Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is one of the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. Undeniably one of the greatest knockout artists the sport has ever seen even if his place in the overall pantheon is questioned. Jackson is also a lifelong fan of professional wrestling. Jackson recently defended pro wrestling’s legitimacy from its haters.
Calling pro wrestling fake is outdated. The correct term is pre determined. The correct term is wrestling is live entertainment like theater or exhibition stunt shows. Theater actors get injured on stage, stunt people get injured on movie sets, and neither group works three hundred plus days a year like professional wrestlers do. If they do, they’re not getting their bodies thrown onto plywood covered by insulation padding and canvas.
Rampage isn’t the only highly successful mixed martial artist to defend the legitimacy of pro wrestling and pro wrestlers. On episode four of The Steve Austin Show, Chael Sonnen talked about how when he needed to get serious about his cardio, he went and trained with pro wrestlers.
No wrestling fan over the age of ten thinks that they are seeing a sporting event. But last I checked, plenty of people go and see concerts to hear songs they already know the lyrics to, pack movie theaters to see fictional events played out in spectacular fashion, and Photoshop the hell out of realistic photos to make them more pleasing to the eye.
Pro wrestling is entertainment, it is a simulated, exhibition combat sporting event with a predetermined winner. It’s where the NFL meets Broadway. A synergy of live sports and live theater. But those bumps and high spots you see that make you pop hurt. Those muscled up bodies you see taking said bumps take years of discipline and dedication in gyms to form. Those larger than life characters and emotionally gripping verbal exchanges take lifetimes of preparation to execute to perfection.
So have some fucking respect. Pro athletes from the NFL, NHL, NBA habitually talk about how pro wrestlers are the best athletes on the planet because they don’t have an offseason. 300 plus days a year on the road. A band that literally never stops touring except if they get physically injured beyond what band aids and pain killers can mask.
Still think pro wrestlers can’t hold a lick to real fighters. Then I’ve got two words for ya, Brock Lesnar.