Wednesday, March 7, 2007

You Can't Fake Gravity

The piece on the involvement of fans in wrestling really makes some interesting points and observations, especially about the kinds of people that go to see the wrestling shows. There was a great variety of people interviewed, from young women to old men. While the piece was about how the people engage at the wrestling shows I would like to see how their background affects how they engage. There were those who said they went for the first time or were not regular fans and those that were there just to accompany someone. Would these people happen to be the white collar workers? Being a fan, I have to agree very much with the conclusion of some of those interviewed that their participation is important to keeping up the illusion of realism. It is only fun to watch wrestling if you can get really engaged and yell out and shout. It is important for everyone watching to have the fans become a part of that illusion. I suppose it is a thought process that comes down to, “if they believe, then so do I.” And if you do get into it, it does become easier to believe and you just become a part of the show yourself. I have also been watching long enough to appreciate the athleticism and the physicality that goes into a show. I believe that helps with the illusion because no matter how fake the outcomes are, the action is not all fake. One thing I always tell people, “You can’t fake gravity.”

The different shows that were observed might have had a different affect on the people. Shows that are regular parts of the area where people live might have a different way of engaging the people and the kind of people that get engaged. I would think that something that is on the national level, where people can engage through the television like the 22 year old who happens to work in a factory would appeal differently to those who watch local shows where large numbers of people don’t show up, like 50 or so. I also think that there is a sort of performance in the interactions between friends when they are at the show and talking about the performances. I remember that something to talk about in middle school was what happened on WWF Raw the night before. You don’t break the illusion of the show when speaking of results. The only time I remember actually talking about something that would be categorized as real would be when we spoke of the politics of wrestling; events like the Montreal Screwjob or the Madison Square Garden incident involving the Kliq. The engagement of the show also continues with friends, where you argue about who is the better wrestler and who is the best on the microphone. It just ends when you read about something serious like steroid accusations or a death that certain parts of wrestling really hit you as cold reality.


X P said...

THe statement that you say about you can't fake gravity is so true. I really don't know how these wrestlers do it when they jump from soooo high up on the ring. Like in one of our viewings, I forgot the wrestlers, but one of them climbed on top of the cage and the other wrestler was on the ring and he jumped to slam him. He missed and hit the floor pretty hard. He jumped from like 25 feet in the air, I don't get how he didn't get hurt. I've seen other wrestling shows where they jump much higher or they jump on to outside the ring and they dont really get hurt. I mean they pretend they get hurt, but they seem fine. I jsut don't get that. To me that's my favorite part of wrestling, all the aerobatics. The worst part is the punches thrown. But once I watch some incredible moves, the fake punches don't really bother me. I guess I get into the matches and forget about the reality of it. Its how u said that u need to really engage with the match. It's something like watching a movie, u know it's fake, but u still get really into it.

Sam Ford said...

Luis, you've made some great observations here comparing your own history and views as a fan to some of those I interviewed in the research I did, Luis.

Oh, by the way Chris, it was "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka challenging WWE Champion Bob Backlund in that cage match we watched.