When I was a young teen, I was a huge WWF wrestling fan. Every Saturday I was glued to the TV, my heart in my mouth while I watched my favourite wrestlers in the ring. I cheered their miraculous rebounds from complete unconsciousness to inexplicable but triumphant victory, and booed the bad guys (usually the less-handsome guys in black) who ambushed my heroes from behind.
Then, about the time I got old enough to take up a few contact sports of my own and simultaneously developed a bit of critical thinking, I realized… WWF (or WWE, as it’s now known) wrestling ain’t exactly what you see on the screen. Those wrestlers are great athletes; but even the WWE admits that the drama is pure scripted soap opera.
So I swallowed my disillusionment and life went on.
I hadn’t thought of WWF wrestling in decades, but it all came back to me a few weeks ago when Hubby was watching a Formula One Grand Prix. For those not familiar with (or who couldn’t care less about) Formula One racing, rules stringently control the action on the track as well as the specifications of the cars themselves.
So theoretically, the race is all about the skill of the driver and pit crew; but in fact the owner, team chiefs, and managers hand down directives and dictate the team’s and the individual driver’s strategies during a race.
Let the soap opera begin.
Enter Lewis Hamilton, a handsome (good looks are important) British driver who is currently considered “one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport”.
Lewis Hamilton is dogged by luck so bad it would bring any normal man to his knees. His teammates get advantages he’s denied. His car suffers bizarre mechanical failures. The management team subjects him to incomprehensible strategic decisions. I can hear Hubby raving in his mancave: “Why would you do that?!? EVERYBODY knows you don’t (fill in management decision here)!”
But poor Lewis just keeps taking the karmic hits, and then miraculously winning by the skin of his teeth. Or fighting his way back from last place and almost winning, which only increases the drama.
And I said to Hubby, “You realize this is WWF wrestling, don’t you?”
He stared at me open-mouthed.
“It is,” I insisted. “The handsome, talented guy keeps getting ambushed by some dirty rat, but even though he’s just been hit over the head with a chair and left for dead, he somehow manages to drag himself back into the ring and win.”
I realize that it’s blasphemous for me to even suggest such a thing; but I’m just sayin’… the plot lines are remarkably similar.
Who says men don’t watch soap operas?