As juvenile as the nature of the sport may be, when it’s done right, wrestling is occasionally able to create sincerely moving, emotional moments. It’s a rare sight, but it’s a phenomenon that exists nonetheless. I know that as an at least slightly hardcore wrestling fan (if you lurk and post in these forums, you most likely are one – unless you’re an FFA troll) there is at least one on-screen, kayfabe moment, in a time when it was still all real to you, or even otherwise, that elicited some strong emotions from you.
Perhaps it was when Eddie won his first and last WWE Championship. Perhaps it was the end of Wrestlemania XX, after Chris Benoit (yes, I dare say his name) had just won the World Heavyweight Championship, which was an emotional moment in itself, excluding the celebration with Eddie. Perhaps, to use a recent example, you marked out when Daniel Bryan won his first title in the WWE back at Night of Champions, just because you rooted for the literal underdog.
The point is, professional wrestling is, most of the time, more storytelling and drama than it is sport and athletics. When it elicits some real, powerful emotions from you, that’s when you know that it’s done right.
Which brings us to the topic at hand. You may be aware by now that John Cena – the face of the WWE – has been forced to join the Nexus. Now, that isn’t the problematic part. Us smarks – well, most of us – have been clamoring for this to happen, because of its newfound possibilities in the realm of story.
However, the problematic part here is that the children who have witnessed this have not taken it well. At all. Wait, that’s actually not the real problem. The real problem are the snarky adults who, for reasons of being “mature” and “grown-up,” think it’s proper to ridicule these reactions for being both childish and childlike. (There’s a difference between the two, look it up. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you.)
I’m sure most of you joked about it fairly, and that’s fine. It is kind of an amusing sight, if only because we’ve long been past that stage of our lives. But if you haven’t yet, wear some protective gear on and make your way to the Facebook comments thread – the absolute hallmark of IWC intelligence – of this news item (that pretty much stated the obvious).
You’ll find gems like these:
Bravo, gentlemen, and your ilk. You people are such class acts.
(Also, everyone keeps spewing the “predictable” argument, but I don’t think these guys don’t know what the word really means. Please. So easy for you to say after the show has happened. Really, if it was so predictable, there would be no debate on the outcome, and there would be no one who would bet and argue that Cena ends Nexus, or Undertaker defeating Kane, etc.)
While the children may or may not see what the grown-ups are saying about them, and thus, they are somewhat unaffected, it’s not fair to them one bit. Sure, it is amusing to watch (it’s right about on par with the kids’ reactions to CM Punk impersonating Jeff Hardy after the former got rid of the latter… for good), but we older fans are in no way entitled to deprive the children of the rights and joys of being a legitimate fan of the sport, long before their minds become corrupted with smarkisms, like pushes and burials and rubs and politics.
Professional wrestling, ladies and gentlemen, is mainly a work of childhood magic – of heroes and villains, honor against treachery, good versus evil. The hero has been cheated of his sure victory, and is now forced to do something he doesn’t want. Actually, that first part alone resonates and echoes in many other real events that occur so much in our adult worlds that we tend to not recognize it in its basest form.
And to be honest, we grown-ups are not even supposed to be intruding in this world made for children. We’re just over-analyzing nerds who like to watch people beat each other up in creative ways.
But then, let’s move the argument out of our little esoteric universe. Professional wrestling is not the only form of entertainment that is designed to elicit emotion. In fact, entertainment is what it is, is it not? What about a movie? Shouldn’t a well-made drama elicit a moving response? What about a TV show? A stage play? A good novel? A song, no matter what the genre?
It doesn’t even have to be fiction – what about an eventful, hard-fought sports game? The drama in a sports team losing a well-played game due to some referee shenanigans, perhaps, is not that far removed from what happened to John Cena last Sunday. If a hardcore sports fan goes home totally dejected after a tough and painful loss, should he or she be called a pussy?
You see, many things – forms of entertainment – that we are engaged in are designed to draw some feeling from out of us. It just so happens that wrestling is for the children. And it is hardly fair nor mature of you to ridicule a reaction that comes naturally to them.
If you were one of those people, then shame on you. If you were one of those people, then you no longer have any right to the slightest feeling, whether it is sadness, anger, or elation, and others, whenever you are watching a movie, a TV show, a play, reading a novel, listening to a song you really connect to, or the like – in other words, you have denied yourself the entitlement of emotion whenever you are simply entertaining yourself.
Because if you do feel something, you better man up, play by your own logic, and own up to being a pussy.