The above video is from Vox.com. The article below is from Bramptonguardian.com.
Why professional wrestling is an art form
CA Student Voice: A wrestling match is as good as any Shakespearean stage fighting scene
Shahraaz Nagra – Brampton Guardian – Wednesday, December 12, 2018
I have been an avid professional wrestling fan since I was five years old. I remember my whole family would gather around our small television in Rexdale Ontario to passionately support our favourite wrestlers. I truly believe that it is an art form, because of the impact that it had on my life. It was there for me as I experienced the trials and tribulations of childhood, ready to entertain and transport me to another world. Because it has been such a meaningful part of my life, it bothers me when people dismiss it as a cheap source of entertainment.
It has been almost a century since the inception of professional wrestling, and in that time it has slowly climbed its way into mainstream popular culture. It became increasingly popular in the 1960s because of superstars such as “Classy” Freddie Blassie and Bruno Sammartino. By the 1980s, it was identified as one of the most popular entertainment platforms in the world, because of stars like Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. Currently, professional wrestling is a multi-billion-dollar industry that has expanded all over the world. The most iconic wrestling promotion of all time, WWE, recently secured a deal with Fox for their flagship shows — Raw and Smackdown — that will bring in $2.8 billion dollars, making them the highest-paid television series for the next five years.
Despite this popularity, professional wrestling is not considered an art form; many regard the matches as orchestrated, and look down on the genre as second-rate entertainment. They do not consider it a sport or an art form because of the predetermined results and exaggerated moves that come with the industry.
But I would argue that a wrestling match is as good as any Shakespearean stage fighting scene. Although professional wrestling is scripted and based on storylines, I believe that it should fall into the category of art, because the performance is based on the improvisation skills of the wrestler. Superstars like Dwayne Jonson and John Cena started in the square circle, and are now among Hollywood’s elite. Most importantly, however, is the power and influence wrestling has on the lives of fans. For example, the most notable wrestler in the world is Becky Lynch, and she is a strong woman that empowers the lives of young girls all over the world every day — does this not make wrestling a prime example of gender equality in sports?
Professional wrestling will always face much criticism, but the impact that it has on people’s lives remains significant, as the funds generated by the sport attest. Art is something that connects with people and resonates with them as they go about their respective lives. Given the popularity of professional wrestling, I would say it does exactly that.