A WWE clip revealing how wrestlers orchestrate their fights has been accused of 'ruining' people's childhoods.
Now, millions of kids and adults across the globe are consistently captivated by WWE wrestlers who don masks, lycra and personas to take on their opponents in the ring.
The fights involve aggressive moves, smack-talk and cheering crowds, and while to fans it may seem that many of the moves come out of the blue, those involved aren't actually as surprised as they might initially come across.
Footage shared on Twitter shows wrestlers quietly offering instruction or warning to their opponents prior to carrying out the actions, allowing for an impressive but seemingly anticipated sequence of attacks. Have a look for yourselves:
This is so cool seeing how they call matches and how quick the wrestlers react pic.twitter.com/pvOsgsuQfC— ko (@formermerc) April 4, 2022
Professional wrestler Slavoj Žižek described the sport as 'scripted' rather than 'fake' during a 2017 interview with ABC News, and noted WWE has 'openly admitted that its wrestlers are performers engaging in storylines'.
"'Fake' is the wrong word. You don't call Wuthering Heights or Star Wars 'fake', you call it fiction," Žižek said. However, while the 'events in wrestling are staged', he assured the 'physicality is real'.
"Like stunt performers, wrestlers execute feats of athleticism, fly, collide with each other and the floor — all while staying in character. Unlike stunt performers, wrestlers perform these staged contests in one take, before a live audience.
"The ultimate theatre in the round, great wrestling is part complex choreography and part improvisation — with wrestlers feeding off each other and the crowd to create a unique work of art," he continued.
Though the ability to carry out the sequences live is undeniably impressive, learning the truth behind the matches has been met with shock and sadness for some.
Sharing the clip of the wrestlers on Twitter, one viewer accused it of having 'ruined [their] childhood', while another commented: "My whole childhood has been a lie."
wait it’s fake????— tortor (@tortor331) April 5, 2022
Others were more defensive of the sport, with one person writing: "Still takes a high of level of professionalism to execute these moves in seconds atimes [sic]. Great entertainers."
A second wrote: "I've loved pro-wrestling for many reasons, and this kind of on-the-fly coordination is amazing. even if it's not your thing, you have to respect this."
This is so interesting and cool! Like it just goes to show that there's a lot more that goes into it than dudes just fake fighting. All that communication to try to keep the audience entertained and each other safe. https://t.co/cinMKVCefE— 🥃JAY ⁷🥃 (@AwakeNotToday) April 5, 2022
Though wrestlers may know what's coming, Žižek assured that pain is 'inevitable' during fights, even though participants do what they can to 'minimise damage'.
"A dentist knows how to drill but that doesn't mean drilling's not both painful and risky. Likewise, we know how to hit each other and crash to the mat as safely as possible but things can still go wrong.
"Even when things go right, studies reveal the physical consequences of a match to be comparable to being in a small car accident," he said.
Featured Image Credit: WWE