In the Woody Allen film “Hannah and Her Sisters”, intellectual painter Frederick (played by Max von Sydow) scoffs to his wife, “Can you imagine the level of a mind that watches wrestling?”
Oh if only I wasn’t some cretinous wrestling fan. Then could I tell Frederick to go screw himself.
It may surprise Frederick to know he and I aren’t that different. We both immerse ourselves in something that has an acquired taste. We both sacrifice many hours and countless dollars on it. And it’s something that appeals to various people for several reasons.
On some level Frederick is right. I’m a fool for loving something that at times can be the purest of puerile entertainment.
But when professional wrestling is done right – with intriguing characters, a red-hot crowd and (most importantly) intense, but majestic in-ring prowess – I’m in nothing short of heaven.
Being in my late 20s it’s only natural that I receive stunned looks from anyone who hears I still have a thing for the squared circle.
“How can you watch something that’s staged? Why don’t you watch some quality programming? Like “Jersey Shore”?”
I tell them all the same thing: “There are people who think that wrestling is an ignoble sport. Wrestling is not a sport, it is a spectacle, and it is no more ignoble to attend a wrestled performance of Suffering than a performance of the sorrows of Arnolphe or Andromaque”.”
NOTE: I may have stolen that from French Philosopher Roland Barthes.
I don’t see why wrestling fans – or ANY fans for that matter – should feel the need to defend what they find entertaining. I say this because when I finally out myself as a wrestling fan, it’s usually followed by a rushed, half-assed explanation of “why”. And it never works.
– “Wrestling is a unique counterculture that teeters on the border of artistry and insanity.”
– “The wrestlers put their physical and personal well-being aside (more than any other form of entertainment) just to hear me gasp.”
– “I enjoy wearing interchangable black t-shirts with “ass”, “hell” and “damn” written on them.”
So imagine my excitement when I was offered an interview with CM Punk, one of professional wrestling’s biggest current stars.
Leave your preconceptions at the door. What you’re about to see may entertain, engage, and even surprise you; regardless of whether you’re a wrestling fan or not.
If you’re a little shaky on your wrestling knowledge, click here for a bite-sized version of the interview…
…but for my fellow die-hards, click here for the director’s cut (aka – the better one).