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It's still real to me, dammit!
April 29, 2012 3:56 AM   Subscribe

Secrets of Pro Wrestling (1987) What happens when these two wrestlers get a raw deal from their chosen profession? They don't get mad, the get even! (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, Trailer)

EXPOSED - Pro Wrestling's Greatest Secrets (1, 2, 3)
Re:EXPOSED! Pro Wrestling's Greatest Secrets
posted by fearfulsymmetry (19 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
We have to understand the distinction between amateur and professional wrestling. Amateur wrestling has a lot to do with the application of physical force needed to bring an attacker to a state of submission. Professional wrestling is a job. The real pros know how to wrestle for a living, which involves a totally different skill set.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:33 AM on April 29, 2012


I"d be curious to know if anyone ever figured out who the two "superstars" in the movie were.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:47 AM on April 29, 2012


Ok, this is a lot of fun. You can almost taste the cocaine.
posted by item at 7:10 AM on April 29, 2012


It's still real to me, dammit.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 7:20 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hated taking bumps. They happen too often in wrestling, honestly. You can tell a good story without punch/kick/bump/bump.

(The cynic in me then says: this is why you stayed in the announcing booth despite being so tall. I grab the cynic around the neck and arms and throw her over my head to the mat behind me. She's just become the next victim of The Equalizer. Or something. Is this therapy?)
posted by andreaazure at 7:54 AM on April 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


The guy in blue reminds me of Bob Backlund.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 7:58 AM on April 29, 2012


You mean they are actively trying NOT to cut each others' careers short with crippling injuries?! SCANDAL.

Seriously though these are pretty amusing, if only because when they came out they sold it like it was this shocking revelation. Honestly, I don't think wrestling wouldn't be as enjoyable if it wasn't so highly scripted and choreographed. Plus, it's just fascinating to see how these guys and gals manage to pull off the stuff they do and knowing all the sleight of hand involved makes me appreciate it more.

There's artistry to what even the schlubbiest WWE wrestler does that just isn't present in a UFC match, which are won by brute force and are for that reason (for me anyway) sort of dull. I don't remember who said it (Bret Hart?) but there was a wrestler who said something to the effect of "Any idiot can hit a guy, it takes true skill to not do it but make it look like you did." Which, you know, is pretty true when you think about it.

Thanks for the link, OP. This is a hoot.
posted by HostBryan at 8:18 AM on April 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why do they always sidestep the real issue, the horrible referees! Why is there no instant replay!
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:19 AM on April 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


in a UFC match, which are won by brute force

This is extremely incorrect.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:20 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dark Messiah - I misspoke. There's strategy, skill, and genuine athleticism that goes into UFC/MMA but I personally find the sport off-putting and uninteresting because I'm not really a fan of actual violence. That's really what I meant to say - I'm just not into it.
posted by HostBryan at 8:26 AM on April 29, 2012


I'd be curious to know if anyone ever figured out who the two "superstars" in the movie were.

I'm guessing that one of them was Brutus Beefcake, for these two reasons:

1. In 1986, the year before this was made, the Dream Team of Beefcake and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine were forced to job to the British Bulldogs at WrestleMania 2 - sending them back to the mid-card. Raw deal!

2. I love saying "Brutus Beefcake".

You can almost taste the cocaine.

They payoff to the mustachioed guard at the end of segment 1 could have been lifted directly from the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" video.

I don't think wrestling would be as enjoyable if it wasn't so highly scripted and choreographed.

I find that my favorite moments inside the squared circle actually require the knowledge that it's staged. It's the difference between horror and hilarity when Muhammad Hassan chokes Jim Ross with a belt, for example.
posted by Trurl at 8:31 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really liked the South Park episode where the kids started a wrestling league and they figured out that what the fans were really into was the soap opera plots that framed the matches.

The link is to the whole episode. I'm chuckling.
posted by Trochanter at 8:47 AM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's artistry to what even the schlubbiest WWE wrestler does that just isn't present in a UFC match, which are won by brute force and are for that reason (for me anyway) sort of dull. I don't remember who said it (Bret Hart?) but there was a wrestler who said something to the effect of "Any idiot can hit a guy, it takes true skill to not do it but make it look like you did." Which, you know, is pretty true when you think about it.

I'm reminded of a story Mick Foley included in his first book, about the first time he wrestled Terry Funk. He thought going in "Wow, Terry's punches always look so real. Now I can see firsthand how he fakes it so well."

They got in the ring, Terry reared back and WHAM! WHAM! Fist right between the eyes. Terry's secret was that he barely bothered to pull his punches at all.

The marvelous thing about American pro wrestling is that it can make stars of different people for remarkably different reasons. Tiny high-flying acrobats, gigantic muscleheads, technical wizards, raw brawlers, masters of ring psychology, blobs of fat, guys who let their managers do the talking, guys who are mediocre in the ring but pure gold on the microphone, they all have their place in the squared circle. A UFC type can get by on raw power and skill; a WWE guy needs a personality as well if he wants to succeed.
posted by delfin at 9:17 AM on April 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'll click these links later... say, THURSDAY NIGHT IN THE SKOKIE CIVIC ARENA! THIS FPP IS GOING DOWN!! WOOOOOO!
posted by not_on_display at 9:40 AM on April 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


A UFC type can get by on raw power and skill; a WWE guy needs a personality as well if he wants to succeed

This is less true now. For example, take a look at Jon Fitch and Nick Diaz.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:44 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I saw this within a year of its original release. The 11 year old me would not, could not, accept what was being shown as truth. I blamed low production and crappy costumes, and offered that as proof they were lying. After all, who would trust these jobbers?
posted by l2p at 10:42 AM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whenever I watch stuff like this, and by that I mean old TV shows and movies, I'm sort of stunned at how poorly paced they are. That intro (as far as I've made it) could have been done in thirty seconds or less, without losing any of the message.

And good lord, I think I need to get someone to follow me around with a fog machine. It makes everything look 45.7% less poorly produced.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:55 PM on April 29, 2012


The first two years of "WWE Tough Enough," when it was airing on MTV, actually provided a really interesting look into the workings of pro wrestling. You got to see the kids on the show really learning the moves, and you could see how even if the results are predetermined by storyline, the actual moves and stunts in a pro wrestling match really do require a lot of skill and effort. It actually gave me a new kind of respect for pro wrestling.

(Mind you, I'm a gay guy, and I openly admit my #1 interest in watching is all the big muscley guys in skimpy tights. And sometimes the stories get so hilariously campy in their hyper-masculinity. But I gained some new respect for what the performers have to do to pull off the matches.)
posted by dnash at 8:35 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The commentary found here on Wrestling posts never fails to restore some small spark of my faith in humanity.
posted by erskelyne at 3:52 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


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