UFC head honcho Dana White called pro wrestling “fake” on Twitter this weekend and sent wrestlers and wrestling fans into a frenzy. I had been debating whether to give my take on this situation, but everyone is talking about it so here is my two cents for those that are interested.
Wrestlers have been using the “are my injuries fake” response to White’s comments. Nobody is disputing the legitimacy of the dangers involved with pro wrestling and the real life physical effects suffered by the performers - but Brandon Lee died while filming “The Crow” so does that mean the movie is real?
Pro wrestling is presented as a competition between two individuals in a physical confrontation until there is a winner. Nobody really wins, and nobody is really fighting each other. So in that sense, yes, fake would be an appropriate word to use because the fight isn’t real. The competition isn’t real. Fake is the opposite of real.
Pro wrestling is a movie where the actors perform their own stunts. It is a very dangerous industry, and takes extremely tough and smart people to be able to pull it off. So while the stunts, bumps, and bruises are 100% real and dangerous, there isn’t a real fight happening. That is what is fake.
I think the real issue is that Dana White indeed was trying to take a shot at wrestling and wrestlers. “Fake” is the go-to insult for nimrods who don’t know any better. It’s the path of least resistance. It shouldn’t matter, because it would just be like telling the stunt guy who set the bungie jump world record in “GoldenEye” that his jump was fake. Yes, he really jumped. But no, he wasn’t really James Bond infiltrating a secret base. The wrestlers on Twitter made it a big deal by responding and getting upset at White’s comment. The root of the issue is that Dana White was trying to be an a-hole to the wrestling industry. “Fake” is just a dumb way to insult it, but everyone gave his words power by allowing themselves to be upset by them.
At the end of the day, who cares what Dana White thinks about pro wrestling? IT IS fake competition, sure. But it is real entertainment, and these guys and gals put their bodies on the line every single time they step in that ring. There is no shame in that.
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @JeffLane22