March Madness is in full effect. With the first few rounds in the books, the late rounds are about to heat up. But around this time of year something else happens. It is quite arguably the biggest event in all of sports entertainment. That event is Wrestlemania.

This year will be the 31st incarnation of the greatest pro wrestling spectacle ever to be seen by human eyes. Now I will fully admit that I am a pro wrestling fan. Yes I know its fake. Yes I know it can be super lame. But to my brother and I, it’s a bonding experience. Something that we loved as preteens, got away from for a few years and now are back into it as adults.

So when I was tasked to write a story for a beginners guide to Wrestlemania, I had no idea where to start. I know almost everything there is to know about the “sport.” I know all the slang, the moves, what certain signs during matches mean. I know all the storylines (past and present), how matches usually flow, and to a point who is most likely to win.

So how do I write a guide for someone who has never watched it? I go right to the source and ask someone who has never watched a second of WWE programming in their life. My girlfriend was kind enough to volunteer, so I asked her to tell me what questions she has about the sport before she herself gets to experience Wrestlemania for the very first time this weekend.

First, I asked her what she thinks professional wrestling is. Here is what her response was: “Isn’t it where two people go into a ring and fake wrestle? Then they act mad at each other and face off until there is a winner? Isn’t there props too? Like one where there is a cage or something?” Nice try. Thanks for playing, dear. But in reality she wasn’t too far off, especially for someone with less than zero knowledge on the topic.

Here is what she asked followed by answers to those questions.  

Q: Is it fake?

A: Yes and no. It is fake to the point where no one is actually getting hurt. Sure bumps (falling onto the mat) do hurt, but not enough to do any meaningful damage. But at the same time it’s not fake. Wrestlers have to be extremely skilled at what they do. Think of them as stuntmen. Sure its fake, but one wrong move and someone is going to get seriously hurt. People have suffered extremely painful injuries, paralysis, and even death.  

Q: What is difference between Wrestlemania and other Pay Per Views (PPVs)?

A: Wrestlemania is the “big daddy” of them all. Sure PPVs are important, but Wrestlemania is to the WWE, what the Superbowl is to the NFL. All eyes are on this sport and the event draws in both casual and hardcore fans; not only to view at home, but to see in person as well. Every year the event is seen in person by people from all 50 states and 30 countries from around the world.

Q: Why do they wear such little costumes?

A: The ring attire is something that has been passed on throughout the years. In the early days of wrestling, trunks were in fashion, as were singlets (think of a one piece bathing suit for women). As of the 1990’s, there has been a shift to more unconventional styles for ring attire. Jeans and shorts are worn, as well as numerous other variations or combinations of attire.

Q: Are there teams?

A: Yes there are. There are tag teams, which consist of two people that must be tagged in and out of a match when they face off against another tag team. These teams are called stables. Think of stables as a group of wrestlers who all join a group or gang and have each others back. These can consist of babyface (good guy) stables and heel (bad guy) stables.

Q: What is the point and what do they win?

A: The most important question of them all in my opinion. Some could argue there is no point, and they would be kind of correct. Wrestling is all scripted. The outcomes are predetermined and storylines are written months in advance (usually storylines and matches for Wrestlemania are written starting in September). But at the same time it’s somewhat of an artform. So the point is that each wrestler, who knows this is the biggest day of the year, goes out and gives it 110 percent. Their goal is to have a match that will steal the show. What do they win? They could win over the crowd. They could win a bigger spotlight for their career if they have an amazing match. They could win a title if one is on the line. Sure they get a big payday, but its more than just about that. Its about having your “Wrestlemania moment.”

So, that is Wrestlemania in a nutshell. A four hour pure testosterone event where guys can get together to watch other guys beat other another set of different guys. It’s a good time to have with your guys (right, guys?).If you get a chance, try and watch it. You might think it’s the dumbest thing on the face of the earth, but I guarantee you will find that you were entertained during the entire event.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch. Contact Colin Terrill at torchsports@valpo.edu.

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