Pro-wrestling – choreographed athletic entertainment. To say it’s fake is to miss the point. To ask if it’s real is to miss the point. It’s theatre in an athletic arena. It’s back to the Roman times and being entertained by the gladiators, thankfully without actual lives being deliberately lost in combat. It is choreographed which is to say there is a plan behind its execution.
As with a lot choreographed opportunities, however, elements of truth can be mixed in to add an element of … get this … realism, to the whole affair. This can be straightforward as the competitors take a professional attitude to the affair and although they have their ego, it is far better used to build towards the competitive end – win or lose – rather than ruining it through selfish indulgence.
The issue between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels as the video above shows – had a lot of realism to it. There apparently was genuine hatred between the two and sadly it was used to create an incident known as the ‘Montreal Screwjob’ that affected wrestling seriously – especially the protagonists in question for years following the event.
Almost 15 years afterwards they pull this off. Now remember this is all choreographed and for it to be convincing it requires a certain amount of passable acting. Yet with something so real, you watch this and wonder – how real is it? That is the wonder of good pro-wrestling. Enjoy.