Wednesday, June 20, 2012

And The Gold Medal Goes To …

(Courtesy of The Bleacher Report)

Yesterday I posted an article on my personal Facebook page about dressage, an Olympic Equestrian sport, asking the question, “Why horse dancing, and not Pro Wrestling”. One of my friends, a highly accomplished Equestrian, responded to my comment as being a dis. I can see how calling dressage something like horse dancing can been seen as a dis, but it wasn’t my intention. What I was trying to point out was something I have championed for years, Pro Wrestling in the Olympics.

In 2004, Lance Storm asked the same question. Others before and after him have made pushes to the Olympic committees to get the sport known as Pro Wrestling in the Olympics. Why you may ask? It’s simple, because Pro Wrestling is a sport.
Pro Wrestling involves physically demanding activity such as current Olympic sports like gymnastics, power lifting, and figure skating. Dressage, which is French for the word “training”, is a sport based around superior horse training by the competitor. Pro Wrestling would fall under all of these. It would focus on the training of the athlete and the ability to combine that training with the physical demands of the sport.

For those that can’t get passed the stigma that, “Pro Wrestling is fake”, I give you this argument. Under the same vein isn’t Figure Skating, Dressage or Gymnastics fake? They have predetermined choreography that the judges know ahead of time. Doesn’t Dressage have heavily choreographed routines between the horse and the rider? That’s where the superior training comes in, just as in Pro Wrestling.  
The physical demand of Pro Wrestling is on par with hockey and soccer with the need for high cardio & the ability to take a hit. Yes, you can learn to fall to reduce injury, but you can’t learn to fall to avoid impact. Just running the ropes for a few minutes has left the highest level of athlete gasping for air. In the end, the routine of a wrestling match maybe choreographed, but the impacts & injuries are as real as any sport in the Olympics. This includes lifting another full grown adult multiple times while running a short marathon in a sixteen foot squared circle and taking a full rugby game of hits in under ten minutes.

Just as with Gymnastics, Figure Skating, & Dressage, the sport of Pro Wrestling in the Olympics would be a judged sport. There are a variety of industry personnel that know what good and bad Pro Wrestling looks like. The talents involved would be judged as a team, much like Gymnastics. The matches, put together with talents that have worked for months, would showcase a compelling, physically challenging display to present to the judges in a multitude of categories.
At its core, behind the flaming tables and flamboyant characters, Pro Wrestling is a sport. It has become a haven for former football players, amateur wrestlers, and other athletes. In a time where the NFL has bounty gate, the NBA has a fixed draft lottery, and baseball has a decade of steroids, Pro Wrestling might be ready to take the next step into legitimate sport by giving out Gold Medals at the Olympics. Who wouldn’t want to see CM Punk and Daniel Bryan standing tall on a podium in 2016 as the national anthem played in the background? Standing tall until the bronze winners from Mexico ambush them, setting up 2020!

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