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Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011

fuck the molice


Iíve never seen this question asked before here, so I thought Iíd ask the question to you all: how did you, a wrestling fan, learn that wrestling isnít 100% non-fiction?

For me, it was a TV special from ~1998 on Fox. They got five celebrities hooked into a lie detector and asked them questions (again, this was Fox and I was 10 years old). ďStone ColdĒ Steve Austin was asked about the legitimacy. Of course, Austin kept kayfabe, causing the lie detector to say he was lying. And I believed the show!

Please make it interesting - donít just say your dad or mom told you.

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Quantum of Phallus
Dec 27, 2010





Wait WHAT?

Suplex Liberace
Jan 18, 2012





My mom told me within minutes of me watching

Suplex Liberace
Jan 18, 2012





I did not read your whole post and I'm sorry

forkboy84
Jun 13, 2012

Corgis love bread. And Puro



I'm trying to remember specifics & it's hard. My childhood wrestling fandom kind of came in a couple of phases, a lot was from about 6 to 9 or 10, at which point I had started to get into music & preferred to spend my pocket money on that than wrestling magazines & VHS (we didn't have Sky TV growing up so didn't get to see any weekly TV, it was purely PPVs on video, usually from Blockbuster but I did own a handful). I definitely still followed WWF in '93 because I had a Hogan poster that commemorated his 5 WWF World Heavyweight Title reigns, & I remember reading about the title change back to Yokozuna thanks to a dastardly foreign photographer & being very mad so I definitely still believed then. We tried various submission holds on each other & knew the Boston Crab & Camel Clutch & even the Figure Four Leglock hurt.

And then the Attitude Era starts getting big & a friend is willing to tape Raw for me (but only sometimes? I never really understood why he was so reluctant, not like anyone in his house was up at 1am Tuesday. I deffo got pissy about him being weird about it, even loving watched it himself ffs) & by that time I'm 14 or 15 & I was aware of how it wasn't real but didn't care. And around the same time I get access to the internet & for a brief moment I read about ECW & how that's all violent & poo poo & maybe that is real but that is quickly dispelled by someone in a Yahoo Chatroom. So I guess that was the moment I knew for certain even though I'd definitely just accepted that it was fake.

Though in a way as I learned more & more it turned out wrestling was realer than you realise when you're told it's fake: when guys bleed you assume it's some sort of makeup or other practical effect but nope, they just gash open their head with a razor. You assume the mat is somehow like a crashpad so that bumping doesn't hurt but nope, it's wooden planks. And so on.

Cavauro
Jan 9, 2008




i would use my vcr to skip frame by frame on certain cool moves when i rented wrestling vhs tapes in the early 90s and noticed it was fake that way. i did not care and started trying to see how good of a fake hit certain punches or moves were like dropkicks

Popy
Feb 19, 2008



my mom kept telling me it was fake but i thought she only told me that to make me stop watching wrestling, i feel like after owen hart died was when it really hit home. i was kind of a dumb kid tho

im more ashamed of how long it took me to figure out how wrestlers would make themselves bleed.

maruhkati
Sep 29, 2021


I had already heard before I ever watched - from where, I'm not sure. Didn't know anything about the details, but I knew it wasn't a legitimate contest and that it had, like, writers and stuff. Didn't stop me from child-raging at my television whenever The Rock lost.

I feel as though some people have this idea that you shouldn't "ruin it" for the kids by telling them, or that it's a rite of passage that all childhood wrestling fans go through, which seems weird to me. Like wrestling is Santa or something.

Duke Pukem
Oct 23, 2010

Three cheers for dark beer!




I dont remember exactly when, but the punches looked really fake to me even as a little kid. I think thats how I figured it out. You would see some guys throw really slow haymakers and stomp the ground to make a sound and it just looks real phoney.

The Taxman
Jan 2, 2007

greetings sweeties, let me give you a back massage. for i am a whiz!




