You are here /wrestling
Guest Columns

Marvellous Martin




As much as that sounds like a toiletry, I am referring to this monstrosity we call Sports Entertainment. I was talking to Sharon Austin, and she brought up my calling X-Pac's Bronco Buster the "homoerotic move of death". She wondered why men liked wrestling at all. It seems obvious why women might get into wrestling, all those muscle-bound hunks wearing few clothes grappling with each other. But why is a guy inspired by a guy who a woman would associate with being "hot"? What is the connection?

It is a good question. All the clichés about wrestling, two hairy men wearing trunks, grabbing each other and rubbing against each other in a disturbingly surreal display some call a sport. I often sit and watch wrestling, trying to work out what makes me want to watch it. Why do I want to see some heavily buffed guy who shaves his chest pretend to hurt a guy who is pretending to be a wrestling porn star? Put like that it makes very little sense really. I have tried to find reason and logic in the madness and have tried to list what I think are some of the main reasons us men watch wrestling. As an enlightened, modern kind of guy I think I am in as good a position as any They don't necessarily all apply to each person (I hope), sometimes only one of the reasons listed could apply to you. See if you can see any of you in what I say, unless you're female in which case you can have a good laugh at guys' expense.


In no way am I insulting homosexuals, I have no problem with anybody's sexual choices - each to their own. There are some who might think most male wrestling fans have some sort of problem with their sexual preferences. Males, frustrated with not being able to truly express their sexuality, watch pro wrestling. They are basically tuning in for the same reason some females do, the hot wrestlers, though they will not admit it. They desperately try to find the various women of the WWF attractive, and constantly talk about how hot Terri or Tori are and so on. While they talk to their friends in overly explicit detail about Trish Stratus or Stephanie McMahon, they are really thinking about how Chris Jericho looked in those tight blue jeans he wore on Smackdown. These men are also fearful of revealing their sexuality because their friends rabidly hated Too Much when they were doing the ambiguously gay angle, and are so jock-like he fears he would be crucified if he ever told them. Don't be afraid guys, if they are really your friends they would understand.


Fairly self-explanatory really. We just don't get that the acting of those that participate is usually quite dreadful, most of the stuff they say is the same every week, and the story lines are stupid. We just don't see that the wrestlers, by and large, look ridiculous most of the time. We totally miss the fact that some of the wrestling could only look MORE like it was staged if the wrestlers kept pausing to refer to scripts. We are stupidly naïve basically.


There is a natural instinct in most men to want to see destruction and violence. We revel in seeing people get hurt, maimed and killed in new and exciting ways, be it in films or TV shows. Wrestling is a perfect medium for letting out frustrations by watching guys beat the crap out of each other. More extreme cases can be see screaming "fuck you" in a drunken fashion at ECW shows. This is where things frankly get ridiculous and you get guys like New Jack who will happily throw themselves off things with minimal protection and still stagger back to their feet for another beating... Mick Foley's wrestling career was a good five to ten years shorter than it should have been because of the demands of the fans to see more and more ridiculously violent bumps and falls. Our desire to crush and kill is transferred into watching guys on screen do staged but still awful things to each other. Some of us enjoy violent movies and such like too. I admit to laughing through most of the 'scary' bits in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We are evil savages at heart really. Thank god for the 'fairer sex' huh?


As we all know, most men are driven by a certain part of their body. Their drive leads them, naturally, towards the opposite sex (if they don't fit into closet homosexual camp). The WWF, in recent years, has moved into the much lauded era of ATTITUDE. The more sexually explicit nature of WWF TV in recent years has seen an increasing amount of women with low cut tops and/or short skirts. Adolescent boys LOVE women with low cut tops and/or short skirts, so you can imagine that they must have SOMETHING to do with the rise in the ratings over the last few years?


On the Internet, these are usually the people who have been watching wrestling of all types for years. They now watch it in part so they can say how much better wrestling was ten years ago, or how much better All Japan is. Some of these people can speak Japanese or Spanish (or both? Yikes!) and wax lyrical about how HHH vs. The Rock pales in comparison to Atlantis vs. Rey Mysterio Sr. or Misawa vs. Akiyama. These people used to watch wrestling for one or more of the other reasons mentioned until they decided they had become an 'expert' and should impose their views on every other member of the Internet wrestling community. These people have often got some sort of problem or lack of real-life achievement which makes them feel inadequate and needing to look important by contradicting all the ignorant 'fan boys' on the internet. They often set up wrestling sites due to the excess money they save from having no social life. They are worshipped and hated in equal measures by other Internet-based wrestling fans, though most of the worshippers are male.


Many guys watch very little else on TV other than sports, and probably cartoons. They see science fiction as dumb and for nerds, they see sitcoms as stuff for chicks, they see documentaries and news programmes as boring... Though they probably watch The Simpsons but then again who doesn't? They will watch any sport as long as it is fairly masculine, so stuff like ice skating and gymnastics are often forsaken for a good feature on weight lifting. They appreciate the physical and athletic ability of the wrestlers, but the real reason they watch it is because it is the only chance they get to use their grossly under used and underdeveloped imagination. This is where they connect with the "we are too young/immature to know any better" idea in a way. They have so little imagination left that all the ridiculous things that happen seem perfectly reasonable. These are the guys who will actually describe wrestling as 'a soap opera for guys' because they are THAT lame and have THAT little imagination.

Well, are you any/some/all of those people? More importantly, would you admit it if you were?

Did I miss anything out? Want to tell me which categories you fit into? Want to tell me I'm a freakin' moron? Mail me.

Mavrellous Martin
[slash] wrestling
Oracle of Delphi

Some hits would be nice at Mavrellous



Design copyright (C) 1999, 2000 Christopher Robin Zimmerman & KZiM Communications
Guest column text copyright (C) 2000 by the individual author and used with permission