I love wrestling, I remember as a kid not believing that it could be rehearsed or staged. Back in the UK, as a kid, I watched Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks before I even knew about the WWE and glitzy American wrestling.
It is only human for boys, as testosterone and society demand that play fights occur and where better to gain moves from than TV and even wrestling. WWE wrestling with current starts such as John Cena, Randy Orton, the Undertaker and the rest of the superstars lead the way and provide styalised violence on family times slot TV. It is interesting how the watching demographic for wrestling has dipped to younger and younger kids. Just look at all the plastic toys and figurines that are available for youngsters.
The ringside leaps, flying and twisting routines to pulverise an opponent and signature moves that are unique to particular wrestlers make the franchise of WWE strong and resilient.
In more recent years the need for the 'Don't try this at home' message has been pushed by both the WWE itself and concerned parents. This segment is mixed between the fights that make up the show. 'Don't try this at home' shouts at the youngsters watching to not try to emulate their heroes and advocates that the wrestlers are trained athletes and should not be copied. It graphically shows some of the injuries such as ripped muscles or broken bones that have happened outside the planned story lines of the show. I believe this is a definite and strong message sent by the producers to assist parents. I also understand that in some instances these messages also include pictures of the wrestling heroes as kids holding up belts and obviously mimicking their heroes of the time. Commercialism certainly slips into everything!
It is difficult not to be a bit cynical when you think of the money that is involved in the WWE worldwide.
With this discussion in mind, I still love wrestling. Despite the fact that the vast majority of the show is more acting than sport, the undoubted athleticism and hours of hard work exercising and building superhuman physiques to do superhuman moves is still awesome.
I also enjoy watching it with our girls to show them the boyish aspect of childhood. Whilst some of their friends are banned from watching the show, the girls do not copy the moves or actually fight between themselves. We always stop for the 'Don't try this at home's' message and I can see the girls breaking up future play ground fights and being one step ahead of the boys with their knowledge of wrestlers and the latest moves.
So, although not sending a peaceful or 'good' message, I understand this and still enjoy the show. With a little guidance, the girls can enjoy the show and even question what they are seeing on TV (he didn't really hit him there, I saw him slap his hand not head!!) and they are seeing fit people moving athletically (can we join gymnastics again this term??).
Life is not just sugar coated idealism and girls need an understanding of what young boys are up to and after all, it is all good American fun isn't it?