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The world of pro wrestling: explainedThe WWE has millions of die-hard fans. You're not one of them? We'll explain the appeal.
WWE sells out arenas around the world from Brooklyn to Beijing. Last year it raked in over $720 million. Millions of people watch it on a weekly basis and in April 90,000 fans packed out AT&T stadium for WrestleMania. Those are just numbers. We're here to explain why we, two totally normally adults, love watching a fake sport. Well, for starters, it's not fake. And secondly, it's not a sport. On the surface, pro wrestling can look like some of the most unsophisticated entertainment there is. And in fairness, the over-the-top theatrics, childish gimmicks, and flamboyant costumes don't help. I was arguing with my cousin about this one time, and I said that wrestling's art. He said that wrestling's an art in the same way that burping the alphabet's an art. The problem is that nonsense created as a sport, but for fans it's like a soap opera with fight scenes. There's this one basic story, everyone wants to get the belt and be champ. What wrestling comes down to is how any given character tries to win it. They're heroes and villains, with promos and backstage antics, designed to get the audience excited to see their favorite good guys face off against the [UNKNOWN] bad guys. Stories unfold over weeks and months, and [UNKNOWN] of drama unfolds through interviews, locker room brawls, and double show downs. It all comes down to every story getting results with big climactic confrontation. Let's get this out of the way, a lot of the fights are scripted. [SOUND] But [LAUGH] most of the slams, the strikes, the falls do hurt. There is a difference between getting injured and getting hurt and wrestlers always get hurt. It's their job to throw themselves at the ground and take punches and kicks to the face for your enjoyment. When I was growing up, Dad would tell me wrestlers don't get hurt because they know how to break a fall. [NOISE] How was that? That's hot. That is called taking a bump. Six time world champion Chris Jericho says the shock to the body is like getting a bucket of water to the face. This is the same Chris Jericho that's jumped off a case and even been slammed onto thumb tacks. And that's just the type of pain wrestlers feel when everything's going to plan. That doesn't take into account the accidents which do happen like when Steve Austin had his neck broken because he was slightly out of position. Or when Randy Orton was thrown out of the ring, fell wrong, and broke his collarbone. Everybody knows it's not real but the struggle to pinpoint exactly where showmanship ends and reality begins is part of why it's so fun. Check out Goldberg military pressing a 300 pound Brock Lesnar. Or [UNKNOWN] swinging the gigantic 7'3" Gray Kali. Here's John Cena lifting two men over his shoulders. That's 700 pounds of sweaty, sweaty dudes. No, they're not real fights, but they are real lifts, throws, and burly men being tossed around. It's impressive stuff That's why fans will tell you it's not fake, it's predetermined. So your probably thinking wrestling is here on the ridiculous scale and T V and movies is about here. Well wrestling is actually here but lets look at zombie hoards and dragons, and going back in time to flirt with your mother. Stuff is ridiculous, but it's embracing that ridiculousness and the reality of it that makes it fun. And that's another thing. WWE can be quite wacky and silly, but that doesn't mean all wrestling is like that all the time. You'd have a totally different perception of wrestling if you watched UJapan pro wrestling where something called strong style's famous. Imagine a vicious combo of pro wrestling and MMA, where strikes are hard and submission holds are fierce. Don't get us wrong. A lot of wrestling is really, really dumb. But when it's good, it is so good. You see things you didn't think [UNKNOWN] and you get invested in a way you didn't think you could. [UNKNOWN]. [MUSIC] [NOISE] [BLANK_AUDIO]