I started watching wrestling because I read Mick Foley's first autobiography, so basically immediately.

Critical
Aug 22, 2007

You boys picked a beautiful hill to die on.



i watched golden era as a kid. forget who was in the match but someone missed an atomic drop of all things and the other guys sold like his rear end got blown off.

Davros1
Jul 19, 2007

You've got to admit, you are kind of implausible





There was also a spot where the face would do an arm twist several times to an heel's arm, and if that was actually possible, it'd snap the guy's arm.


Plus you had manager characters like Cornette interfering in matches and the promotion doing nothing about it. Like could you imagine a football coach throwing powder in someone's eyes, and the league saying "Well, the ref didn't see it, can't do anything about it." Hell no, it'd be a national scandal.

WatermelonGun
May 7, 2009


i believed in santa longer than i believed in wrestling

Pamela Springstein
Aug 10, 2016

just wanted to be
a happy camper



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLYzoJAsyck

probably either this clip or the secrets of wrestling exposed documentary from the 90s. my dad used to tell me it was fake but I didnt believe him or didnt care. the undertaker has stephanie on his icon and only steve Austin can save her and I dont care if raw was supposed to end 5 minutes ago, dad.

DeathChicken
Jul 9, 2012

Nonsense. I have not yet begun to defile myself.



It was some Royal Rumble where they zoomed right in on Tito Santana punching a dude in the corner and coming nowhere near him while the dude sold it. I was like, oh

TheJunkyardGod
Sep 19, 2004

Do not taunt the Octopus

I remember when Earthquake killed Jake Roberts snake I cried and my mom told me it wasn't real and the snake was ok.

Big Dave
Nov 6, 2009

Friends don't shake hands, friends gotta hug!




Wrestling is extremely obviously worked and I looked down on all the marks in kindergarten. wmac masters on the other hand is still real to me damnit

SatoshiMiwa
May 6, 2007




I think I knew it was a work when I saw the Hogan title switch with Andre with the twin Hebner's. I could believe everything else but that was just a step unbelievable even for me a sa kid

DEAR RICHARD
Feb 5, 2009

IT'S TIME FOR MY TOOLS


itís still real to me

edit: damnit

ARMBAR A COP
Nov 24, 2007

HURRAH! ANOTHER YEAR, SURELY THIS ONE WILL BE BETTER THAN THE LAST; THE INEXORABLE MARCH OF PROGRESS WILL LEAD US ALL TO HAPPINESS



Probably after kids kept getting suspended for doing the "suck it" and when a kid got suspended for powerbombing another kid. They had to tell us it was fake in an assembly.


Must have been around 99/00?

Stealth Tiger
Nov 14, 2009



The only move I remember REALLY looking fake as a kid was the tombstone piledriver. There were a ton of them where you could see a bunch of space between the wrestler's head and the ground. I remember this caused me to briefly come up with theories where certain parts of matches were worked, like the wrestlers had a pre-match agreement about certain things out of respect, but pretty quickly I just asked why they wouldn't just fake everything.

Gumball Gumption
Jan 7, 2012

GET BACK UP




I wasn't into wrestling as a kid and kind of just knew "oh that stuffs fake and for idiots". As an adult when I learned that yeah it's "scripted" but they're cutting themselves for blood, falling on stiff boards, and generally doing something insanely athletic I got hooked.

Extra row of tits
Oct 31, 2020


I enjoyed the WWF enormously as a child, but I never for a moment thought it was real. I mean, I watch other fictional shows on TV so....

Q7kid
Jul 24, 2009


I went to a WWF TV taping with my dad. I believe it was the September 2, 1992 taping in Landover, MD. I was 6 and gushing over the action with little-kid markish excitement. I don't remember what I specifically said to produce his reaction, but my dad chuckled and said, "you know this stuff's fake, right?" I tried to deny it or rationalize how he was wrong at first, but I quickly started to think about things I'd brushed off before--whiffed strikes, dodgy spots--and came to the conclusion over the course of the evening that he must be right.

