Part I: Interest and Motivation
The topic I have chosen to write about is the world of professional wrestling. There are many reasons as to why this subject has interested me. One major reason is that I grew up watching pro-wrestling on television. As a child, I was fascinated with the spectacle of the wrestling matches and wondered at the wrestlers themselves. At that age, I took wrestling for what it was. It was a full-contact gladiator sport filled with exaggerated and extravagant wrestlers, cocky commentators, and interesting "one-of-a kind" personalities which added up to a high entertainment value.
As I got older and more aware of the sport, I did not just see it as another part of sports entertainment but also as a multi-million dollar business which catered to a wide audience. I began to wonder what was it that made this popular genere work and how it was able to attract the crowds of people, young and old. I also wanted to know the history of pro-wrestling. How did it get started and how it became a part of the American culture? As a fan for several of my childhood years, I now wanted to know the real deal behind wrestling.
The professional wrestling sport is a very secretive business. It is on a "what you see is what you get" basis. Many of the fans take the sport for face value and enjoy it for what it is, even if many of them are uninformed on the inside workings of it all. Although many books have been published about wrestling, a high number of them are as cryptic and secretive as the business itself. That is why I am motivated to go into an in-depth research to answer and unravel the questions of the professional wrestling world. Professional Wrestling.
Part II: Knowledge and Preconceptions
After being exposed to professional wrestling for quite sometime, I became somewhat knowledgeable of the sport. I became familiar with most of the wrestling superstars it produced, notably Hulk Hogan which many consider the icon of pro- wrestling. I was also mindful of the wrestling maneuvers and techniques that were used. Although I knew all this, it was all common knowledge. Through personal experience, the people I know who are fans of the sport only know this basic ideology of its premise. I feel that one major reason for the scarce information on pro- wrestling is due to the lack of media coverage. Wrestling is infamous for blurring the lines between true sport and pure entertainment. Many major news, magazines, and articles rarely cover the wrestling world because of its lack of believability. It is this secrecy and "figure it out for yourself" attitude of the business that brings rise to many enticing questions.
Probably the million dollar question for wrestling is whether of not it is "fake". Many people find the meaning of the word as something being completely unreal. It's things like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy that are fake since they don't exist in real life. Pro-wrestling is part of real life and real life is in no way fake. Furthermore, even if wrestling was a staged event, why does it continue to attract its fans for as long as it has? These aren't just ten-year olds who can be easily fooled, but grown adults who spend their hard earned money on live shows, merchandise, and pay-per-view showings. Still, there lies the questions about the wrestlers themselves. These are people who are out there doing a job. There are questions like how much money does a professional wrestler get paid and how does one even get into the business to begin with? These are all the questions, along with many others, that I hope to discover and will hopefully bring arise to many interesting and surprising answers to professional wrestling. Professional Wrestling.
Part III: Resources
The main resource for professional wrestling have been the wrestling shows themselves. Resources on written text and literature have been quite limited. Many books that have been written are very uninformative or "watered down" because they respect the secrecy of the business. Many fans can now turn to "sheets". These are newsletters that contain good information and deal with wrestling in a more up front way. With the lack of information, the average fan is forced to rely on the traditional word of mouth. If one is able to get in contact with someone who knows a lot about the business, or better yet, someone who is currently or was in some way involved in the business, you could obtain a wealth of information. The major problem with that is that they are very hard to come by and would be likely tight lipped about the whole thing.
With many obstacles and roadblocks in the way in just getting vital information on professional wrestling, one may have a hard time creating a research paper. One revolutionary trend that may be able to change that is the Internet. The Internet provides an uncensored, up front, view on pro-wrestling. This is a place where you can find the most knowledgeable and informed people on the sport. The average fan will simply be overwhelmed and be able to find out things they never knew existed. They can find out the past, present, and possibly the future of professional wrestling. It is also known that several insiders and one or two wrestlers have given candid interviews over the Net. (This is rare because the wrestlers or the organizations they work for are unwilling to reveal their true character.)
With the available resources, I plan to write a report that contains information from a diverse mix of sources along with my personal opinion and feelings in order to shed new light on the professional wrestling world.