WWE wrestling is one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world, attracting millions of fans who enjoy watching their favorite superstars compete in the ring. But how much of what we see on TV is real, and how much is fake? This is a question that has been debated for decades, and the answer is not as simple as it may seem. In this article, we will explore the different aspects of WWE wrestling, and try to determine the level of “realness” in each of them.
Are WWE matches predetermined?
The first thing to understand is that WWE matches are not spontaneous or random. They are carefully planned and scripted by the WWE creative team, who decide the storylines, the characters, and the outcomes of each match. This is not a secret, as WWE has openly admitted this fact on several occasions. For example, in 1989, WWE owner Vince McMahon testified in front of the New Jersey Senate that wrestling was “an activity in which participants struggle hand-in-hand primarily for the purpose of providing entertainment to spectators rather than conducting a bona fide athletic contest” . In 1997, WWE aired a documentary called “Wrestling with Shadows”, which exposed the behind-the-scenes manipulation of the infamous Montreal Screwjob, where Bret Hart was cheated out of his title by McMahon and Shawn Michaels . In 2014, WWE launched the WWE Network, a streaming service that gives fans access to thousands of hours of WWE programming, including documentaries, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage that reveal the inner workings of the company .
The reason why WWE matches are predetermined is to create compelling narratives and characters that engage the audience and generate interest. WWE wrestlers are not just athletes, they are also performers who play roles and portray emotions. They have personas, catchphrases, entrance music, and signature moves that make them unique and recognizable. They also have rivalries, alliances, feuds, and friendships that create drama and suspense. By scripting the matches, WWE can control the direction and outcome of these stories, and create fan favorites and villains that the audience can root for or boo.
Table: Levels of “realness” in WWE
|Level of Realness
|WWE writers create the plots and dialogues for each wrestler and segment
|WWE writers decide who wins and who loses each match
|Physicality of matches
|Wrestlers perform the moves as practiced, but they carry a real risk of injury
Are injuries in WWE real or fake?
While the storylines and match outcomes are scripted, the physicality of matches is not. WWE wrestlers are trained professionals who know how to execute the moves safely and effectively, but they cannot eliminate all the risks involved in performing high-impact and high-flying maneuvers. Sometimes, accidents happen, and wrestlers get injured for real. For example, in 1997, Stone Cold Steve Austin suffered a broken neck after Owen Hart botched a piledriver on him . In 2001, Triple H tore his quadriceps muscle after landing awkwardly on his leg . In 2015, Sting suffered a career-ending neck injury after taking a buckle bomb from Seth Rollins . These are just some of the many examples of real injuries that have occurred in WWE history.
Some injuries, however, are not real, but are written into the storylines to advance the plot or to give the wrestler some time off. For example, in 2007, Vince McMahon staged his own death by blowing up his limousine on live TV, only to reveal later that it was a hoax . In 2011, CM Punk “retired” from WWE after winning the WWE Championship, only to return a few weeks later with the title . In 2016, Roman Reigns was “injured” by Braun Strowman, who flipped over an ambulance with Reigns inside, but Reigns recovered in time for their next match . These are some of the examples of fake injuries that have been used in WWE storylines.
According to WWE’s wellness policy, which is a set of rules and regulations that aim to ensure the health and safety of WWE wrestlers, the company reports the injuries of its performers on its official website and social media platforms . However, WWE does not disclose the exact nature or severity of the injuries, nor the expected recovery time, leaving some room for speculation and doubt among the fans. Therefore, it is not always easy to tell which injuries are real and which are fake in WWE.
How do wrestlers prevent serious injuries?
WWE wrestlers are well aware of the dangers and challenges of their profession, and they take several measures to prevent serious injuries. First of all, they undergo rigorous training and conditioning to prepare their bodies for the physical demands of wrestling. They learn how to perform the moves correctly, how to fall safely, how to protect themselves and their opponents, and how to communicate with each other during the matches. They also follow a strict diet and exercise regimen to maintain their fitness and strength.
Secondly, they perform the riskier moves in carefully planned and rehearsed ways, with the help of their partners and the referees. They coordinate the timing, the positioning, and the execution of the moves, and they signal each other with subtle cues and gestures. They also use some techniques to make the impact appear harder than it is, such as slapping their thighs, stomping their feet, or exaggerating their facial expressions.
Thirdly, they rely on the medical staff and the equipment that are available at the venues. WWE has a team of doctors, trainers, and paramedics who are ready to assist the wrestlers in case of an emergency. They also have stretchers, ambulances, and helicopters on standby to transport the injured wrestlers to the nearest hospital. WWE also provides the wrestlers with health insurance and covers the medical expenses for their injuries .
In conclusion, WWE wrestling is a complex and fascinating form of entertainment that combines scripted storylines, predetermined match outcomes, and partially real physicality. While WWE admits that its matches are not genuine athletic contests, it does not mean that its wrestlers are not real athletes who put their bodies on the line for the sake of entertainment. WWE wrestlers are trained professionals who know how to perform the moves safely and effectively, but they also face a real risk of injury every time they step into the ring. Therefore, WWE wrestling is not entirely fake or real, but somewhere in between.