Drawing Heat gets into some bizarre territory in the Night Bears chapter. I didn't realize bear wrestling happened in the 20th century, and the Wildman both benefitted and suffered terribly from it. The explanation for why this phenomenon would be so interesting to spectators was thought-provoking though. Freedman describes how southern Canadians reacted with fear that the wild animal would somehow escape and rampage through the streets and the northern Canadians met the bear with respect and recognition because they had them in their own backyards. Regardless, people look at a wrestling bear as a force of nature, and that completely changes the dynamic of the wrestling match. The match is no longer about a face, a heel and an incompetent referee, the struggle of the proletariat, but now the struggle of man to tame the wilderness, to assert his divinely-imparted dominance over the natural world. Again wrestling dips into it's carnival heritage and pulls a different sort of "freakshow" out for the amusement of the audience, but in delving into this demonstrates that there is more than one type of conflict that can be elaborated through the dramatic lens of wrestling.
In a way, this special attraction is evoking the only conflict older than the struggle between the haves and the have-nots, the struggle for primal man's very existence. In coming to see the Wildman wrestle a bear, the audience is coming to see a dramatic interpretation of mankind's rise from the primordial soup. Wrestling is amazingly and casually profound, and I wonder how many types of stories one can tell through it.