Being a Pro Wrestler. It’s not something you do just for fun. It’s not some hobby you can drop and pick up again whenever you feel like it. You either want it, or you dont. If you do then you better be prepared to put your heart and soul into it, and be ready to make sacrifices. Being a Pro Wrestler isn’t really something you can explain in words. Personally, I only came to understand it when I was already neck deep in, and I still have plenty left to experience! The world we live in is very intriguing, exciting, but also a little weird. On this page I intend to shed some light on what exactly Pro Wrestling is, what it’s like to be a Pro Wrestler, and just what it means to me. There are many questions that we are asked over and over again, which is understandable given the longstanding tradition of secrecy within our line of work. After reading this, hopefully you will have a clearer perspective on our world.
Wrestling may actually be the oldest sport in the world. I believe it started out as a test of strenght to settle differences in times when logic and the spoken word were not yet as important as they are in present day society. Of course as time passed and the human race evolved, professional sports contests became a moneymaking business. However, some wrestling matches would last for hours and were tough on crowds to sit through. Promotors are business men, and so it makes sense for them to do whatever they need to do to attract audiences. Thus, eventually they started booking the outcomes of some matches beforehand. Wrestling, as a result, also became a very political business that was managed from behind closed doors.
But is it “fake”? Most definately not. In wrestling there is a difference between what we call a “work” and a “shoot”. A work is a situation where people (wrestlers/promotors/etc.) have a general idea of what they want to showcase beforehand. A worked match is booked to entertain, to tell a story to the crowd or to generate interest for a future contest. A shoot, however, is legitimate. Wether it be a single punch intended to hurt, a statement derived from a real life situation, or a serious wrestling match with the purpose of defeating your opponent, a shoot could be described as “real”. In my opinion, the ultimate Pro Wrestlers is great at both shooting and working, just as I intend to be. Now as for the wrestling business itself, for a long time the balance on that fine line between fact and fiction made for the most interesting television and live events in wrestling. A work can sometimes turn (or be made) into a shoot, and vice versa. However, in the best Pro Wrestling matches the audience should not be able to tell the difference. Nor should they want to.
In modern day Pro Wrestling, the biggest companies focus very heavily on the entertainment aspect of the business, and thus worked matches are all over television. Our world is therefore also widely known as the “sports entertainment” business. Wrestling companies nowadays are very open about the fact that they are showing a large number of matches that are solely intended to entertain, instead of presenting straight up sports contests. Therefore these worked matches are becoming an entirely different product alltogether. The wrestlers (who could at this point also be called performers) are showcasing a contest with the purpose of evoking an emotional response from the audience, and they are doing so with great skill, wit, charisma and athleticism. Their story often consists of a battle between good and evil, which inevitably also contains underlying ideologies and morals that are being presented to the audience. Therefore as a morality play pro wrestling is actually quite similar to classical Greek theatre, which is considered a pinnacle of high brow culture. However, due to the heavy spectacle and wide array of extravagant characters that wrestling showcases, this notion is often overlooked in favor of the idea that Pro Wrestling is a low brow and “untintelligent” product.
I personally love to entertain, I love interact with the crowd and move them in any way I see fit. I love being a worker and I love to shoot. To me the wrestling business is more then just sports, and it’s also more then a movie, a sitcom or a soap opera. Pro Wrestling takes the best of many worlds, and combines all these traits into a unique product that is both a live event as well as heavily mediatized at the same time. It’s an interactive experience that moves and dazzles it’s audience. Emotion is the core of the Wrestling world, and the best Pro Wrestlers are experts at guiding and unleashing these emotions. Love me or hate me in the ring, I can think of nothing better then to be part of that world and making people feel alive.
-Emil Sitoci, 2011