WRESTLING 101: The Rise of the Tweener

Anyone who has read our site might know that I am the less prolific writer by far compared to the Intercontinental Belt, who has done Yeomen’s work keeping our little blog alive.  Truth be told I have been feeling burnt out on wrestling lately.

For a while I didn’t understand why but now I think I have uncovered the source of my dismay: I have been watching too much WWE. I know that sounds snarky or “smarky,” but honestly WWE is written at the developmental level of a grade school child and I am a “mature” woman. I only can take so many “poopy” jokes, squealing announcers and goofy plot lines before I feel completely bored.

Lately watching WWE has included watching a grown adult seem surprised when a wrestler known as a Demon comes out and acts like a Demon.  On top of that I am treated to announcers debating about whether the Demon wrestler is actually a Demon or not.  Yup.  I’m pretty sure the average episode of Dora the Explorer has more suspension of disbelief and mature content (and probably less commentary).

So enough with the whining, why am I still watching?  Honestly, its for the tweeners.  I realize, being a developmental psychologist that children need simple “all or none” heroes and villians in their life.

They need the Demon Kane to be purely evil and they need John Cena to be purely good.  But as the average age of the WWE viewer is 41, older than me even, we need something a lot more complex.

Us “grown ass” adults have moved beyond the world where our “heroes” have no flaws and are shining examples of perfection.  We know that heroes can come in all shapes and sizes and often do not have supermodel good looks, flawless life stories and perfectly honorable intentions.  In fact, as adults, we like our heroes to be  human not superhuman because this gives us something we can relate to; a standard we can hopefully emulate and admire.

So my new “heroes” and reason for continued WWE viewership are those loveable tweeners, the wrestlers out of the main spotlight who have bald spots, cellulite, mixed motivations, selfish tendencies, bad wigs, lost matches and even the occasional accidental kick or punch to their own partner or ally.

Thank you Bo Dallas, for your less than perfect form, loveable grin and amazing ability to withstand a beating and still look cocky and confident as all hell.  Thank you Dean Ambrose for your Donald Trump combover hair, bizarre appearances on local news stations, penchant for stealing and extreme disregard for your own body.  And thank you to Becky Lynch for your crazy ever expanding wig, odd-ball puns and amazing grappling skills. You are the tweeners, my adult role models, the complex characters that the average aged WWE viewer can actually connect with.  You keep me watching,  not because of your imperfections, but because of your humanity and portrayal of a character that I would actually like to meet (and maybe get clotheslined by).

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