I remember it well. The day I finally, with a heavy heart, admitted to myself and to others that Pro Wrestlin’ was not what I thought it was.
It was…dammit, I still can’t say it…it was FAKE.
You have to understand that there were three or four “eras” in the pro wrestling. There was some kind of pre-history involving Gorgeous George. I don’t know anything about that. Later, in the eighties, there was the birth of what we have now, with people like Hulk Hogan. But the sixties and seventies was “my” era. It featured Lonnie Mayne and Dutch Savage and a whole cast of characters. And it was real. To my twelve-year-old brain, it was real.
Then came the day.
I had to face it. The glamour. The excitement. The blood-lust and drama. All phony. It took a while to sink in, but it did. I’ve met people who claim that knowing that “wrestling is fake” is not a problem and they still love it. Not me. I was a true believer, but then it ended.
My question to you, dear friends, is this:
(Assuming we’re all aware of the Academy Awards “slap” incident) HOW CAN I BELIEVE THAT THIS WAS REAL? I mean, sure, maybe he did slap him. But that proves nothing. Wrestlers get “slapped” all the time. It’s still “not real.”
After 9/11, they didn’t investigate the crimes committed on that day the way that you would assume. No international convention of law enforcement to “find the perpetrators.” No payoffs to informants. No manhunts (the “hunt” for Osama was laughable). What did we get? Only B-52’s bombing Afghanistan (??) and a lot of baloney.
The destruction of the towers looked fake. It’s all fake. It’s all Pro Wrestling.
Imagine if George Clooney had gone onstage and smacked Jimmy Kimmel. Then imagine that the two men acted EXACTLY like Will Smith and Chris Rock. You wouldn’t believe it for a second. No matter how much crying Clooney did when he accepted the Oscar, you would not believe any of it.
We believe this is real because Smith and Rock are black, and we don’t think that black men are that smart.
My list of “things that piss me off” expanded recently when I saw a PBS documentary about Muhammed Ali. It implied that Ali and Joe Frazier were enemies. This is hogwash. They were professional rivals and they had a healthy rivalry, but the “act” they put on was pure hype. Frazier admired Ali and Ali (probably) never hated anybody–except maybe the white men who wanted to send him to Vietnam.
What kind of age do we live in now? You can no longer believe your eyes. About anything. Everything on TV is officially bogus, especially now that “deepfake” is a thing.
The future is going to be very strange.