Hello gentle readers, it is time for an introduction. I am Deirdre, a would-be Course 6-er, rugger, movie whore and not-so-secret fan of pro-wrestling, but the path by which I became addicted was more by accident than any other pure intent. You see, back in the day (which was a Thursday) there was a weekly battle between my cousin and I for control over the television, he wanted to watch Smackdown, and I wanted to watch a girly drama that will remain nameless. So I plotted and schemed and watched for the occasional opportunity to pounce and possibly wrestle the remote away for at least a minute or two, but was often unsuccessful. Therefore, I spent most of those Thursday nights half-watching and half-ridiculing the matches and plotlines unfolding before us on the flickering screen. Ridicule turned to mock-interest. Mock interest turned genuine.
The physicality was one thing, and I came to accept that while the action wasn't 'real' in the strict sense, there was not much sense in denying that falling off ladders, through tables and over opponents' heads onto metal surfaces took extreme toughness and athleticism. As the kids say nowadays, it really was 'hardkore'. Then there were the characters and plotlines, some ridiculously outlandish, some purely vanilla, and everything in between, so that there was something for everyone it seemed. For me, it was the Hardy Boyz that sealed the deal. They did not look or act at all like the sterotypical wrestlers I had seen or imagined, they were young, punkish daredevils, doing their own thing and wowing the crowd with it. With them at the time was Lita, and she was certainly an inspiration in some ways. She was not a blond bimbo, a damsel in distress, or even a female monstrosity, but rather a strong, fierce woman, who went toe to toe with the ladies and the guys, a combination of tomboy, rebel and beautiful diva to boot. I became a fangirl, and began watching all the wrestling I could, and have ever since.
Unfortunately, being a wrestling fan can be difficult, as there are plenty of others who do see wrestling as ridiculous, stupid, and 'fake', aimed at rednecks and hicks to satiate the thirst for violence, real or fake, and trying to change someone's mind about wrestling is often a battle lost before it is begun. I cannot count the times I have been forcibly carried off from the lounge tv by hallmates when trying to watch Raw or Smackdown, because of the ire that they had for my viewing tastes. It is unfortunate that there is such a hypocritical mindset about wrestling in our society, where such entertainment is often deemed too violent, hazardous to our children, and contributing to social decay, when the highest grossing Hollywood features contain far more graphic acts of violence or sex than are ever seen or even insinuated on wrestling programming. Wrestling fans are not social degenerates, blood-crazy hicks or threats to morality, but rather they are you and me and probably your friend Bob. We cheer on our favorite characters, boo the villians, and gasp and scream at the twists and turns and falls and slams, following the good vs evil, revolution vs. establishment, age old themes that are mirrored across creative mediums. We aren't hicks, we're watching Shakespeare in a squared circle, but instead of watching our hero being double-crossed in silence, we jump up and yell along with the crowd.