I Am Pro Wrestling This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

October 8, 2009
There are always heroes and villains, good guys and bad guys, people you love and people you loathe. Whether you are watching a movie, your favorite TV show, a soap opera, or a cartoon, opposing forces are always present. Professional wrestling is no different. Sure, there's spandex, referees, and title belts, but that's part of the appeal. It takes you out of reality and into a perfectly orchestrated performance. But when I tell people that I love pro wrestling, the reactions are usually “Wrestling's fake” or “Why?” My responses: “No, it isn't” and “Because I can.”

“Wrestling's fake.” I challenge that statement the most. Wrestling isn't any more fake than a movie, and pro wrestlers, unlike your ­action-movie actors, do their own stunts. I've seen first-hand the strain – both mental and physical – that professional wrestlers endure.

I often try to keep the fact that I'm a wrestling fan to myself, because I usually get one of two reactions. Either the person will try to talk wrestling with me (and not succeed because they think that the WWE is the only wrestling organization) or they will say something sexist like, “Girls should stick to cooking and laundry, not pro wrestling.” But I can watch whatever I want and don't need anyone's permission. No, I am not a feminist, but I believe in gender equality.

Like many wrestling fans, I've been to numerous live events. One match in particular stands out for me: Alex Shelley versus Sonjay Dutt, Sept. 29, 2006, in Richmond, Virginia. I was 14 and standing in the front row. “Shelley Sucks” and “Sonjay Dutt” chants filled the arena. Shelley was the heel, the bad guy, and Sonjay was the babyface, the good guy.

At any wrestling event there will usually be a heckler. On that crisp fall night, there were three, directly across from me. The stadium was not full, so the hecklers were louder than usual, trying to steal the spotlight from the wrestlers. Now I'm a loud fan – I chant, cheer, and scream at the top of my lungs – but I do it for fun, not to ­belittle others.

So the hecklers were giving me a hard time for enjoying the match. Shelley and Dutt are two of the rawest, most technical wrestlers in the sport, and to not enjoy a match of theirs is virtually impossible – or so I thought.

Hecklers are usually funny, can get the crowd laughing, and aim their jokes at the wrestlers. These Three Amigos, however, weren't funny, made the crowd mad, and aimed their jokes at one person: me.

“Go home and do my laundry!” “Shouldn't you be doing your algebra homework?” “Bring me a beer!” and “What's for dinner?” were some of the comments they yelled at me, and not because I was 14, not because I was an easy target, not because I was a girl, but because I was actually enjoying the match.

When it comes down to it, you can hate wrestling and you can hate me for loving wrestling, but keep it to yourself. You may be against wrestling, but I am pro wrestling.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

Osvaldo_C said...
Dec. 10, 2010 at 7:48 pm
Wrestleing isn't all fake. For example, if you see someone carrying someone else or if you see someone doing a backlip or a high-flying move, that is their ability. Yes, I know it is fake. Yet, the abilities that the fighters have aren't all fake. How can you say doing a acrobatic stunt is fake. Really? 
harrypotter22 said...
May 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm
As a wrestler I can see your love and passion for the sport Ijust started wrestling last year at my high school and Im so glad I stuck with it . Anbody who sticks to wrestling male or female has true determination and endurance .
TitanAEB This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 6, 2010 at 8:23 pm
As a wrestling fan myself (though I typically just follow the high school level) I have to say that I really enjoyed this piece. It speaks for me 100%.
zacharydinan said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 4:50 pm
a very true and well put piece. Congrats
kilo_14 said...
Nov. 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm
TNA & WWE would be nothing without girls wrestling.
CaseyLeigh This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 28, 2009 at 8:02 pm
An amazing piece. I enjoyed every word--very inspiring. :]
ThomaB said...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 9:40 pm
Wow! This editorial about how you view liking Pro-Wrestling, is no doubt the best I have read. When you said, "...the reactions are usually "Wrestling's fake" or "Why?" My Responses: "No, it isn't" and "Because I can", it shows the main points of what wrestling fans have to always say to support what they love. Also in the next paragraph that starts with, "Wrestling's fake. I challenge that statement...", is another brilliant... (more »)
Fallen_Freak replied...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm
Wow, this is really nice! I know that in things like WWE are fake, but in others it's real though. Am i correct? If not, please say so!
EnigmaCalaway replied...
Apr. 5, 2011 at 8:48 pm
You're sort of right with your WWE comment. The storylines are usually fake. But not all of the wrestling is. Anything that involves more then a fist to the head is real.
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