The culture of pro wrestling

Discussion in 'International Wrestling' started by Stopspot, May 13, 2013.

  1. In this thread I figured we could discuss cultural aspects of pro wrestling. Either how it is perceived in various cultures or various parts of the culture of pro wrestling.

    For example: Whilst wrestling is considered a spectacle and show in the United states/western world it is viewed more as a sport in Japan. The Japanese fans know of the scripted nature but still treat the product as if it was a sport. It is even reported on in the sports section of newspapers. Why do you think that is? Why is it that one culture takes it more seriously whilst the other views it more as a spectacle or side show even? Both countries have large populations and the education level is roughly similar. Yet they take completely different approaches to wrestling. Is it the fans who have shaped this culture or the wrestling business itself?

    Any other discussions around wrestling culture you want to bring up don't hesitate.
     
  2. Japan has much more respect for wrestling in general. Sumo wrestlers are rock stars over there, and pro wrestlers are respected and have fans who follow them around and give them gifts and such. Many people in the Western world view wrestling as low brow "hillbilly" entertainment. The only other place that I can think of that gives wrestling near as much respect as Japan is Mexico. To have wrestlers who never take off their masks, even after they retire is amazing to me.
     
  3. #3 Stopspot, May 13, 2013
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
    This is just a rumor about the origin of the mask. It goes that Mexico has for a long time had big time crime problems and poverty (cartels and what not) and since there was money in lucha libre the wrestlers started wearing masks to protect their identity's since they obviously didn't want to be robbed or strong armed out of their money. And that this custom then evolved into the lucha mask culture we see today.

    This is just a rumor though but I think it's pretty neat.
     
  4. If true, that's pretty interesting; but to have the commitment to wear it in public at all times is incredible.
     
  5. Yeah I'm not sure if I could have kept it up if put in the same situation. It's like major method acting. Some probably do walk around without their masks since a lot of luchadors names aren't public knowledge. Like Sin Cara's brother Argos and Argenis. The only thing known about them is their family name. No other personal info apart from them being brothers of Sin Cara is public knowledge.
     
  6. It requires dedication but it's not really much different than the wrestlers of the Kayfabe era having to constantly remain in the face and heel roles even outside the arena, because they couldn't be seen by fans out of fear that they might figure it was all one big work. Couldn't even travel together, go to the same restaurants, share the same locker room, etc.

    As for the topic, reasons for differences in culture can't really be clearly defined or quantified. It's much like the difference in morals/ethics between societies or the difference in likes/dislikes between people as individuals. Just the way things are. And when it comes to the cultural difference in wrestling, Americans could care less about the actual in-ring product, it's more the showmanship that draws them to certain individuals rather than their in-ring ability. Not to say that matches are unimportant. The main product is still constructing conflicts between people and building towards a match. It's just the match can be almost all punch and kick and as long as people care about the wrestlers, they can get sucked into it all the same.

    I have to admit I am like this as well, but I wish the in-ring product meant more. It's strange that it doesn't when examining other sports. Sports is very popular in America and throughout the world, and the reason people watch sports is because of the quality of the competition and athleticism. I know sports are real and wrestling is scripted and pre-determined, but people watch them both for the same reason - entertainment. You wouldn't bother to watch anything unless you were being entertained by it (or educated by it, like a boring show on The History Channel or something.) If a person loves football/basketball/baseball/soccer/etc., its because they find it entertaining and the reason they find it entertaining is because of the actual talent involved with the athletes so why doesn't this logic extend to wrestling.
     
  7. This smells of bullshit, tbh. Haha.

    First off, whilst Mexico is pretty bad, it's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. Not EVERYONE is in danger of losing their life.
    And secondly, it wouldn't be that hard for gangs to stalk wrestlers, mask or not. I mean if they really wanted to kidnap/rob a wrestler, I doubt a silly mask is what's stopping them.
     
  8. America is not as respectful of wrestling because WWE is basically all the common person knows of, which has become a joke as of late.

    I don't like football, but I still respect it.

    Wrestling is something you have to be a certain person to be a fan of. You have to get past the fact that it's scripted and just take every moment as is. The internet has taken away that feeling I used to have for wrestling. But no matter what, I still respect it.
     
  9. Another interesting aspect of the different cultural approaches is how to crowds act. Look at your typical American crowd. Loud, noisy, rude at times whilst a Japanese crowd is so entrenched in the matches that they are silent unless something amazing happens. There are of course Japanese matches were the crowds are very loud but they seldom do chants like "this is awesome", preferring to either chant the wrestlers names or things like yay or boo. Mexican crowds are a bit in between. Swedish crowds are a bit like American crowds. I watched a Swedish wrestling event last night were we had a guest wrestler from Germany who had to withstand "kill the German" chants.
     
  10. I have noticed that about Japanese crowds. They seem much more respectful towards the wrestlers then we are here in America. I think it's just culture though, Americans are always loud, look at football games and such. Japans culture seems much more discipline then here in America with most things as well, so it's no surprise that they honor their wrestlers in such a way.
     
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