Fantasy is just an elbow drop in the Woolpack

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Fantasy is just an elbow drop in the Woolpack

Post by Adam D on Mon 06 Apr 2015, 11:55 am

A big thank you to Darren for writing this - if anyone else wants to write something, email me at

by Darren Selmes

My girlfriend likes watching the soaps. No problem with that. If she has to know about Peggy Mitchell shooting Scott and Charlene in the Queen Rovers and then eloping with Harold Bishop to Ecuador, then that is fine by me. Obviously the kiss between them before finding out they were actually brother and sister, could have been slightly less 18 certificate for tea time viewing. But sex sells in the soap world - even between two geriatrics.

I digress, that never actually happened. And if it does, I demand a fee for the idea.

The fact remains that my girlfriend and millions of people (yes, males enjoy them too), sit down every week and enjoy the goings-on in a fictional world. A place full of made up characters, jaw-dropping storylines and dodgy attire (if Pat Butcher's earrings were anything to go by).

Does this sound familiar to fellow wrestling fans?

I will be honest with you; it has been a while since I watched the goings on in WWE. I like to keep up-to-date with the latest happenings, usually by those more knowledgeable on the V2 forum. But as for giving you an in-depth review of current storylines......nope sorry. It doesn't mean I am not interested in watching it. It is trying to convince others (and perhaps myself as a 31 year old) that watching wrestling isn't a bit......well......"naff".

The phrase I always come back to is why would people want to watch, talk and even debate a show that has "scripted, predetermined performances"? And men in spandex. They always mention the spandex.

Does this sound familiar to soap opera fans? Hell, I have seen Kat Slater wear some pretty dodgy lycra numbers in the past.

The thing is it seems more socially acceptable to watch soap operas and (this is the kicker) believe what is going on. I remember when Deirdre was about to be sent to jail on some false charge and the nation went nuts. T-shirts with "Free The Spectacled One" rolled off the press and I am pretty sure it received a question in the House of Commons. But it wasn't real......we all knew that really. The poor old girl wasn't about to do 10-30 years in the slammer, bearing in mind she had done a lot worse by marrying Ken Barlow.

Soap storylines seems to have gone to the extreme as the years rolled by (a plane crash in a village anyone?!) whereas wrestling seems to be getting as close to reality as possible. Gone are the days of kayfabe when breaking that sacred rule usually ended up with a trip to the job centre. Nowadays, there are podcasts and blogs and various other things, sometimes from the wrestlers themselves, that all point to how much of a lie "It's real to me dammit" actually was.

It is fantasy. It is not supposed to be taken seriously. It is there to be enjoyed. You can decide which of the two I am talking about.

Based upon what my era of choice was in wrestling history, I would love to go back to the larger than life characters and outrageous storylines. It was escapism in its purest form. No, I didn't think that a policeman, a mountie, an undertaker and a binman actually took time out from their jobs to drive each other to the canvas. No more so than my girlfriend thinks that X bedding Y when he/she is married to Z isn't the worst thing to happen in the history of the planet and how could X do it? Or Y for that matter.

We take these shows at face value, absorb ourselves a little into the script and come out wanting to watch the next episode.

Now, to those who say wrestling isn't a it isn't. I won't even have an argument about these being trained individuals. I will just nod my head and agree with you. Those who also say that wrestling is that pre-determined scripted entertainment......well yes it is. Well done. Didn't fool you then did they?

Are both these entities harmless fun? Yes, as long as you don't try it at home. Are both these entities treated differently from the other? Yes, definitely. Rightly so? I am not so sure.

I will say this. I am a wrestling fan and there are lots of others. WWE hasn't become the juggernaut it has without some kind of fanbase. And before you say otherwise, no they aren't all under the age of 12. Some people I know are much more into it than me. Some go to the shows and buy the merchandise. That is their choice and if it gives them satisfaction than great. We all talk about it. We all look forward to the next show. We all reminisce of days gone by.

I write for a fantasy e-fed as well. Basically using what knowledge I do have in wrestling to create a character to live in a made up world. Rather like what a EastEnders writer does. And gets paid 100k for it.

The point is this. You want to look down the nose at wrestling, then you miss notion of what it is. It is simply a soap opera, but with a bit more activity to it. I enjoy it more because I take it for what it is.........a pre-determined scripted form of entertainment.

Soaps and Wrestling. Cut from the same cloth.'s always spandex.

