Wrestling Styles, Genres, and Art Forms

I recently went to see a live television taping of Smackdown.  As I look back at my experence I need to ask a questions, is there more than one artform in this thing we call Professional Wrestling? Is live wrestling a different art form than televised wrestling? Is the WWE and TNA Impact working in a different art from than independent promotions? 

I can hear the reaction that I am crazy.  Wrestling is wrestling is wrestling, is what many people might say.  What happens in the ring is the same no matter the size of the arena it takes place in.

I think this is a small way too look at pro wrestling.  Lets look at the in ring of wrestling like we look at acting.  There are actors in theaters, on television and on film, but no one would say that those three art forms are the same.  That is when it comes to theater, television and film it is easy to see that acting is only part of what happens.  The writing, stage craft and direction for theater makes it different than the writing, cinematography and directing for film.

The writing for the WWE should be different than the writing of for Chikara.  One is running 8 hours of broadcasting a week and monthly Pay-Per-Views while the other runs house shows, a few super cards, the occasional iPPV, and sells DVDs.  The story structure here is different. 

I know some people will hate this idea.  They might see it discounts smaller promotions.  As a critic I think it is important to ask these questions.   I think art is helped by asking these questions.  I spent my life at a television wrestling fan.  It took one live show to tell me what works live is not the same things that work on television. I hope the people who put on wrestling shows think about these things. 


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