I confess: the main reason Huracanrana and I watch WWE programming each week is to literally laugh out loud at the ‘Fashion Files.’
It’s the same reason we are fixated on Dalton Castle’s antics, love Famous B’s failed attempts at stable building, and consider Gary Jay a personal favorite when he comes through our humble little city. Every Grado, Colt Cabana and/or Toru Yano match is a must see in our household.
Why? Pro wrestling is supposed to be funny.
Mark, smark or insider, let’s be perfectly clear: pro wrestling is crazy, goofy theater. It’s chock full of scantily clad men and women, pseudo fighting, acting out often simplistic storylines, via pre-determined outcomes. The costumes can be terrific, dialog hysterical, and crowd interaction infectious. Huracanrana used to describe the hour plus following a terrific indy show as cooling down from the ‘rush’ she just witnessed. Comedy is a central part of this sensation.
The aforementioned Cabana rightly prides himself on embracing the comedic aspects of pro wrestling, on building a persona that lends itself to simultaneous extraordinary hijinks and athleticism. I wholeheartedly agree with Kukutaro and his take in ‘The Wrestling Diaries 3’ that comedic wrestling is a delicate art form that takes complete buy in to execute. Few have either the courage or capability to do so.
Blame it on politics, passive aggressive social media, and/or suddenly omnipresent business aspect of pro wrestling, but few seem to be laughing anymore. What Joey Ryan discovered via Pro Wrestling Guerilla – a lighter side as foundational – the sport sorely needs as paramount.
To explain: While it’s designed to foster a passionate following, the absence of humor to soften pro wrestling’s inherent, often sharp edge can lead to fans confused over pro wrestling’s purpose…also their self-assumed role in its performance art.
Instead, we see ‘revolution’ as a central theme of stables but often without the needed punchline of a movement without an actual cause. Extreme style matches sans comedic pauses to allow occasional reminders of this being fictitious. Most importantly, when inevitable missteps occur in the ring, judgments come swiftly. Both potential offender and victim are without the necessary momentary pause of good cheer for perspective.
I’d like to challenge writers/bookers to remember how to laugh. Specifically, what made them fall and stay in love with pro wrestling, a passion they’re supposed to be sharing.