Sun, 20 Feb 2000

TV Wrestling just fun recreation

By E. Effendi

JAKARTA (JP): For those of you who are concerned about the violence on TV, imagine this scenario. One evening, after a hard day at work, you arrive home exhausted. So you decide to go to your living room to relax. You sit comfortably on your couch and turn on the TV. But from what you see, the scene is far from the word "relaxing".

Men are kicking, strangling and knocking each other about. And that is just the audience. The real fight in the ring is more brutal. Then you realize that what you are watching is professional wrestling, the most masculine sport there is.

I know that there are some of you who say that all sports, with the exception of synchronized swimming and figure skating, are masculine in terms of how most athletes rarely take a bath after they play, therefore producing a very manly body odor.

But in professional wrestling, by watching several bloody events you can substantially raise your adrenaline and testosterone levels, causing you to feel very masculine, which means that anything you do next might land you in jail.

This entertainment sport has got the attention of viewers in Indonesia because there are now two TV stations that are airing the shows.

In the United States, however, professional wrestling has become very popular entertainment. Every week thousands of wrestling fans attend the shows. They are all shouting, screaming, laughing and cheering the wrestlers with banners, which read "DX Rules!" or "Remember the night of Feb. 3, Rock? Well now I'm pregnant!"

The game has become so popular that the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) has now two prime-time shows every week and a special show every month. There is also a weekly news show called Live Wire, which covers groundbreaking news and important events in WWF, mostly about whose private region was kicked this week.

The show also attracts many celebrities, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ben Stiller, who make appearances on the show to promote their movies. A 1996 Olympic gold medalist, Kurt Angle, joined WWF to become a regular-featured wrestler. The popularity of the sport has even aided one of its wrestlers, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, to get elected as the governor of Minnesota. His campaign slogan was "I can beat the hell out of other candidates".

And now, fame and fortune has brought the show to our country where two of Indonesia's TV stations, whose programs' goals are to help this nation smarten up, have decided that we, the Indonesian guys, have the same taste as many guys from more advanced nations. And that is for watching people torture each other senselessly.

But back to the point. I know that some of you, especially the ladies, pessimistically say that the show degenerates its viewers' IQ, and reveals the barbaric side of men.

As a WWF fan who has watched the show for quite some time, I can not just sit back and let people talk like that. I have to stand up and shout back: "YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!"

Although I enjoy the show very much, I have to admit that this entertainment only displays brutal, mindless violence. The only educational highlight of the show is when you learn what would happen if your head was hit by a steel chair, which in this case is you fall to the floor unconscious but miraculously recover 30 seconds later to back-slam the opponent.

Even wrestlers have proven themselves to have different IQ levels from sane people, by who, I mean, anyone lower than Shaquille O'Neal.

For example, if you were lifted up and slammed to the floor by an angry 500-pound man, your natural common sense reaction, as someone who thought this was his last day, would be: a. to pretend that you were dead b. to pee your pants c. to raise your limit on your credit card account.

But that is not what a wrestler's reaction would be. His natural reaction would be to get up right away so that his opponent could continue smashing his head until his brain was about as intellectually effective as a baked potato, which then makes him eligible to be a referee.

That is what really happened when I watched one of the shows on TV. A wrestler, The Big Show, who is so big that you hope he never becomes your insurance agent ("No thanks, I've already had ... Wait! Stop! Hey, put me down!"), was standing with everybody's favorite wrestler, The Rock.

They were fighting another tag team consisting of Triple H and X-Pac, whose combined biceps are bigger than a station wagon. Nobody knows what the H and X stand for. Triple H (HHH) probably stands for "HaHaHa" (or, at Christmas time, "HoHoHo!"), and the X in X-pac stands for "XXX".

The game started like the usual professional wrestling match, with wrestlers hitting, slamming and poking each other's eyes.

But the game really started when The Big Show suddenly left The Rock alone, and two wrestlers that were not supposed to be there climbed into the ring, forcing The Rock to fight four men at once. The referee didn't do anything except watch with great intensity, looking for any violations.

Of course The Rock was beaten helplessly, while the audience, to show their compassion, threw high fives at each other and drank more beers.

Cold-blooded and stupid, you might say? It probably is. But that is why we guys love the show so much. Let's face it, every guy likes to watch violent and mindless TV shows, as that is the flaw in our genes. That is why the only part from any National Geographic program that can grab the full attention of a man is when some animal eats another (or a human, we don't really care).

However, please do not jump to the conclusion that this show is going to start more violent acts among men. No, because we are all aware that the fight in the show is only an act and it has been arranged first.

We know that professional wrestling is only entertainment to cheer all the guys, and this does not really happen in real life. The same goes for Superman, porn movies and the G-spot.

Therefore, you should consider this entertainment sport only as fun recreation. And please believe me when I say this show is not going to increase violence in this nation. What do you mean you don't believe me? Don't make me come over there with this baseball bat.