It’s a super-post folks, as we present to you both episodes from our tribute to Pauly Shore in one convenient package! We’ve got an episode about Encino Man and In The Army Now, and another one about Bio Dome and Jury Duty! We celebrate his entire mainstream catalog this month, so download and enjoy. Now…on with the ranting…
Okay so like I said above, this whole damned month is dedicated to Pauly Shore, so it would be kind of insane to also write a blog post about him. Also, it would probably end up just being a rehashing of what I’ve already said on the show. Further also, it’s really hard to properly translate the concepts of “weezing the juice” and “baby fresh nugs and cones” into the written word; they just don’t have the same magic when you put them on paper as they do when the Weasel himself says them. So yeah, this week’s rant will have nothing to do with this week’s episode, instead, it will be focused on something entirely different: People giving me crap about enjoying pro-wrestling.
Really hit you with a sharp left on that one right? Like “hold the emergency handle and slide into the stick shift” sharp. I know, a sharp left should send you into the window, but I don’t like erasing things and I thought the imagery was good. Anyhow, I’m going to keep this short and sweet:
Hi, my name is Craig and I love professional wrestling. I’m not totally sure why, but I have a good idea, and yes, I know that it’s fake.
I’m going to calmly answer the question that no one is asking first, and then get angry for a moment. For starters, the reasons I love to watch anything from The Young Bucks super-kicking their dad off of a ladder, to a full-scale WWE pay-per-view, to two dudes no one has ever heard of trying to suplex each other onto a dirty high school gym floor are numbered three and simple to me:
- It reminds me of watching with my father when I was a kid. My pops is my all-time favorite person, and he’s unfortunately been passed on since before I could legally drink. His favorite things to watch were American Gladiators, Gunga Din, and WWE (WWF at the time…damned Pandas). He and I watched together for years, even when he was ill and I was angsty, we’d sit down and watch Monday nights together sometimes. Now that I’m an adult, I find that watching reminds me of my days with him, and I often find myself taking out my phone to call him with wrestling news even after all these years.
- It’s the fake version of the thing that I love and can’t do anymore. In a past life I was a slightly above average amateur mixed martial artist…I “did UFC” as way too many people still like to say. Some injuries and life choices have put an end to my time in the sport and I miss it every day. Wrestling brings me to a world similar to mine, but where consequences are forgotten and dreamers get their way; we all need that sometimes. Even when watching big time fights was too much for me and would lead me down a spiral of sadness and regret, wrestling somehow worked. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s part of what got me back into watching the show after taking almost a decade off.
- It’s just a fake sport; I love sports. Therefore, I love fake sports. Fake is the wrong word, although I accept it as someone now performing in a pro wrestling ring, it’s not fair to call what those men and women do “fake”. It’s scripted and planned out, but there’s nothing fake about the damage the performers take and the athleticism it takes to survive that stuff. It’s like ultra-complex stunt work, done for 250 nights a year. Anyhow, imagine if every time you went to a football game, you knew that Saquon Barkley was going to jump over someone’s fully standing head, or that Baker Mayfield was going to lead a comeback form down twenty-one points every time. Basically just the best stuff you could see and you’re guaranteed to see it. That’s what wrestling can be. Granted, it sucks more often than not these days, but when it’s good, it’s so good, and it manufactures the feeling of the most amazing moments in sports. Those moments in an MMA match when two dudes are doing insane shit for thirty straight seconds and you wonder how they can even stand anymore and know that it’s bound to end soon? Yeah, wrestling can mimic that for thirty minutes at a clip when it’s being done right. It’s actually a pretty genius concept. It’s like “real sports” are pizza from the local parlor in Queens, and pro wrestling is a place like Dominos. Of course, the real pizza is better, but when you’re hungry and it’s done right, Pizza Hut can be the best damned meal you’ve had in ages.
So do you get it now? Do you understand why I enjoy it? Maybe at least a little? Fine, I can accept that, now for the part where I yell at everyone: I KNOW THAT IT’S NOT REAL!! Every damned time I mention to someone that I’m a big dumb baby who likes WWE (I try to insult myself and be self-deprecating so that the other person can’t make fun of me…I call it “8 Mile-ing”), they still always respond with “You know it’s fake right?” and disgusted look on their face. They say it as if I’m going to drop everything , pull on a steam whistle and yell “Alright boys! The jig is up! Shut it down!” and my wrestling fandom and my manhood are going to just pack their desks and leave. Listen man, I know it’s “fake”, so are the dragons on Game Of Thrones, so is Captain America, and so is most “reality television”. It’s entertainment, it’s theatre, it’s admittedly scripted! If I went to a showing of Hamilton and yelled “You can’t fool me Lin-Manuel, he didn’t flow like that!”, I’d be dragged out and people would call me a moron, but it’s ok for morons to yell at me and the people performing their art that “they’re not fooling anyone”? This isn’t a carnival in the forties, they’re not trying to fool anyone over the age of nine. I don’t watch wrestling because I think it’s real, I watch it because I know that it’s not. I watch it because if I’m lucky, it’s going to tell me the exact story that I want from a sporting event. There’s going to be ebbs and flows to the action, someone is going to surge from behind to take an advantage, and the final moments are going to be exciting. Real sports are a crapshoot, you never know if your team or athlete is going to have a great day or get blown out; we watch wrestling because it takes away the guess work. Yes, your guy or gal might lose, but you know that you’re at least going to be given a few moments where you think they’re going to win; that’s why you watch it. So yes, I’m fully aware that it’s fake, it’s not still real to me dammit, and I still enjoy it! Also, people jump off of large structures onto other people for your entertainment. It’s entertaining and even if you don’t like to watch, you should at least understand why I do. Sure, if you’re the type of person who only watches Daniel Day-Lewis movies and quotes NPR all the time while spouting off about how “you don’t even own a television”, wrestling isn’t for you. However, if you enjoy mainstream entertainment and have the nerve to tell me that I’m crazy for enjoying something that is pure spectacle, then you’re probably only giving me crap because you think that it’s dumb to like something simply because someone else once told you that it’s dumb to like something. For that, I wish you good day sir. End Rant…or not, because it all comes back to Pauly Shore folks!
I lied, my love for wrestling is a lot like my appreciation for Pauly Shore, because when you consider social context and what we consider funny these days (I’m looking at you Big Bang Theory), you can’t tell me that Pauly Shore isn’t at least charismatic when he’s at his best. It’s the same argument as not liking wrestling and crapping on me for it; you’re only against Shore because you think that you’re supposed to be. I get that comedy is subjective, but you can’t possibly tell me that his schtick is any worse that at least half the crap people liked back then and still like today. So in shore-t: Pauly Shore and wrestling are the same. They’re both things that aren’t perfect, but I think that you’re a big dumb diaper baby if you think that the stuff you enjoy is so much better. End rant. (*packs up briefcase with rubber ducky, framed picture of dog, and a bologna sandwich, storms out of courtroom with toilet paper stuck to shoe*)