Thursday, April 10, 2014

How to Survive Running Away With the Circus – The Conclusion

By Banner Hemweigh

When I researched fan sites, books, and magazines, I noticed that no one really talked about story and plot lines.  The focus was always on the people themselves. The fan base is curious to know these people, not the basics of the sport.

For a decent amount of the world, somehow these characters have transcended the ideas that have always made professional wrestling a joke among other professional athletes. Were I covering professional wrestling strictly for the athletic appeal it would hold very little paper, and very little ink.  But that is because I’m a sports writer, and the things I would focus on bear no weight in the competition that is actually being waged.

The feats that are conducted are very athletic.  The physical and muscle control of most of these performers is inspiring to behold.  So it isn’t the nature of the physicality of the sport that makes me say this.  It’s the nature of the degrees of success.  They aren’t rated by numerical terms.  Success is gauged by crowd control. We aren’t talking stats and numbers; this is about emotion.  This is not to say that most athletic competitions aren’t emotional.  They are, but you cannot break down the field of professional wrestling to cold hard brass tacks.  The true scope of this is not as cut and dry as a football game where there is an absolute winner, and an absolute loser.  What is being achieved is failure for some, and success for others; which if done well, is success for all. 

The storylines should be critiqued like television sitcoms.  The performance should be rated by those knowledgeable about delivery, timing, and the physical challenges of a ring performance.  The quality of show production should be gauged by members of like entertainment vehicles, and rated as such.

Should professional wrestling be covered like a sport?  No. However it should be covered as an alternative form of live theatrical entertainment that just happens to be a sport.  Which is exactly what it is.

I found myself comparing what I saw with the circus.  A very suitable analogy when you consider all of the parts that constitutes a circus; part drama, part skill, and always loads of artistry.  The biggest difference is public perception.  After all, no one questions whether or not the tight rope walker is actually on a tight rope.  No one asks if the trapeze artist is truly using a trapeze.  Wouldn’t it be nice if no one questioned whether or not that man just jumped off of a ladder?

Professional wrestling is a part of American culture, just like football.  The swarms of fans, the dedicated workers, and the billion dollar revenues don’t lie.  And while I am not qualified to cover it, there are people out there who are.  What I would like to see is someone covering it properly to garner the respect it deserves.  Because, in the words of my favorite professional wrestler 3D, “whether you like it or not, it’s the best thing going.”

From Make Mine a Heel by Suenammi Richards

"I liked this story. I'm not a big romance fan, but first this writer knows her stuff about football, Texas culture, and pro-wrestling. Second, the romance sucked me in. I wanted these two to get together because I genuinely liked them. This story is a Powerslam for any romance/sports fan!"
@alchemyofscrawl - Coral Russell

"I have to say I am a professional wrestling fan so this book really caught my interest as soon as I read the description. I very much enjoyed this book and definitely most likely will be reading it again at a late date."

"This isn't a garden variety romance novel featuring sports or wrestling. Ms. Richards has provided the reader with plenty of colorful characters that are dealing with sad, if not tragic, circumstances (racism, child abandonment, ethnic prejudice, drug abuse, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book."

-The Book Diva