If you are watching WWE for the first time 1, or if you have never watched it but have heard about it, you will ask the same question sooner or later: why do people watch WWE if they know that everything is predetermined and fake?
Yes, it is fake, very much like any movie, theatre play, novel, painting or many other forms of art.
There is a good chance that during your lifetime you have watched at least one martial arts or action movie. You know that everything is predetermined in it, but you do not know the outcome of the movie - unless you have read the book or scenario, someone has told you the ending or the movie has a familiar pattern so you can guess what is ending going to be. Generally, if you do not watch movies by jumping to the end scene, you will not know what the outcome is. Regardless of the fact that you do not know the outcome, you know that someone has already set the ending, and because of the limitations of current media, you know that movie ending, like in any book you read, will not change suddenly.
The knowledge that there is one single ending does not change the value of the movie, and even when you can guess that the “good guys” will win at the end, you will still watch it. You will watch because of special effects, different fighting moves, unexpected scenes … you will like or hate certain dialogs or jokes, and during the process you will be entertained.
In both theatre plays and movies there is a scenario and actors, but unlike in the movies, characters in plays are live people performing on the stage. Sometimes they can improvise, make mistakes or even change the ending depending on the director’s mood, but it is very much the same as in movies, with one exception: before the play begins, theatre actors have to learn their lines, as there is no concept of a retake .
Now try combining a martial arts movie, theatre play and circus act and you will get WWE wrestling.
It is a theatre play with action, violence, drama, fighting moves and gymnastic skills.
Wrestling also engages the public in a specific way, and sometimes it modifies the ending according to the public mood. Actors are fighters and the ring is their stage. And everything that happens inside the wrestling arena is all part of the show. If you are there or you are watching, you can easily get sucked in. You will unknowingly become part of the show; maybe you do not know it, maybe you have not signed a contract for it, but they will pull your emotional and intellectual strings.
So, is it fake?
This depends on your perspective. From the perspective of sports and competition, yes, it is fake. But from the perspective of artistic expression and entertainment, you cannot call it fake, just as you cannot call theatre plays fake. People go there as they do to the theatre - to be amused, to cheer, yell, wave flags, and love or hate the “actors” (although, most of these things people usually do not do in theatre) ... to blow off steam created by all the problems at work and in the news and to forget the gloomy reality or future they have to carry on their chest.
Should we stop watching wrestling?
It goes the same as for the circus - it is part of our culture, our level of consciousness will decide how we want to spend our free time, and there is no need to be snobby about any type of art; every art is an expression of certain skills. WWE, in its crude form, is an expression of acting, arguing and fighting people with large muscles.
Similar to Rome's colosseums and gladiatorial contests, America has wrestling.
According to the dictionary the definition of “entertain” is "providing (someone) with amusement or enjoyment", and “enjoyment” by definition is "the state or process of taking pleasure in something." The opposite word of “entertain” is “bore”.
Going back to the first question, the only issue that people can find with wrestling is not with the type of entertainment but with the added value that type of entertainment may provide for someone.
Everything we do in our leisure time will affect us and our society, and maybe the only real difference is in what we learn while we play or take pleasure in something.
Are we strengthening or numbing our brain in our leisure time ?
Are we practicing to take action or to give up?
To blame only wrestling for numbing our brains would be unjust, as many other forms of art have the same effect, regardless of how posh or snobbish they look.