethnicity is never an issue. Watching a South African fight a Englishman is like watching reverse colonialism, and it’s a beautiful thing.

Where else but at a WWE event would you be able to see a crowd of crackers in Biloxi, Miss., actually cheer on a black or Hispanic guy for beating the shit out of a white man? And really, wrestling is all about dreaming big. A lot of the guys in the ring started out as noodly little preteens with a Mankind action figure and a dream, and they ended up getting one of the coolest jobs in the world through hard work and endless dedication. It’s the American Dream in colorful Spanks and chest grease. And that’s the truth, brother.

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