Professional wrestling is big in America. It is the ultimate combination of a man-to-man fight, entertainment and glamour. The fight looks like the clash of the titans; two extraordinarily big and muscular men turn on each other in a combat where any trick in the book seems to be accepted to make the other one bite the dust. The event attracts huge audiences that come to see these modern gladiators trying to thrash each other.
Wrestlemania is called the Superbowl of Wrestling. It is an annual event, and this year the 26th Wrestlemania will take place in Atlanta, Georgia on 3 April. It is an in-door arrangement, and the arena will have capacity for up to 100.000 spectators. The super-show is broadcasted around the world, and it is the biggest pay-per-view event after the Superbowl.
The match itself is a mix of theatre and circus. It seems obvious that some of the tackles and strikes must be arranged or simulated. A normal human being would never survive that kind of treatment. But it looks real, and that’s good enough for the audience. Some even claim that the matches are fixed, and that the wrestlers only are putting on a show. Nevertheless, the wrestling stars are big celebrities and have huge crowds of fans. They are fearsome, and some of them carry names to prove it: Sgt. Slaughter, Bam Bam Bigelow and André the Giant.
The Wrestlemania will also, like the Superbowl, showcase famous artists and celebrities. Aretha Franklin, Cindy Lauper, John Legend and Ice-T are some of the entertainers who have been featured at this big and glamorous attraction. And when they sing with the audience (and those of the wrestlers who still can stand) “America, the Beautiful” it comes as the climax of an all-American super-show.
Check the links below for more information about American wrestling and Wrestlemania:
Comprehension / Discussion
- Why do you think this kind of entertainment is so big in the USA?
- Check some of the video-clips that are embedded on the linked sites. Do you think the tricks are simulated?
- Professional boxing is illegal in Norway, but this sport is permitted. (There are actually some active professional wrestlers in Norway). Do you think there is a difference between pro boxing and pro wrestling?
- Compare this sports-event with Superbowl – what do you see as typically American in these events?
Explain in English:
- “to bite the dust”
- “the match is fixed”
- “a celebrity”
- To bite the dust means to be defeated.
- When a match is fixed the result is arranged in advance.
- Pay-per-view means that the TV the company will charge the viewers for that certain show.
- A celebrity is a person who is famous for some merits in the entertainment business.