The multi-faceted nature of pro-wrestlers

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Pro wrestling is called sports entertainment, an avant-garde product; a mix of the aspects generally found in sports and in the silver screen. WWE, TNA, ROH and all other independent wrestling promotions will vehemently try to make you believe that what you see is real. However once you grow up watching it, chances are you will grow out of it seeing that the “product” is actually pre-planned and meticulously orchestrated.

Some of you may stick around growing to understand its simulated nature, and appreciating the beauty of it from a theatrical perspective. So if pro-wrestling is an amplified, more athletic version of theatre, then for pro-wrestlers (or as WWE likes to call them, superstars) to make the jump to the big or silver screen seems like natural progression.

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Guy’s like The Rock, one of the cornerstones during WWE’s Attitude Era has found significant success outside of the squared-circle in Hollywood making over 46 million USD through movies and ranking in at number 25 in this year’s Forbes most powerful celebrities. The Rock initially used WWE as a platform to become a Hollywood star – a lifelong dream – but he recently came back to utilise his greater fan base to help main event the last two Wrestlemania’s and greatly contribute to their success.

On the other hand Big Show, another star from the golden period of pro-wrestling, the Attitude Era, has seen acting as an opportunity to add layers to his pro-wrestling persona. After acting in his first WWE Studios produced film Knucklehead (despite its negative reviews) he managed to take positives from it into the ring. He introduced a new finisher, the “KO Punch”, and also developed the uncanny ability to cry at will! Now watching a seven-plus foot giant who is supposed to be feared, break down into tears is quite a sight. He has used his new-found ability to good effect, so far, helping add more layers and depth to his pro-wrestling persona.

Then there are guys like Chris Jericho who has benefited from his stardom in pro-wrestling to the music industry, as frontman of the heavy metal band Fozzy. Even though his popularity in the squared-circle helped, the band’s undoubted quality in their music got them this far. Jericho is unique for having also been able to venture into reality TV, doing quite well in “Dancing with the Stars”. Other than that he has regularly hosted the Revolver Golden Gods Awards and just recently started his own web series, “But I’m Chris Jericho!” 

And finally there is the one that got away: Brock Lesnar. After becoming one of the fastest rising stars in the history of the WWE during his first year, he decided to ditch pro wrestling in favour of, at first the NFL, and then UFC, where he became world champion. Citing the rigorous 300-plus day travel schedule of the WWE, he decided to quit, but soon managed to use his amateur wrestling background to good effect in the world of mixed martial arts. A serious bout with diverticulitis eventually caused him to retire from MMA and now he is once again back with the WWE, on a more part-time basis.  

So whether you like or dislike pro-wrestling it’s hard to dispute that these are very talented and hard-working individuals that take up the profession, known to be one of the most cut-throat industries in the world (even more than music). Perhaps, pro-wrestling is not as appealing as it once was to many, but there is no denying that they are a notch (perhaps more than one) above your average Joe and that warrants respect.