Ultimately, it didn't kill my love for wrestling, but it did let some of the metaphorical air out of my balloon that evening.

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)


It was spoiled for me early on but I didn't really believe in it, until the Attitude Era had its outlandish angles (everything about the Ministry of Darkness, Austin pretending to be Vince's doctor and assaulting him in his hospital bed). When I learned how they would work moves and stuff it actually got my interest back. Essentially, the verisimilitude was what entranced me, especially in puro where the presentation outside of comedy matches made it look real legit.

Long-Time Lurker
May 20, 2021

readin'-but-not-postin'-jones


I used to get really mad at other kids in school telling me wrestling is fake, that's also how I found out it's fake.

CarlCX
Dec 14, 2003



Q7kid posted:

I went to a WWF TV taping with my dad. I believe it was the September 2, 1992 taping in Landover, MD. I was 6 and gushing over the action with little-kid markish excitement. I don't remember what I specifically said to produce his reaction, but my dad chuckled and said, "you know this stuff's fake, right?" I tried to deny it or rationalize how he was wrong at first, but I quickly started to think about things I'd brushed off before--whiffed strikes, dodgy spots--and came to the conclusion over the course of the evening that he must be right.

Ultimately, it didn't kill my love for wrestling, but it did let some of the metaphorical air out of my balloon that evening.

I had the inverse of this. I had pretty much intuited that it was fake and enjoyed it anyway, and my dad hated that I liked it and made me sit down with him to watch that Secrets of Pro-Wrestling Exposed special so he could show me how fake and stupid it was, and upon learning about things like bumping and blading he wound up being shocked into vague respect by how much less fake it was than he thought.

He wound up taking me to a few shows and he had fun, but he never liked the wrestling as much as getting to chant "rear end in a top hat" with thousands of people.

Torrent
Apr 18, 2003
" . . . "

What sealed the deal for me was Royal Rumble '94. We didn't have cable, so I wasn't able to watch it live, and tuned in to Superstars the next morning to hear what had happened. One of the things that they talked about was how good the Tatanka vs. Ludvig Borga match was. I would soon hear that Borga had been pulled from the match due to injury and replaced by Bam Bam Bigelow. In retrospect, it's odd that I didn't just think 'oh, this was pre-taped and they're trying to hype up the show', rather than having that one lie revealed being the domino that brought it all crashing down for me. But that's when I realized that they were just putting on a show.

Eat My Fuc
May 29, 2007

Cody Rhodes

Vince McMahon came on the TV and told me it was fake.

maruhkati
Sep 29, 2021


CarlCX posted:

I had the inverse of this. I had pretty much intuited that it was fake and enjoyed it anyway, and my dad hated that I liked it and made me sit down with him to watch that Secrets of Pro-Wrestling Exposed special so he could show me how fake and stupid it was, and upon learning about things like bumping and blading he wound up being shocked into vague respect by how much less fake it was than he thought.

He wound up taking me to a few shows and he had fun, but he never liked the wrestling as much as getting to chant "rear end in a top hat" with thousands of people.

We should all pay our respects to the heroic stunt grannies who have sacrificed so much for this business.

Ivypls
Aug 24, 2019




honest to god i think it struck me as a child how hilariously dumb disco inferno's whole thing was and i kind of worked it out from there

i still liked his music and entrance though

Poasty
Nov 17, 2017


I was such a mark for Kane and the Undertaker my reasoning was if it were real they would win every time !

Renaissance Spam
Jun 5, 2010

Can it wait a for a bit? I'm in the middle of some *gyrations*




My family hated wrestling so every time I got curious it was made very clear it was fake.

They also were very clear that Santa was not a real person, but the concept of Santa was that of generosity and hospitality and that was very real and to this day we still give each other presents from Santa.

So because there was this weird gray are for me about what "Real" meant it wasn't until someone sat me down in junior high and explained how booking worked that I actually understood what was meant by fake, and then Wrestling with Shadows filled in the gaps.

