Real and Unreal in Professional Wrestling

Friday, October 14, 2011


In a recent episode of the professional wrestling program WWE Raw, wrestling superstars, divas, referees, and announcers "walked off" the job to protest what they claimed were unsafe working conditions. In real-life, pro wrestlers might have cause for labor agitation: the WWE hires wrestlers as independent contractors and therefore does not provide Social Security or health insurance benefits. Brooke spoke to Deadspin writer David Shoemaker about the chance of life imitating art in professional wrestling.

Comments [4]

Eddie from Nebraska

Just because its classified as entertainment doesn't mean its fake. If you think about it every sport is entertainment including football and basketball because if its entertaining its entertainment. Also you cant fake a fall punch or slam because a fake punch fall or slam looks to shitty. If something. Looks shitty people wouldn't want to watch. Also people can't fake jumping of the top rope crashing through a table. Also people wouldn't get injured if it was fake. Yeah sometimes it might seem fake but you don't know if its fake unless your the person behind the punch kick or slam. Yeah sometimes the wrestlers use fake names but some ufc fighters use fake names but that doesn't make ufc fake.

May. 08 2013 04:37 PM

NPR got worked.

Pro Wrestling historically has never had a union. Also WWE isn't the only promotion. ROH doesn't have a union, TNA doesn't have a union, and from what I know Mexican promotions and Japanese promotions don't either.

And if a real strike were to ever happen, the wrestlers would be buried (being publicly destroyed by being lowered in status in the eyes of the fans) on live TV.

Oct. 17 2011 04:46 PM
susan from USA

AFTRA - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, no SAG -Screen Actors Guild - would be the appropriate union. I think that as "independent contractors" the WWE would have no say in whether the "wrestlers" join AFTRA. They are ON the airwaves, therefore, I believe they are eligible.

In addition, they would be eligible for AFTRA sponsored medical insurance and other various insurance plans.

Oct. 16 2011 08:10 AM
Alexis from France

Very interesting points made by David Shoemaker, especially on WWE new angles : acknowledge that there is a world outside WWE, "real life" work regulations, social media... The revolution in storylines expected after the Worked Shoot might not have happened, but wrestling is undeniably modernising.

Oct. 15 2011 03:41 PM

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