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Is Wrestling Fake?
by Ric Drasin on 2001-11-03

The standard question when you meet someone and tell them that youíre a Wrestler is, "Oh, Wrestling is fake". "You guys donít really fall do you?" What a stupid question. No we donít really fall, you just imagine thatís what youíre seeing. See weíre still standing in the ring. When I went over the ropes onto the floor, you just imagined it. Trickery, Magic, Illusion. Call it what you want. But then what the Hell do I do about the rope burns and the bruises from hitting the cement? Are those an illusion also? Iíve been a Wrestler, Actor and Stuntman for over 30 years. All I ever hear is that Wrestling is fake.

What about the special effects in films, the fights that Bruce Willis, Arnold S. and Mel Gibson have. You sit and watch them on film and donít come out saying, thatís fake. You just enjoy it and appreciate the hard work these actors and stuntmen go through to make it work! Iíve done stunts jumping off trains, running and falling down hills, street fights with actors who donít know how to throw a punch and really tag you in the eye. Itís staged work, but itís hard and you do get hurt. Wrestling on the other hand is different. What about those ĎHoldsí, wrist lock, hammer lock, head lock, etc? Iíll tell you. Watch ĎCOPSí some night and see that they use the same holds as Wrestlers on those that they are apprehending. Yeah, those holds work! A top wrist lock with a little pressure, can break your wrist. A hammer lock can pull you shoulder out of the socket. A front face lock, can instantly break your neck! Ok, weíre in the ring working and you think itís fake.

Fake or not, itís Wrestling and everything used in the ring can be used on the street for self defense! Iíve done it myself! Wrestling is the best combative sport for self defense that there is. Put a Wrestler up against a boxer, martial arts, or street fighter and the Wrestler will no doubt always win. Once youíve got someone down, theyíre useless when you apply a submission hold. Street fights always end up on the ground. Thatís where the Wrestler takes charge and applies what he has learned. I was jumped once in a fast food restaurant when I first started Wrestling. Some punk took a swing at me. I grabbed his elbow and pushed his arm passed me and brought him down into a front face lock and lifted him off the ground. Within seconds it cut off his air and he was out cold. I thought I had killed him, but actually just put him out. It scared me to realize the capability that I had. I shy away from those situations now, but at least I know I can handle them, thanks to my training as a Wrestler. Wrestling is one of the toughest most enduring sports youíll ever see.

How many people off the street or in the stands can get in the ring for 10 min and run ropes, do high spots, grab holds and go through a match like a trained wrestler? One out of 15,000? Ever watch boxing and see a tiny jab out of nowhere knock out the opponent? You wonder where that came from. It looked like nothing. But it knocked the guy out. So what about a body splash off of the top rope? Hell, that hurts! Especially if a knee or elbow sticks you. What about a clothesline and a back bump over the rope on to the cement? Is that fake? You saw the guy go over the rope and hit the cement and thereís nothing fake about it. Youíve got a GOOD chance of really hurting yourself. Yes, youíre trained to fall the right way, but it doesnít always happen the right way.

Many obstacles can get in your way. One more thing. Not everyone in the ring is friendly. There are Ďegosí and many people want to look their best. So there can be a Ďshootí or fight as you know it to grab the hold first. This leads to some anger, and punches can be thrown a little harder than usual, and the same in return. Someone stiffs someone else and it escalates into a brawl. It may look fake and planned, but as I said, not always. Personalities clash and this creates problems. It happens all the time. No one really wants to lose or look bad so they fight for their position. Wrestling night after night and year after year with different opponents and different styles, whether itís fake or not is getting experience of working with other people who are strong and skilled.

The more you practice punching, kicking and holds, the better you get at it and the more natural it feels. Therefore if you are ever confronted on the street by someone, you have the skill and experience to wipe the street up with that person, as the average citizen will never have the chance to learn what a Wrestler has learned.

So, is wrestling fake? Itís some what choreographed, but things do happen and I would tell anyone who asks me, ĎLet me put a hold on you and you tell meí. They always backoff and say no. So next time you think Wrestling is fake, remember what Iíve said. Unless you want to step in the ring and see for your self. Not!

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Quotes from the boys: Moondog Manson says "Leatherface is by far the sickest man I have ever met in the ring, the moment he hits you in the head with that steal chair you here a creepy laugh come from under that hood.".
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