The reading by Workman explores the perceptions of wrestling as either sport or drama. In it he gives generalizations and common beliefs of wrestling fans. He argues that most all wrestling fans perceive wrestling as a mixture of sport and theatre. This made me think of my perception of wrestling. Now, of course I know that wrestling is scripted and outcomes are known months in advance. But as a child, I had a completely different view on wrestling.
Since I started watching wrestling at such a young age, with my first memories being around the age of 4, I thought wrestling to be completely real. I thought that the characters were a reflection of who the wrestlers were in real life. When a wrestler got injured, I completely believed that they had gotten hurt in real life. One example I remember was when the Ultimate Warrior got into a feud with Papa Shango. After one of the Ultimate Warrior's matches, a curse that Papa Shango put on the Ultimate Warrior caused him to vomit violently. Being such a young an impressionable child, it was pretty scary to see the greatest wrestler of all time in one of his lowest moments. Another memory I have is watching the Undertaker place his defeated opponent in a body bag after his matches. Again, I would believe that the Undertaker had killed his opponent or if the opponent was somehow still alive, he would soon suffocate in the body bag.
I don't really remember when I began to characterize wrestling as being "fake". I guess it was a combination of age and common sense. I do remember, however, watching a special on tv that showed some of the tricks and secrets behind wrestling. I thought it was a big deal because I had never seen anyone directly address wrestling in such a manner. This didn't really have an effect on my wrestling beliefs. Knowing that the outcomes were predetermined and the actual wrestling moves were not devastating, I still watched with the same intensity and forget that I knew wrestling was fake.
Looking back on my early beliefs, I see how ridiculous they really were. Luckily, I wasn't traumatized in any way from watching wrestling at such a young age. My early and current beliefs made me realize how special wrestling is. It' amazing how people can just get lost in it and forget all of their common sense. Whether wrestling is characterized as sport or drama, it will always be characterized as unique.