Why I Love Pro Wrestling
There are two looks I usually get when I tell people that I’ve gotten into wrestling. The one I like is surprise, because it usually melts into a big smile and is followed by a ton of questions that I’m excited to answer. The other one is usually a quizzical look of disgust. That one is followed by three or four questions that I never feel like answering, but always do anyway because manners are important to me.
It’s nice when you come into contact with someone who doesn’t immediately or outwardly judge something you love. To me, passion is a chord that can be played across millions of instruments of interest. I like when someone lights up talking about a thing they care about. It’s even better if it’s something I’ve never considered loving, because then I don’t have to interrupt them with noises of agreement and competing echoes of joy. I love that people love things.
The path of my development as a person is littered with work I’ve enjoyed that was produced by people entirely unconnected to me. I watched The Brave Little Toaster until I broke the VHS tape, probably because I always fast-forwarded the scene where the air conditioner commits suicide. But I loved it better than any other movie we owned. I looked up Saturday Night Live transcripts and printed them out and performed them in my high school theater class. I watched every single one of Marlo Meekins’ Vines in a night, inspired by the effort she put into them and how funny they came out. At a certain point, after going back and forth about whether I could truly become a good writer, a good creator of art for people to experience, I decided to pursue that goal with as much of myself as I could.
I wanted to write screenplays, so I read screenplays. I wanted to write novels, so I read novels. I watched my favorite TV shows over and over, processing what made them great and figuring out what they inspired in me. I considered movies I didn’t like so I could try to understand what I didn’t want to make. Once I started writing, all the media I consumed throughout my life began to have an outlet in my own work. Things that I loved had become a part of me, and my work reflected those things whether I meant for it to or not. I was taking in the world of entertainment with an intense focus on making similar things myself.
Wrestling was completely different. Here was a form of entertainment that encompassed so much of what I love about emotion and storytelling, with the added layer of intense and impressive athletic maneuvers. Here were people, like me, with a deep passion for entertaining others, but instead of using just their words they were using their bodies too. Wrestling feels to me like a mix of drama, action, comedy, sometimes horror, and a lot of adventure. It was something I could watch without the critical part of my brain asking how I could do something like that too. I appreciated it for what it was and just wanted to be near it.
So I started watching Raw with my boyfriend and his best friend on Monday nights. I tweeted about what I was seeing and made a few friends online over it. I tossed out a tweet about how much I’d love to commentate a match (without knowing any of the moves, just that I liked to gasp) and a buddy of mine that I used to perform with, Zach Thompson, offered to let me. He introduced me to Resistance PRO wrestling, who was kind enough to let me stick around and keep commentating with him. I got to meet a bunch of indie wrestlers and hang out with them before matches and realize how similar we all were. Different fields of entertainment, but the same drive to keep pushing forward and getting better.
I ended up doing a wrestling podcast with my good friend Jen Littlewood. I started hosting parties for the WWE pay-per-views. Friends that I didn’t know loved wrestling came out of the woodwork to talk to me about it. A comedian I knew only by name reached out to me about starting a podcast and all of a sudden I not only got a new project, I got an incredible new friend named Marty DeRosa. He got our little podcast, Marty & Sarah Love Wrestling, picked up by MLW (Major League Wrestling), and I got him to come commentate with me and Zach at Resistance.
There are two layers to why I love pro wrestling. One is that there’s no other form of entertainment like it. Whether it’s live or on tv, there’s a feeling that comes with watching wrestling when it’s good — really good — that I’ve never felt from anything else. It’s kind of like being at the top of a huge waterfall and looking over, considering whether you’re gonna jump down or not. Exhilarating and full of possibility. The other is that I’ve met some of the best, nicest, hardest working people who share a mutual love for it. If I meet someone and they’re into wrestling, I already know that we have something to talk about. I already know that they are willing to play along and let go and swim with everyone else in the sea of appreciation for what these people are creating. I know that they are open to feeling.
I’m not knocking the people who don’t understand it. I’m celebrating the people who do. Simply put, pro wrestling has made my life better — and that’s why I love it.