Do these people know pro wrestling is fake?

My confidence in our government declines apace. Florida governor Ron DeSantis thinks pro wrestling is an “essential business” and has announced that they can continue to put on shows during this lockdown.

Now Trump has taken on Vince McMahon as a financial advisor.

We’re doomed.


  1. daverytier says

    Those “people” stopped making a distinction between “true” and “false” or “real” and “fake” long ago, if they ever did.

  2. wzrd1 says

    Professional wrestling is very real acting. Not especially good acting, mind you, but amateur acting.

    But, wonderful news – for coronavirus. It’s looking like immunity isn’t lasting, but worse, viral reactivation is a real thing.
    Now, waiting to hear if the reactivated viral program is a lytic phase or a simple loss of immunity by short half-life antibodies. Or worse, a cyclical dormancy in the virus.
    So, it’s good news that mass gatherings are allowed – for the virus.

    In other news, New York is having problems with storage of those who died of the virus. There is good news though, Trump tower has plenty of vacancies… What is eminent domain again?
    Perhaps that should be suggested to the governor of NY and the mayor of NYC.

  3. equisetum says

    I feel like I’m living in the theater of the absurd, but in its literal sense, rather than its literary or philosophical sense.

  4. Stuart Smith says

    Honestly, US politics seems to have more relationship to pro wrestling than to anything sane or grounded in reality anyway. And when I think of the list of people Trump MIGHT have picked to run the economy, Vince McMahon seems a better choice than most… the entire list, which was just Jared Kushner.

  5. illdoittomorrow says

    Renegade Cut, on youtube, put out an interesting video on the WWE a few days ago. I’m completely baffled by pro wrestling’s appeal but his take is worth checking out.

  6. Dunc says

    Well, if you’re not going to hand out bread, you’re going to need even more circuses.

  7. blf says

    mamba@8, That was a stock price drop, not an actual “loss” in the sense of profit-or-loss. (Not for WWE, Inc., as such, but possibly for McMahon (on paper).) However, it does give some insight into Vince McMahon’s pressure on Governor DeSantis; for some more insights, see poopyhead’s current [Pandemic and] Political Madness All the Time thread. E.g., “DeSantis and WWE chairman Vince McMahon are close allies of Donald Trump. McMahon’s wife, Linda, was a part of Trump’s cabinet [(Administrator of the Small Business Administration)] from 2017 to 2019, leaving to chair America First Action, a pro-Trump Super Pac, or political fundraising committee.”

  8. bodach says

    Wzrd1 @ 3.
    ” It’s looking like immunity isn’t lasting, but worse, viral reactivation is a real thing.
    Now, waiting to hear if the reactivated viral program is a lytic phase or a simple loss of immunity by short half-life antibodies. Or worse, a cyclical dormancy in the virus.”

    Do you have a source for this? I’ve been pretty current on the news but haven’t seen this. Thanks.

  9. blf says

    bodach@12, I’d also like to see a reference for wzrd1@3. Some (admittedly crude) searching did find this, Sorry, Immunity to Covid-19 Won’t Be Like a Superpower:

    Experts say that SARS-CoV-2 likely falls somewhere in the middle, such that people who get exposed are neither sterilized against further illness nor left utterly defenseless. Instead, they enter into a state you might think of as “immunishness,” an intermediate level of protection that dwindles over time. The robustness of this immunish state — whether it prevents all reinfection or merely makes a second round of sickness less intense — and the period of time for which it lasts will depend on multiple factors, such as a patient’s genetics and sex (women tend to have stronger immune reactions than men), the strength of their initial immune response, and the characteristics of the virus itself as it continues to evolve.

    Where, exactly, might responses to the new coronavirus fall on this continuum of induced immunishness? That’s still unknown. We don’t even know which types of antibodies are most crucial for preventing SARS-CoV-2 from infecting cells. Without that information, it will be very hard to design blood tests that deliver reasonable estimates of the strength of someone’s immunity, in the sense of how likely they are to become infected or how severe their symptoms might be.