SG Bamboo
Aug 21, 2013

OH NO

WHAT IS MISAO UP TO NOW?



When I was maybe 7 I rented out Bash at the Beach 99 (the one with Fit Finlay winning a Junkyard Battle Royal) and one of the first UFC shows on vhs. I complained to my dad that the UFC show was boring so he explained to me that the UFC was real fighting while WCW was putting on a show to entertain me (I want to say the example he compared it to was Power Rangers). As a side effect this led me to believe that wrestling was actually faker than it was in terms of the physical involvement from the wrestlers themselves until a few years later when my family installed LimeWire and I was exposed to a wider range of wrestling and I saw stuff like Hayabusa's accident and early CZW highlights

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




When I started watching a ton of bad martial arts movies in grade school and realized that wrestlers pulled their punches the same way.

sticklefifer
Nov 11, 2003

TOO EASY



I remember kids in school floating around the rumor that the results were 'fixed', but that wasn't big news because I knew about boxing matches being rigged and stuff like that. But of all people it was Barry Darsow that spoiled it for me when I was front row ringside for a house show. Repo Man had recently debuted and was still working out his character. I remember in the TV vignettes he had a higher pitched kind of giggly voice, but during his match he yelled to the crowd "I'm gonna kick his stinkin' teeth in!" in an angry growl. I suddenly realized he was Demolition Smash, because that's something he used to say, and in that exact voice. So I looked closer and recognized his face and his hairline. Seeing them repackage a guy to play a totally different character without ever acknowledging it instantly made me realize it was all theater.

Maigius
Jun 29, 2013




There was was an article on the original Gorgeous George in one of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. It also had a basic list of wrestling terms. I then first watched wresting at least 10 years later, beyond what might of have been an episode of Raw, while not paying attention, at a restaurant, and possibly in French. After mentioning to my parents what I was watching wrestling, the asked if it was the fake stuff. They knew it was pre-determined, but not to what extent or how. Mom still freaks out about blading.

Sydney Bottocks
Oct 15, 2004

Eh.



I started watching at the tail end of the territory days, the first rasslin' I ever saw was WCCW and--as the surviving Freebirds and Kevin Von Erich said in the WCCW documentary--they tended to work "snug" so I didn't cotton on that it was all fake or predetermined or whatever because the Von Erichs and Freebirds and Chris Adams were working stiff so it looked pretty drat real to me.

One of my older cousins from Chicago finally pointed out how they couldn't really be beating each other up night after night, because if all the moves in the ring were legit designed to hurt each other, dudes would be in the hospital and out of action for weeks.

Even then, I still didn't quite want to believe it was 100% fake; I think there were times where I daydreamed about being a pro wrestler myself, and I'd go "I'll obviously work in the WWF, because they're all cartoony and safe. The NWA/WCCW/UWF/etc.? Those places look like they're dangerous!" :v:

I think I fully realized that it was all 100% predetermined (no matter where you worked) by the time I started high school. There wasn't any one single thing that clued me in, but rather a combination of things like the "Fake Hebner" causing Hogan to finally lose the WWF belt, Flair constantly getting DQ'ed or counted out to keep the NWA belt with nobody ever insisting on a stipulation to counter that, and a bunch of the bad/skeezy booking decisions made by Fritz Von Erich/Bill Watts in WCCW/UWF that made me go "okay, there's no way that poo poo is for real."

Prokhor Zakharov
Dec 31, 2008
Good luck with your depression!


its still real to me dammit

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Kaveman
Jul 25, 2009

NEVER!!!




I think I started to suspect as a kid but then there was a show like that Masked Magician TV show but for wrestling where they basically went through all the moves and revealed the tricks of kayfabe which just cemented that for me.

It wasn't until years later I came to appreciate that while it was worked the wrestlers are still being athletic, skilled and putting themselves at risk and I got back into it.

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