This week, a bunch of loudmouthed, polarizing individuals are making speeches to build towards a huge matchup happening later on in the year. The speakers are larger than life and make bombastic claims that most people would be embarrassed to admit in public otherwise. I wouldn’t blame it if you thought I was talking about Monday Night RAW leading into WWE’s next pay-per-view event, Night of Champions, but I’m actually referring to the Republican National Convention. There are more similarities than one might think between the two media. In fact, people have called politics “wrestling for adults”, which I think is silly. Wrestling is for adults as well as children. That’s besides the point.
[adinserter block=”2″]Especially over the last decade or so, political discourse has pretty much resembled classic wrestling in its tone. Instead of the faces and heels arguing over who’s right, it’s the Democrats and Republicans taking sides and toeing party lines, trying to get their own fans to cheer for them at polling places. I’m surprised that with all the barbs flying around that there haven’t been accusations of necrophilia or any of the other nastier angles that WWE alone has thrown around. Political coverage is big business and gets a lot of important coverage, while wrestling is regarded as low-brow entertainment. That sticks in my craw, because in many ways, being a wrestling fan, not just WWE but a wrestling fan, is far better than being a fan of politics.
First off, the endgame for wrestling is far superior to the one for politics. The end of these conventions, attack ads and the like is just going to lead to someone taking office and doing a literal job for two to six years, depending on the office. In wrestling, all the promos usually lead up to a match, i.e. feigned violence. We all know that feigned violence is better than no violence. Hell, in most cases, it’s better than REAL violence.
Secondly, wrestling in most cases is easier to understand than what politicans do. Granted, the stuff WWE is doing right now can be confusing and nonsensical, just like some of the stuff the people who run our country, states and municipalities do. However, WWE is totally not the only wrestling out there, and even if Impact, puroresu, lucha libre and the indies are all not for you, there’s a ton of classic wrestling that has simple, effective stories to follow. Being a fan of something you understand is way better than being one of something you don’t, and a lot of politically minded people just don’t understand how politics should work.
That leads into my final point. Politics is not something that SHOULD be fodder for entertainment or the bickering we have now. Wrestling is entertainment by its very definition. We should have fun with it and use it to enjoy ourselves. Politics should be a serious manner. People should be looking at it from the angle of “how can we make our country/state/township better” not “how many seats can my party win”. Sadly, the latter is the dominant mindset right now.
That’s why I feel like the “politics is wrestling for adults” talking point is a bad one because the two shouldn’t be similar at all. That being said, since they are similar, give me the one that isn’t going to make me think about depressing stuff like how bad the economy is or how people who live in this country can be disenfranchised because the majority of people think the Bible supersedes our Constitution. Granted, I criticize WWE a lot, but even at their worst, I can just turn the TV off and watch a better company like Chikara or Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. This mindless cheerleading from both red and blue states about their “side” affects me whether I want it to or not.
[adinserter block=”1″]So what’s my point? It’s that this country would be a far better place if people channeled their rah-rah spirit for competition and trash-talking to watching pro wrestling than they did trying to run things here. If you’re the kind of snob who thinks you’re above pro wrestling, think again. Pro wrestling is actually above you, and for that reason, it’s one of the most integral parts of this country whether anyone thinks it’s high class or not.
Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.
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