Friday, November 14, 2008

Wrestling as a Christian

My dad recently got a chance to meet a professional wrestler who he watched intently as a youth, much to his delight. At the dinner, the wrestler gave a speech decrying the current state of professional wrestling with drugs, scantily-clad women, and no positive role models. This gave me the chance to remember the wrestling of my youth, especially when I knew it was "real."

I loved watching wrestling on the weekends, though I could never have said why. In retrospect, I think I loved the morality play which it represented. The bad guys like Nikoli Volkoff and the Iron Sheik, always lost the match. The good guys, like Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, always won. The only exception was treachery, when the bad guys would sneak in brass knuckles or some other weapon, like a bazooka, without the referee noticing. I never understood why they didn't hire referees with better eyesight. The morality play even included redemption stories, with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Macho Man Randy Savage switching from mortal enemy to tag team partner united against evil. The egotists were always ridiculed, even when they had a perfect record, like Mr. Perfect. If only WWF (sorry, WWE) wrestling could get back to its roots, it could participate in the formation of real men who fight external and internal evils, and who know that goodness ultimately wins.

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