Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why Wrestling?

As I mentioned last week, my current WIP is set in the world of professional wrestling. But I bet a lot of you are confused as to why I chose this setting. Or, you're curious about it and would like to know more. Well, I'm here to help! As I work on my series, I'll also spend time posting about wrestling so that all of you lovely readers will be well informed by the time the first book in my series comes out. As you read, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about when I say ring rat, go home, or kayfabe. To be clear, I'm not an expert on wrestling. I'm a mark, but not a smark. The only info I have is what's readily available to the public and what I've picked up in my twenty odd years of watching.

Let's start with kayfabe. It basically means to be fake. Yes folks, professional wrestling is scripted. You'll notice I didn't say fake. That's because the wrestlers are athletes and they work hard. They protect each other when they are doing their moves in the ring, but it still hurts when they crash onto the mat, take a chop across the chest or any of the other dozens of moves they do.

Northern Lights Suplex
These men and women have to be skilled in order to make it look like they are killing each other, while at the same time keeping themselves and their opponents safe. Unfortunately, in spite of this, accidents and injuries do happen.

Of course, outcomes of the matches are decided before they ever hit the entrance ramp. But that's okay, because it's a TV show. For example, fans of Law & Order enjoy watching Benson and Stabler (why did he leave SVU?!) chase down sex criminals. You know there's a formula to the show, but you don't know who the bad guy will turn out to be and if he will get jail time. Same with wrestling. There's a formula, but the fans don't know who will win the match.

So yes, kayfabe means to be fake. It's from carny, or carnival, talk. Wrestling as we know it today got it's start in traveling circuses and carnivals. The wrestlers would use their own made up language to keep the locals from knowing what was going on in their matches. Today, most fans over the age of ten are aware of kayfabe, but we suspend our disbelief in order to enjoy the show.

But other than my love of the sport, why did I choose professional wrestling to write about? Well, I think we can all agree that most romance novels feature MCs who are in over the top career fields, yes? Sheiks, billionaires, and firemen, oh my! There are novels that have regular Joes, but most people want to read about characters who are doing something exciting and outside the norm. Professional wrestling definitely fits the bill. They travel the world, take on larger than life personas when they're on screen, and have dangerous jobs. Most of them have tons of charisma and they have very fit bodies that are pretty much all on display. Bless whomever decided that the official wrestler's uniform should be little spankies and boots. 

Swiss Superstar, Cesaro
Also, the men and women in the elite wrestling organizations are on the road 5-6 days a week, nearly 50 weeks a year. They spend more time with each other than they do their families. Even those wrestlers who are on the smaller indy circuits become so close that they form their own brotherhood. Combine that closeness with the drama of the industry and it's the perfect setting for a romance.

And last, but certainly not least. Wrestling is so super slashy. Sweaty, mostly naked, oily men rolling around with each other is pretty darn homoerotic. I give you:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

And in order to win, you have to make your opponent submit, by laying on top of him and errr... raising his legs in the air.
I could go on, but I think you get the gist. So! That sums up why I choose professional wrestling for my next erotic romance series. Any questions? Ask me in the comments. Thanks for reading!


Ring Rat = Fan, most often female, who hangs around wrestlers with the goal of sleeping with them. Wrestler groupie.
Go Home = Final moves to end a match. Or, final televised show before a big Pay-Per-View event.
Mark = Giant fan of wrestling. Wrestling geek. Me
Smark = Smart Mark. Fans who profess to have all the insider knowledge. Armchair wrestling bookers.

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