    If we want to know the duration of this immunity, whatever its strength, we’ll need to learn more about how the most relevant antibody levels change in the months or years post-infection. Previous studies of older, less dangerous coronaviruses seem to suggest that protection is short-lived: Antibody levels fall off significantly within a few months and continue to decline. A small study from 1990 re-exposed nine patients who had developed a mild cold to the same coronavirus a year later. Two-thirds of them developed a new bout of the infection, though they were contagious for a shorter period the second time around. The pattern may well be very different for SARS-CoV-2. […]

    […] There’s also a bit of preliminary evidence suggesting that at least some people may not develop much immunity at all on first exposure. Data from 175 patients in China who had only mild symptoms showed that about one-quarter of them developed only a weak immune response, as measured by antibody levels, while about 5 percent showed no measurable response at all. (That study is preliminary and not yet peer-reviewed.)

    (Reference links at the link.)

  10. bodach says

    blf @ 13
    Thank you very much indeed. Immunishness, eh?
    My wife has been making masks; I will ask her to make even more.
    Everybody be safe out there, please.

  11. cjcolucci says

    Last time I looked, a few years ago, the laws in NY regulating professional boxing and professional wrestling were pretty much identical except that it was a crime to fix the outcome of a boxing match, but not a wrestling match.

  12. jimzy says

    A work acquaintance wanted me to join him at a pro wrestling match. He explained that we wouldn’t be going to watch the wrestlers, but the audience. So, I went along and I got a detailed prediction of audience member’s reactions and behaviors. Most of which was accurate. Some people really behave as if it was the real thing.
    Mexican wrestling is much better choreographed than American wresting. If I had to pick one…

  13. blf says

    @16, Fortunately, the cave à vins are considered essential here in France, and hence allowed to open.

  14. jrkrideau says

    @ 16 Marcus & 18 blf

    In Ontario, liquour, beer, wine, and pot shops open though with reduced hours. I don’t even know where to find a gun store.

    Bike stores still rated essential.

  15. hemidactylus says

    Wrasslin’ is scripted but far from “fake”:

    TRIGGER WARNING!!!! Horrific injury:

    These folks put their bodies on the line for entertainment no differently than stunt shows. I grew up on campy Florida and Georgia NWA wrestling and later watched WCW. Always hated WWF and McMahon.

    Been watching this:

    To keep this stuff up during a pandemic only highlights the dark side. I feel sad for these folks. Living in Florida I am not impressed by Voldemort’s replacement.

  16. John Morales says


    Wrasslin’ is scripted but far from “fake”

    Fake combat is fake. Real wrestling is actual combat.

  17. blf says

    (This is a reconstructed partial excerpt / cross-post from poopyhead’s current [Pandemic and] Political Madness All the Time thread.)

    As Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge notes:

    As in other professional wrestling promotions, WWE shows are not legitimate contests, but purely entertainment-based performance theater, featuring storyline-driven, scripted, and choreographed matches, though matches often include moves that can put performers at risk of injury, even death, if not performed correctly. This was first publicly acknowledged by WWE’s owner Vince McMahon in 1989 to avoid taxes from athletic commissions. Since the 1980s, WWE publicly has branded its product as sports entertainment, acknowledging the product’s roots in competitive sport and dramatic theater.

  18. consciousness razor says

    Real wrestling is actual combat.

    In ancient Greece, it was a game. Some of the rules:

    — No intentional hitting or kicking is permitted
    — No gouging the eyes or biting is permitted, since even the Pankration does not allow these
    — It is at the discretion of the referee whether or not twisting the fingers with the intention of forcing the opponent to concede defeat is permitted
    — Grasping the genitals is prohibited
    — All other holds intended to persuade the opponent to concede defeat through pain or fear are permitted and are an integral part of the contest
    — Infractions shall be punished by immediate whipping by the referee until the undesirable behaviour is stopped
    — Three points must be scored to win the match

  19. hemidactylus says

    @22- john

    Are horrific injuries (Sid Vicious breaking leg), death (Owen Hart), and potential cumulative head trauma fake?

