Why The Stars Of WWE Should Be Allowed In The Olympics

Do away with the stigma and invite Professional Wrestling to join the Pantheon of Olympic Sports; hell, it's entertaining and fun and would be a damn site better to watch than Synchronised Swimming
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Do away with the stigma and invite Professional Wrestling to join the Pantheon of Olympic Sports; hell, it's entertaining and fun and would be a damn site better to watch than Synchronised Swimming

Could moves like this be one day seen at Olympic Sports Halls?

Could moves like this be one day seen at Olympic Sports Halls?

I've recently come to terms with a very personal problem. One that's caused embarrassment in the past. Embarrassment and shame. It's a problem that I dared not speak about outside of cloistered circles of like minded individuals, one that I would hide from family and other friends who wouldn't understand and (man alive) certainly one that I would keep away from women. However, now, I feel brave enough to come out and tell you all the following.

My name's Joel, and I watch wrestling.

Yes, I am a bona fide, massive WWE fan. A member of the, ahem, WWE Universe. I have been for close to twenty five years now. I can't help it. It's exciting. It's funny. It's entertaining. And wrestlers (not sports entertainers. EnglandNewOrder were sports entertainers) are the most multi-talented people to walk the planet. Athletics, comedy, acting, working a crowd, looking great - maybe only Eric Cantona could manage all that.

Before you ask, yes, I know it's scripted, choreographed, predetermined. Of course I do. But then, so is the vast majority of television that I watch, and no-one moans about that. Boardwalk Empire? Scripted. The Wire? Scripted. Vic and Bob? Scripted. So why should the fact that professional wrestling is scripted stop me enjoying it?

By the way, note I didn't use the term 'fake'. Fake suggests people don't get hurt or it's somehow a con. People do get hurt; you try getting hit with a German suplex, a move where you're grabbed from behind and thrown directly onto your neck and shoulders, and tell me that's fake. Wrestling is not a con - we know what we're getting into, we just enjoy suspending our belief.

And scripted is the wrong term to use anyway. In his first autobiography, WWE Hall Of Famer "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, one of the great villains of all time, describes when he was in the Sylvester Stallone movie Paradise Alley and what Stallone said, regarding the wrestlers, that "these guys are the greatest improvisational actors in the world". And if there's one bloke in the world that knows about great improvisational acting, it's Sly...

Basically, those that get it, get it. Those that don't - no explanation will be good enough.

And so this brings me to my point.

Professional wrestling should be an Olympic sport.

I have a friend who says that wrestling is his favourite sport because, on the whole, wrestlers are in it for the thrill of the occasion or the love of the sport or to provide entertainment. "They do it all for me" he says "or at least people LIKE me. Football wankers and other sports types couldn't care less about me. My enjoyment is a by-product of their own ambition."

Now hear me out. I'm not for one second suggesting that pro wrestling should be an Olympic sport in the combat sense. The toothpaste is already out of the tube as far as that is concerned. No, I'm suggesting pro wrestling should be an Olympic sport in the aesthetic sense. How it looks, how it feels, its pleasantness on the eye, the excitement it invokes.

Matches could be judged on the fluidity of moves, how well the wrestlers 'danced the dance', the excellence of execution; the realism of the action, can you believe in it?; the telling of the story in the ring, was the match-up captivating, did you feel involved? All of these different elements, as well as their placing in an historical context, add together to make up the perfect pro wrestling match.

I have a friend who says that wrestling is his favourite sport because, on the whole, wrestlers are in it for the thrill of the occasion or the love of the sport or to provide entertainment. "They do it all for me" he says "or at least people LIKE me. Football wankers and other sports types couldn't care less about me. My enjoyment is a by-product of their own ambition."

You see his point. The regular sportsman is in it for themselves, or at the very best, the team. The wrestler is in it for the pleasure of the onlooker and to present a match that is fun or exciting to the best of their abilities.

Pro wrestling could in this sense be favourable compared with present Olympic sports such as gymnastics, the floor in particular, and figure skating - sports where the form and the grace of the thing are how the athletes are judged. What would be wrong in having a more fun version of those sports?

OK, so experts in the field aren't convinced.

Bryan Alvarez, editor of Figure Four Weekly said "I'm afraid the chances of pro-wrestling ever being an Olympic sport are about zero...the issue is that there are so many different styles of wrestling that there's not even an answer as to the best style to present. What if a judge loves hardcore wrestling and you put on a scientific clinic? What if you're a huge fan of Japanese wrestling but the judges aren't? It would be impossible to fairly judge in most cases." This however could lead to more fun! Categorise it into different disciplines! A Japanese strong style division, a Mexican lucha libre division, a hardcore, weapon fighting division! What could be more deserving of a good medal that being twatted around the body with a baseball bat eight or nine times? (No shots to the head, please - they're just stupid.)

So please, Count Jacques Rogge, Eighth President of the International Olympic Commitee, please hear my pleas to instigate professional wrestling into the pantheon of great Olympic sports! I mean, well, it can't be any worse that synchronised swimming, can it?

Follow me on Twitter @JoelBabyHerc

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