Got to get to grips with grappling

Barry Freeman
Barry Freeman
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Preston City Wrestling followed me, I followed them (Twitter can be similar to that Genesis song, if less catchy).

Why not? Seem okay types. Even if they are raving mad (this latter judgement being likely reciprocal).

Enthusiasts. God (or humanity, depending on outlook) love ‘em! And good luck, too.

Not that this lot appear much in need of same.

Most likely through an honest passion for their chosen endeavour and a little business acumen, these Tweeters have apparently put Preston on the pro-wrestling map in a big way.

Preston City Wrestling events routinely attract top matmen, draw large crowds and, presumably, generate worthwhile profits (not to mention knock-on business for the city’s whole night-time economy).

Well done them. The barmpots!

Wrestling? Solely for grannies and bairns. Surely. Well, no. Not if photographs on their website are any guide. All ages, both genders, come one, come all.

Staggering, truly, to one who, since primary age, has held wrestling as solely for grannies and bairns. Surely.

Ever since my grasp of basic maths and thus probabilities led me to conclude beyond doubt that no way – no way on this green Earth – could Big Daddy beat Giant Haystacks every single sodding time they met.

By then Crabtree was in his late 40s and looked older. Not even in good nick for his age. Haystacks, meanwhile, was only in his early 30s and in peak condition (is all relative). Come off it.

Is a bleeding fix!

Of course, I was utterly wrong.

Pro-wrestling is not a fix. Or if it is, it is in exactly the same way that the outcome of a film or a play is a ‘fix’ in so much as the outcome is pre-determined.

The closely rehearsed action of the pro-wrestling ring is nearer in spirit to ballet than to sport; the telling of tales through an agreed sequence of physical movement rather than a contest.

Simple stories of right, wrong, good, evil and, just as we suspend disbelief to enable the enjoyment of any other dramatic representation, so too the wrestling fan surrenders to the constructed reality.

Maybe, as narrative mediums, choreography and mime are not muses so popular as once they were, but both endure in pro-wrestling, aforementioned ballet, certain kinds of street dance and, my own favourite, deftly-executed slapstick.

And so, in summary, the citizen who digs seeing a grip and grapple baddie like Vader get come-uppance is ticking the same box as a season ticket holder to the National Ballet or fans of top notch clowning.

That, m’lud, concludes today’s submission. A knockout, don’t you think?