This is an interesting but yet very debatable topic, but could be fun to talk about. Should WWE, or pro wrestling in general, be considered a sport? Pro wrestling is considered as entertainment, but the people involved in pro wrestling would say otherwise.
Wrestling is fake and scripted, we all know that by now. The outcomes of the matches are already predetermined. They don’t actually hit each other or attempt to actually hurt each other, but some of the moves and stunts they do can be harmful to their bodies. There are some moves and stunts that you can’t fake, like jumping off ladders and going through tables or getting hit in the head with chairs.
Monday Night Raw has been airing on TV every week since 1993. Wrestling has stayed very popular over the years with new promotions being spread across the globe and gaining international publicity. A company like WWE stays relevant due to its long tenure, dedicated fans, and major publicity. WWE is featured on Sportscenter at least once a week, where it has it’s very own segment. Brock Lesnar recently returned to the UFC while still under contract with the WWE. This gave the WWE the opportunity to really publicize their product to a large audience at one of the biggest UFC Pay-Per-Views of all time. John Cena just hosted this years’ ESPYs. Having a pro wrestler host a sports award show says a lot about how far pro wrestling has come.
During John Cena’s opening monologue, he compared the various sports to the WWE. He jokes that real-life sports are rigged just like the WWE. He talks about how LeBron James went from becoming a good guy, to a bad guy, to a good guy again, which would be a heel and face turn in wrestling. He then says how the NBA needed a new bad guy (step in Kevin Durant). He also compares NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to Vince McMahon.
So, after reading all of this, is wrestling a sport? According to dictionary.com, this is what the word ‘sport’ is defined as.
1. an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.
2. a particular form of this, especially in the out of doors.
3. sports, (used with a singular verb) such athletic activities collectively
If we are going off the definition of the word ‘sport’, then yes; WWE and pro wrestling, in general, is definitely a sport. Pro wrestlers are some of the most athletic and strongest athletes in the world. If you don’t believe so, look up some of the moves they pull off and tell me otherwise.
Yes, pro wrestling is scripted, but the fans do not know the outcome. The wrestlers do of course, but not the fans. That’s what makes it fun to watch, you never know what can happen. Most of the time it can be easy to guess who will win, but sometimes you can be surprised and left at the edge of your seats watching the match. A comparison can be, let’s say, the 76ers versus the Warriors. We all know the Warriors will win, but what if the 76ers pull off an upset and shock the world? Something like that can happen in wrestling too, where the underdog is fighting the champ and the underdog somehow wins and everybody is left shocked. Comparing pro wrestling to basketball isn’t exactly the best point, but you know what I mean.
Wrestling is also taken as seriously as other sports when involving their drug policy. The WWE tests their athletes for drugs and don’t hold back when it comes to punishment. They recently handed out a 30 day suspension to one of their top wrestlers Roman Reigns for failing the drug policy. So it’s not like they protect their top guy and let them go. They take their drug policy very seriously and punish anybody that violates it.
I’ve been a wrestling fan my whole life; from the young age of six, maybe seven years old, to now. I was devastated when I first found out wrestling was really fake, but it never took my love away from the sport. Yes, I said wrestling is a sport. They put their bodies on the line every time they step in the ring for the fans, you can’t say they don’t. They risk their lives doing stunts and moves nobody should attempt at home. Winning the world championship of wrestling would be like winning the Super Bowl or NBA Championship for football and basketball players. They put their bodies on the line and do what they do because they love to do it. It’s entertainment for the fans, but real life for the athletes.