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The cheesy tropes that make pro wrestling amazing

Pro wrestling, perhaps more than any other form of entertainment, is full of weird internal logic and tropes.

I realized that my past couple of articles had been about the all too real, depressing side of wrestling, so I figured it was time to do another article simply about why I love wrestling. Here are my thoughts and just general wonderings on some of professional wrestling’s more cheesy and fun tropes that make it the goofy, fun spectacle it is.

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A lot of these tropes come into play when looking at the actual mechanics of wrestling. One of the most classic examples is the idea that it is extremely hard to stop running once you start; that someone whipping you into the ropes makes you not just stop running, but forces you to bounce into the ropes and then bounce back with even more momentum. It is a trope so common that we don’t even think about it most of the time, it is just universally accepted that this is how physics works in this world. And I absolutely love that.

As wrestling fans, we embrace so many more odd tropes. There’s always the classic question of why there’s no replay or review in wrestling — literally everyone except for the ref watched as the heel took a chair to the face. The commentators saw it, the crowd saw it, managers saw it, the camera zoomed in on it, but the ref didn’t see it. And so we will continue with the match. Why is this a thing? Is it a tradition? Do all wrestlers have a fear of video replays or do the referees just have problems with object permanence? The latter is my personal favorite explanation.

I absolutely love the small tropes a wrestler will do when in the ring. I love when people just slightly oversell a big move, how people will bounce around after a particularly big DDT. I love that wrestlers will not necessarily take advantage of an opening in order to allow someone else to do their signature taunt, as if you have to allow the animation to play out before you can hit them.

Why is one of the most devastating things you can do is hit your opponent’s finisher on them? Shouldn’t that person know how best to defend against their own finisher? Doesn’t matter, because it’s super cool when it happens and always will make me jump out of me seat.

Some of the more subtle tropes with broader implications I love are music being played whenever someone enters a ring. Here the question is, is the sound guy aware of who is suddenly going to walk on stage before anyone else is aware of it? He must be! How does this happen? Does everyone give him the moments they are planning on walking out? If so, do people bribe the sound guy to see if anyone’s music is queued up during their match to see if anyone will run in? Is the sound guy more of an omniscient and spiritual being?

World Wrestling Entertainment - Brock Lesnar winning Money in the Bank
If people had just asked the all knowing sound guy before hand they would have been prepared for Lesnar at 2019’s MITB!

Another subtle trope I absolutely love is the fact that, at least with some promotions, each TV show seems to have only a few pre-scheduled matches. For instance, Raw, a three hour show, often only has three or four matches that will be scheduled and the others are created on the spot. This raises a question…

Who is booking these TV shows? Did the booker actually have other things booked but they keep getting interrupted due to people wanting to fight “right here right now”? Or is he just lazy and hopes to god some more people will get in a fight this week? Is he secretly trying to instigate these confrontations behind the scenes because he forgot to book enough time again?

Of course, all of these things are done for the pageantry, for the show and for the fun of professional wrestling, and are major reasons I enjoy wrestling so much. These cheesy tropes are what make wrestling so much fun and what create the fun world which I absolutely love.

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