FEATURE: WWE Dublin proved that wrestling is anything but fake
"You know it's fake, right?"
The words that every wrestling fan is all too familiar with. It was normally the "cool" kid in primary school who would break the news to you that these giant athletes weren't actually beating the heads off each other. The same kid who knew all the swear words before everyone else. You know the one.
Yes, there is an element of pantomime to the whole thing. Wrestlers aren't actually competing in a bout in which the better competitor will win based on his skill. The outcomes of the matches are nearly always predetermined, and there is a set storyline that the entertainers have to follow in the ring. There are good guys that the crowd is supposed to cheer, and bad guys that the crowd is supposed to boo.
But come on, that doesn't make it fake, does it?
The WWE came to 3Arena in Dublin last Thursday night, and the experiences I felt while being there were anything but fake. I sat behind a young boy and his dad, both of whom seemed like they couldn't wait for the event to start. "I told you the seats would be good," the dad said with an excited smile on his face.
Immediately, I could tell that this event was going to be special. Anything that can have the same effect on a father as it does on a young child is something incredible. And this was a common theme throughout the night. Mams and dads wearing the same piece of merchandise as their children, neither looking like they were just dragged along. Everyone was just so into it.
The whole event just had a feeling of wholesomeness to it, which is funny, because the entire thing was based around people in the ring absolutely "killing" each other.
Becky Lynch and Jordan Devlin were the only Irish competitors on the card - and the two of them received an excellent reception - but Becky Lynch's was a different gravy.
— Gerard Waystar Royco (@TVsCarlKinsella) November 2, 2017
What was particularly great about this moment was the amount of young boys absolutely delighted to see a female wrestler. Long gone are the days where the girls of the WWE were just there for a bit of eye candy. Nowadays, the women's division is just as respected as the men's, and rightfully so. The ladies are characters, with interesting story arcs, and extremely talented performers.
Seeing hundreds of young boys adoring a female athlete purely because of her skill is a needed reminder that people are inherently innocent, a reminder that is very much needed in this day and age. Also, there was a surprising number of young females in attendance, with the majority of them dressed up as their hero Becky. How great is it to have someone from so close to home having such a positive impact on the young people of today?
It wasn't just for kids though, there were loads of teenagers and adults who had a great time (myself included). Even if you're not the biggest WWE fan, and think it's all a bit silly, I guarantee you'd still enjoy your time there. If nothing else, it is a great laugh.
Even the "wrestling is fake" brigade would enjoy themselves if they properly immersed themselves in the night, and took off their cynical hats for a second. Nobody was laughing at anyone else because they were getting too into it, nobody was judging how anyone else looked.
It was just a bunch of wrestling fans seeing the people they love, and loving every second of it.
Seems pretty damn real to me.