Welcome back to Niners Nation After Dark where we can be honest and tell you we still occasionally enjoy a little wrestling. I didn't get to watch Wrestlemania on Sunday night, but our Atlanta regional hub had all sorts of coverage from the Georgia Dome. Earlier today, SB Nation's Spencer Hall wrote about his experience sitting on press row at the spectacle that was Wrestlemania XXVII. Even if you're not a wrestling fan, it's an amusing take on WWE and the lessons about real life.
I bring all this up because we had a bit of a discussion amongst some of the bloggers as to whether something like Wrestlemania should be covered alongside major sports. In terms of general athleticism, if you've seen professional wrestling you know that there is some crazy athleticism involved. While it might be "fake" in terms of the results, you can't fake most of the athleticism you see in a given wrestling match. At least, that's my opinion on that.
In the end it really comes down to the issue of having fixed matches. There are plenty of times when fans complain that something is fixed, most notably when it involves fishy referee calls. I could probably interview 20 hardcore NBA fans and at least a quarter of them would probably be convinced David Stern knows which referees can alter a game outcome however he might desire. It might be a bit of an exaggeration, but its' still amusing to consider given how people view professional wrestling.
Professional wrestling has always had an odd spot in the landscape of sports. I don't think anybody can question the athleticism of some of these people, but at the same time the issue of fixing matches does leave most people making sure to qualify it as "sports entertainment." But doesn't that really apply to most sports at this point?