Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Misconceptions of Professional Wrestling - Part 3

(Part 2 of this article can be found HERE.)

Last time, I covered some common misconceptions people had of professional wrestling. I shall continue this part with a few more.

“They know what they are going to do before they even get into the ring”

This is something my dad used to tell me when I was growing up. He always made it out that everything is choreographed, like some sort of dance. Well, I can say that is not true.
Realistically, the only thing professional wrestlers know before they go to the ring is who is going to win, and how the finish is going to take place. Agents will discuss appropriate finishes with the wrestlers before the match takes place.

So how exactly do they know what moves are coming next? Well, the wrestlers are in constant communication with each other, as well as the referee. Yes, the referee plays a large part in the match and doesn’t just do the pin falls. Something which you probably didn’t think plays a huge part in the match itself is the announce team.
Now, I could try and explain this to you myself, but the video below explains it a lot better than I could.

“The steel chairs are not real, and they don’t hurt when you get hit with them”
Yes, the steel chairs which are used in professional wrestling are legitimate. They are not made from plastic, or a lighter metal, they are actually made from steel.

So, how do they not get hurt? Well, they don’t. When they are hit in the back with a chair the person swinging the chair aims for the meatiest part of opponents shoulder, so it doesn’t hurt as much, but don’t get me wrong it still definitely hurts.

Mick Foley takes a chair shot to the head from Terry Funk
But what about chair shots to the head? Sometimes, you will see professional wrestlers put their hands up to block chair shots directly to the head, but this is usually because they have a history of concussions or other serious head injuries.

However, what about when the wrestler doesn’t block the shot to the head? Let me tell you something, there is NO way to soften the blow of an unprotected chair shot to the head. In the past, wrestlers have sustained severe concussions from chair shots to the head.
Somebody who is notorious for taking unblocked chair shots to the head is Mick Foley. Throughout his career Mick has taken numerous violent chair shots to the head. During his match with The Rock at the 1999 Royal Rumble, Mick becomes handcuffed and receives eleven unblocked chair shots to the head, with the final of which knocking him unconscious.

This match can be found here.
“Retirement injuries are not legitimate”

In professional wrestling, as part of a storyline or angle, a wrestler will sometimes carry out a worked retirement. But like I said, that is part of a storyline. I guess this where people get their wires crossed with what is reality and what is not.
Probably, the most two famous retirements in professional wrestling due to injury are Edge and Shawn Michaels’ first retirement.

Edge has had numerous injuries throughout his career, including a serious neck injury. In 2011, he felt numbness in his arms and was eventually diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis. As a result, no doctor would clear him to compete again within the squared circle due to the potential risk of neck-down paralysis or even death.
Shawn Michaels probably is the most famous example of a retirement injury. At the 1998 Royal Rumble, Michaels was in a casket match with the Undertaker. During the match, Michaels would take a back body drop onto the casket outside of the ring and hit his lower back. As a result of the fall, Michaels slipped two discs in his back, and completely crushed one.

Michaels said he didn’t feel any pain from the accident initially but a few days later woke up and was completely paralyzed. As a result, Michaels was forced to retire and competed in his last match at WrestleMania 14. However, he did return after a four year later before finally retiring in 2010.
“Thumbtacks are not real in professional wrestling”
Now, with professional wrestling, I think people have the concept of if it looks painful then it can’t be real, but in most cases it is legitimate and it DOES hurt, and thumbtacks are no exception.

The thumbtacks which are used in professional wrestling matches are 100% real. They are not modified or altered in anyway. They do hurt a lot, they do the puncture the skin, and you will bleed as a result. However, it must be said that the wrestler’s boots, knee pads and elbow pads do take some of the impact, but not all of it.
Guess who is notorious for using thumbtacks? Yeah, you guessed it! It’s Mick Foley. Every time in this article I have mentioned something violent or dangerous, Mick Foley’s name always seems to crop up. Although, I guess that’s why he got the name ‘the hardcore legend’.

Mick Foley uses thumbtacks in the majority of his hardcore rules matches, and is the only person I can think of who would have the balls to go face first into them. This of course happened at the Royal Rumble 2000 against Triple H. At the end of the match, Mick received a pedigree (Triple H’s finishing move) face first onto a pile of thumbtacks. When the camera zooms over to Mick, you can see the thumbtacks sticking out of his face! Ouch!

This match can be found here.
“Kurt Angle is not really an Olympic gold medalist”
I can’t believe I’m actually answering this! But I’m not kidding you, I have actually heard this a few times.
Yes, he did win a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He won the heavyweight (90-100 kg) division in freestyle wrestling. It’s NOT a wrestling angle, storyline or gimmick. It did actually happen.
This concludes my series on wrestling misconceptions. I hope you guys enjoyed this series, and hopefully gained a little more respect for what professional wrestlers do, and maybe I cleared up any misconceptions you previously had.  
Now, when I started this this article I wanted to address the question of "Is wrestling fake?", and hopefully you'll think I have done that, and I went into some detail. However, the best answer I have ever heard comes from an answer the Undertaker gave during an interview in Kuwait which can be found below. Also, Vader gets a little angry.
Catch you later,


  1. Really awesome article man i enjoyed it !

  2. Thanks brother! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)