Hyperreality and Suspended Disbelief in Wrestling

“AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, HE IS BROKEN IN HALF.”

Mankind plummets 16ft into an announce table from the top of a cell, and Jim Ross — genuinely fearing for Mankind’s life — reacts with the same conviction he would if he knew there was no threat at all.

The greatest wrestling personalities are the greatest actors, athletes and public speakers. They’re the ones who create the hyperreality of wrestling, and allow us slip in and out of the state of suspended disbelief.

Despite the WWE’s best efforts in the past, there’s no way you’re still unaware that wrestling is scripted.…   [continue reading]

Shawn Michaels

Controversial backstage antics aside, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t consider Shawn Michaels one of the best ring technicians to ever enter the squared circle.  The King of the Oversell (until dethroned by The Rock) and one of the most entertaining athletes to hit our screens, Michaels completely voids the crimes of his personality with every inspired flourish and line of mic work.  A magnet for five-star matches, you could always be assured that he would bring you fluid execution and developed psychology.

A holder of a variety of championship belts, his success is officially well documented.  Generally well received by the audience too, finding anyone who will straight up deny his talents is a rarity I greet for its comic value.  …   [continue reading]

The Montreal Screwjob

Much has been written about the Montreal Screwjob, easily the most controversial moment in wrestling history and the catalyst for what would be known as the Attitude Era.  It’s become an infamous milestone – almost a rite of passage for those learning about sports entertainment and its many treasures.  An incident that at first seems hazed in confusion and contradiction, when lucidly explained its simplicity in fact compliments its impact.  As such, i’m going to try my hardest to be as salient as I can in an article that won’t exceed six-hundred words.

To understand the notion of a screwjob, as it’s known, requires at least basic knowledge of kayfabe.  …   [continue reading]