Last edited by Adam D on Tue 07 Apr 2015, 11:56 am; edited 1 time in total

Adam D

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Re: Fantasy is just an elbow drop in the Woolpack

Post by Derbymanc on Mon 06 Apr 2015, 11:59 am

Brilliant clap


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Re: Fantasy is just an elbow drop in the Woolpack

Post by nadeem2099 on Mon 06 Apr 2015, 12:45 pm

Nice read. Also imo the main difference between soaps and wresting is that while you can do another take on a soap if there's a mistake, in a live wrestling match there can be little to no error allowed. I like watching both. I must say the 'who killed Lucy Beale' storyline in EE had me hooked only to leave me with a 'meh' feeling after finding out who the killer was.

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Re: Fantasy is just an elbow drop in the Woolpack

Post by Brilliant_yep on Mon 06 Apr 2015, 12:58 pm

Same here Nadeem,I was half expecting it to be a hooded Ian revealing himself 'it was me Jane,it was me all along' but then that actually could have made sense so it wouldn't have been as good.

The soap argument is always my go to argument.
People ask me why I like it when it's scripted,I ask if they like soaps or films,they say yes,then I ask if they like skilled choreography,they say yes,then I ask if they like sport,and they say yes...if there are women involved I throw in the odd physique comment.

People love a good fight in a soap,so why don't they like a good soap in a fight?

What's not to like?I love being a wrestling fan


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Re: Fantasy is just an elbow drop in the Woolpack

Post by TwisT on Mon 06 Apr 2015, 1:02 pm

Glad people liked it. Pat Butcher doesn't share a resemblance to me by the way. My ear rings are much more spectacular Wink


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Re: Fantasy is just an elbow drop in the Woolpack

Post by Crimey on Mon 06 Apr 2015, 1:13 pm

The problem when it comes to defining wrestling or explaining it to somebody who doesn't get it is that I don't feel like it lends itself to comparison. It's a TV show, but it's also a live event. It's fictional but there is more debate on the non-fictional aspects than there is the fictional. It's not real but it requires tremendous athletic ability.

It's a combination of so many different things that comparing it to a soap doesn't do it justice, but neither does comparing it as a choreographed UFC or like a filmed play. It's a mix of different elements which are actually unique in the entertainment and sports industry.

It's interesting that I had a debate with somebody over wrestling who said they didn't like that they presented themselves as real, when it isn't. This struck me as incredibly odd as every form of fiction does this, there are no warnings before or after a film that it wasn't real or when you watch TV there is some kind of symbol to indicate what you are watching is fictional. If anything wrestling is something which is actually quite open to the fact that it is fictional, it acknowledges it on the actual television show. You wouldn't expect in an episode of Downton Abbey for Hugh Bonneville to start making nods to a real-life, backstage dispute for example. 

Where the issue arises I think is those that don't watch wrestling, for some strange reason, believe that anybody who watches wrestling doesn't realise that it's not real. That they're doing a public service by letting them know that it's not real, as if the fan will come to a sudden realisation and drop it, that it only holds value whilst you believe it's real. I feel like non-wrestling fans find it hard to comprehend what there is to enjoy once you know it's fake, that people watch it as sport rather than as entertainment. To them it's as if football isn't real, why would anybody continue to watch it once it's been proved to be fake or scripted? Except it isn't like football, it's strength comes in its scripted nature, the enjoyment comes from the stories and from the fights which have stories in them.


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Re: Fantasy is just an elbow drop in the Woolpack

Post by TwisT on Mon 06 Apr 2015, 1:37 pm

You can't really debate the enjoyment values of wrestling to a non-wrestling fan. Especially at my age. It's not like someone who likes rugby talking about football to a football fan. They "get" the appeal, even if they don't share it themselves.

I find it easier to talk about 80's wrestling to my mates, because when they were kids they enjoyed it. Once, supposedly, you hit a certain age it is all supposed to become "real" to you and it gets naff to watch it.

I know Hero takes his kids to wrestling shows and they love it - he does too. Wonder what happens when they grow out of it and papa Hero is talking about indie legends when he is in his 50's. Hope that doesn't happen!

Like I said, you can't win a debate against a non wrestling fan. Because it always returns to the stupidity of it - grown men throwing themselves around and faking injury.

No one obviously watches Spanish football then..... Whistle


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Re: Fantasy is just an elbow drop in the Woolpack

Post by Marky on Tue 07 Apr 2015, 10:49 am

Great read OK


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Re: Fantasy is just an elbow drop in the Woolpack

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