Al Snow: “Professional wrestling is a true American art form as much as is jazz music”
Blog by Al Snow:
I am often asked just what is the appeal of professional wrestling.
Professional wrestling has not only survived but thrived over the decades in public entertainment in spite of being perpetually maligned and disparaged. Often times, by even its most loyal fans.
This of course begs the question. How is it possible a pseudo sport that everyone has been well aware of almost since its inception to the fact that the outcome is completely predetermined, continue to exist, grow, evolve, and at times dominate the fabric of pop culture?
It is because professional wrestling is the art of physical story telling within the context of a competitive situation.
Professional wrestling is a true American art form as much as is jazz music.
Being emulated by literally the rest of the world, shaped and altered psychologically to fit each culture, but intrinsically at the core very much the art form created here.
There are those who cannot imagine that professional wrestling could be even remotely considered an artistic endeavor. It is simply two meat slapping mastodons in their underwear fake fighting, portraying cartoonish characters in soap opera like situations.
But isn’t any form of art a vehicle to elicit an emotional connection with your audience?
In professional wrestling you use body language, facial expressions, pacing, timing, physical action and reaction to tell a living breathing interactive story with an audience to where the only consequence is a loss.
All done to elicit the largest and strongest emotional response, i.e., the famous “pop” from said audience.
The characters and soap opera like situations are done to allow an audience to better relate to the performers/competitors and give even more gravity to the win or loss.
The beauty and magic of the art of professional wrestling as such with any art form is that you are only limited by your own imagination and creativity in the characters and stories you create within that backdrop of win and loss.
Today there are those involved in professional wrestling who believe the art form has changed and what once was is no more.
Which creates the question of how could the art of storytelling ever change no matter the medium you choose?
The essentials to telling any story have and will always remain the same . You need a protagonist, an antagonist, relatability, consequences and a conclusion appropriate to the story.
Professional wrestling has grown, evolved and in its presentation become far more sophisticated than it’s ever been and that is directly related to the fact that so has its audience. Professional wrestling has been and always will be a reflection of society and the times in which we exist.
I am proud and feel truly blessed that I have had the opportunity to be a professional wrestler/ artist for 33 years. I’ve been able to tell exciting, intense, violent, funny stories to audiences all over the world.
Each and every match whether the two performer / competitors have worked with each other a hundred times is a unique and original experience that only lives in that moment.
I am still just as passionate and excited as I was in 1982 to get to perform every time I step in the ring.
I am always learning and growing and being challenged by this amazing experience of the living breathing art of professional wrestling.
The wheel is still round! It will never change. Just as the essence of professional wrestling has been and always will be the same!