Top 5 Myths about Pro Wrestling

Written by George Pacheco Lace up those boots, ring that bell and step into the ring. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts, the series that finds the biggest myths people actually believe, and dispels them one by one. In today’s installment we’re looking at the five myths about pro wrestling that had us breaking kayfabe. We won’t be tackling tall-tales and storyline myths like how many people have body slammed Andre the Giant, or Roman Reigns coming from planet stale bread. Instead, we’re looking specifically at the common misconceptions and stigmas regular folk have towards good ol’ wrasslin.
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Written by George Pacheco

Top 5 Pro Wrestling Myths


Lace up those boots, ring that bell and step into the ring. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts, the series that finds the biggest myths people actually believe, and dispels them one by one. In today’s installment we’re looking at the five myths about pro wrestling that had us breaking kayfabe.

We won’t be tackling tall-tales and storyline myths like how many people have body slammed Andre the Giant, or Roman Reigns coming from planet stale bread. Instead, we’re looking specifically at the common misconceptions and stigmas regular folk have towards good ol’ wrasslin.

#5: The ring has some spring in its step

Contrary to what some out there may believe, taking a bump on a wrestling ring isn't really all that fun. Yes, a wrestling ring moves a little bit when impact is felt, but it's most definitely NOT designed to contain as much spring as, say, a trampoline.
The surface of most wrestling rings is hardwood, with a very thin layer of foam padding and canvas.
A modest amount of the physical shock of impact is absorbed by a traditional wrestling ring, but the idea that pro wrestlers would be able to perform the way they do while walking upon such a cushioned surface really doesn't make much sense. Going head to head against an opponent on a traditional "squared circle" found in most major pro wrestling organizations could be more or less compared to utilizing the floor most gymnasts use to compete: it won't feel great, but it sure as heck beats being dropped hard upon an unforgiving concrete or stone floor.
Now if only we could bust the myth of who leaves all the weapons under there…

#4: Steroid abuse is rampant amongst all pro wrestlers


The roots of this myth likely stem from a public and very controversial steroid trial for WWE owner and chairman Vince McMahon back in 1994. A lack of sustainable evidence eventually led to the charges of steroid trafficking being dropped against McMahon during this trial, with the WWE-then-WWF essentially dodging what could've been a fatal bullet for the company.
Steroid use within major companies would quite simply be impossible in this day and age, with wrestlers having constant drug tests, in which even the biggest of stars are penalized if any trace of illegal substance such as fat burners, roids or even marijuana is found within them. And although we still see the typical ‘big man’ wrestlers in the scene, the industry (thanks to internet wrestling fans) has shifted its focus towards leaner, more athletic talents such as cross-fit Jesus himself, Seth Rollins.

#3: Everything is rehearsed in advance, and nothing ever goes wrong


The physical ballet of storytelling which goes into pro wrestling matches can be very different, depending upon which wrestlers happen to be in the ring. A classic match such as Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage from 1987's Wrestlemania III was apparently planned in advance, right down to the smallest detail. A modern superstar such as John Cena, however, has been known to call spots and sequences with his opponents right there in the ring, in real time. The winner of the match and “Spots”, meaning a pre-planned maneuver or event in the match, are usually the only things a wrestler may walk into the ring with in mind, the rest is usually routine – as most superstars wrestle around 4 matches per week. And with the rise of talents from Japan and Mexico entering the American big leagues, it’d be hard to plan everything out given the whole not-speaking-English thing.
As you’d expect, this means a lot of mistakes, or botches, are made along the way and as such a degree of improvisation needs to be employed – lest ye be featured in Botchamania.

#2: It's all stage blood


Put the razor down, Flair. If you've followed professional wrestling for a long period of time, then you'll likely remember a period when many main event matches were complete bloodbaths, with opponents literally bleeding for their art right there on the canvas. Sure, some parents may have tried to console their children with the line that all of the red stuff was stage material, the truth is that the blood was very real, and usually self-inflicted by the wrestlers in a process called "blading." This is when the performers either hide a razor blade in their ring gear, or are given one from an outside source, such as a referee, and cut themselves in order to "sell" their opponent's offense to the crowd. This practice was commonplace both within the localized "territory" system of 70s and 80s wrestling, as well as on major television networks during the "Monday Night Wars" era of Vince McMahon's WWF versus Ted Turner's WCW. "Blading" has been eliminated in today's more commercially friendly WWE programming, but maybe Brock Lesnar didn’t get that memo…

#1: Wrestling is fake, and no one ever gets hurt


Wrestling fans have likely heard this one all their lives, and that's because this is probably the most synonymous myth surrounding the industry as a whole. A better word to use is "predetermined," or "scripted" however, because there are actually a wealth of risks involved for many pro wrestlers. It's true that these are trained athletes who know who to successfully negate lots of impact when they fall, throw fake punches and collaborate in the ring in order to pull off a fabulous, choreographed performance. It's also true that a ton of injuries, some of them serious, tragically occur every year in matches around the world. Add to this the severity of wrestling's famous "chops," and the fact that Japanese pro wrestling is known around the world for its "strong style" of high impact, stiff punches and kicks and you have one very physical industry.

You can't fake gravity, and no amount of practice is going to teach you how to land on your head. The truth is: a lot of bumps taken in wrestling hurt. A lot. Young wrestlers these days often want to make an impact, and as such, they opt for taking much dangerous risks in order to get notice – many times quite grotesquely.
But hey, It's all part of the job.

So, how many of these myths did you believe? For more brain-busting top fives and stone cold top tens, please subscribe to WatchMojo.com!
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