    Some of the talent has crossed between wrestling and non-choreographed MMA (which I care for even less). For me fake would be CGI. Head butts, collisions, and other trauma producing incidents are real life events regardless if outcome is scripted and the talent in these events seem as hazard prone as pro football regardless of how BS the scripting is. Someone doing a stunt show is manipulating perception but potential danger very real. Plus the number of events over years of a career must take a physical (and psychological) toll.

  20. John Morales says

    hemidactylus, the injuries are real, but the wrestling is still fake.


    In ancient Greece, it was a game.

    “It was known in ancient times for its ferocity and allowance of such tactics as knees to the head and eye gouging. One ancient account tells of a situation in which the judges were trying to determine the winner of a match. The difficulty lay in that fact that both men had died in the arena from their injuries, making it hard to determine a victor. Eventually, the judges decided the winner was the one who didn’t have his eyes gouged out. Over time, however, maneuvers like eye gouging were discouraged to prevent such unpleasant incidents.”

    More to the point, combat can be fought under rules; cf. duelling.

  21. chrislawson says

    The key concept in pro wrestling is kayfabe. It’s somewhere between real and fake, with a large dollop of suspension of disbelief. Most wrestling fans understand it well. (I am not a wrestling fan, but its exploitation of social ritual piques my curiosity.)

    The problem with Trumpistas is they have spent so long wilfully deluding themselves that political kayfabe is real that they have lost the ability not only to tell the real from the kayfabe, but the real from the overtly fraudulent, rampantly stupid, extremely harmful fake.

    For those who are interested, Netflix has a great show called GLOW (I’ ve only seen S1), a heavily fictionalised account of the 1980s women’s wrestling circuit. It shows why so many of the women involved found it empowering, but it doesn’t shy away from the problems. One of the wrestlers of Indian heritage plays a Middle-Eastern heel character. After a match, she is devastated by a crowd that hurls vicious racist abuse at her and she starts to question the “entertainment” and whether the audience is really just playing along with a pantomime as she has been told, or whether the audience is really exulting in a safe space for violent bigotry.

  22. wzrd1 says

    @16,Marcus Ranum, howdy neighbor! In Cumberland County, originally hailed out of Philadelphia, then Delaware County.
    I’d rather have things the way that they are. At least then, one only has to deal with a fool with a gun, rather than a drunken fool with a gun.
    This, from a firearm owner. One who had to think for a minute to remember where the ammunition is.
    In an ammo can, buried under around 600 pounds of stuff and likely to remain there for a long time.

  23. says

    The WWE is a horrible company. They’ve been signing up independent talent left and right in order to stifle competition and then in the middle of this pandemic, despite the company still being very profitable*, there have been massive layoffs and furloughs including some 20-odd wrestlers who currently have nowhere else to go because every other company is in a shutdown right now.

    Hopefully this will lead more fans to take a look at AEW**, a much newer but superior company.

    The company is profitable, but Vince McMahon just took a massive hit when the XFL, mostly funded by him, just folded. He gambled and lost and now other people are paying.

    ** The WWE did not have a visibly black man (the Rock is half black and mostly identifies as Samoan publicly) hold its main championship until just last year. AEW’s second women’s champion is a trans woman of colour.

  24. hemidactylus says

    29- Tabby

    Thanks for touting AEW. Sounds interesting.

    Haven’t watched much if any wrestling since the eclipse of WCW. AEW is owned by Shahid Khan and his son. Dusty Rhodes’ son Cody also plays a major role. Maybe I will check it out.

    Khan also owns the Jacksonville Jags a rival to a Florida team (Tampa Bay) with the greatest QB ever (Brady). Yeah I love the deflator now. Fickle me.

  25. zetopan says

    “Do these people know pro wrestling is fake?”
    “These people” think reality is fake and belief trumps evidence. They can’t even recognize an obvious grifter.