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- Alright. Thank you all for coming to listen to this hopefully ridiculous talk. So, in August of this year, I was sitting down to watch "Summer Slam" "Summer Slam" is a professional wrestling, four hour live event, put on by World Wrestling Entertainment.
They do these special events once a month on the WWE Network and I was preparing to watch this on Sunday. Now, it starts at 7:00 pm, it was 6:30 pm when I sat down so, what does one do when one wants to watch four hours of wrestling, but that wrestling has not started yet? Well, one finds more wrestling to watch.
So, the night before "Summer Slam", there was another special event from NXT. So, NXT is what, where wrestlers go learn how to be a wrestler in World Wrestling Entertainment. So, it's the farm league, the developmental territory, whatever, what have you. I don't watch NXT at all, I don't know who any of the wrestlers are.
I don't know any of the story lines, I just don't know what's going on there. But my buddy, who I watch wrestling with all the time, he texted me and he says, you gotta check out this match that happened at the NXT pay per view the night before. He doesn't recommend matches often, we both have been watching wrestling for years, we kinda know what we like, and so, if he mentions specifically that I should watch this match, I figured I should.
So, this match if for the women's title, between Sasha Banks, there on the right and Bayley, there on the left. What's that? Oh, yeah, okay. Sasha's on the left. No, she's on the right. Your left, yeah, got it. So, anyway, I don't know these women at all.
I've heard of Sasha Banks but I don't know what she looks like, I've never heard of Bayley, I don't know what they do, I don't know anything about them. So, going into this match completely cold. Now, at the beginning of a professional wrestling match everyone will come down to some sort of elaborate entrance so, Sasha comes down, and there we go, she acts smarmy, she's sort of lording over her blingy outfit, she's called The Boss, she seems kind of jerky.
And the announcers are telling me this as she's walking down they're saying that basically she's a big jerk. Okay. Bayley comes down next. Bayley has this colorful entrance, you can see these balloons everywhere, she's very happy, she's smiley, she's running down to the ring, she interacts with everyone in the audience and so she seems like a very nice person.
And the announcers are telling me that she's tried to win the championship many times and has been unable to. So, this event is her big chance to win the title once and for all. So, that's all I know. Right? There's no dialogue, I don't know anything about anything other than what I've just been told.
So, the match starts. Within five minutes, I am invested in this match. When Sasha does things to Bayley that hurt her it makes me angry. It makes me hate Sasha, I just wanna see her get defeated every time she does this stuff. Now, when Bayley gets moves on Sasha, I'm excited.
I'm like, yes! She's finally going to win this title that she's been trying to get for months and months and months. Even though I'd never heard of her, you know, ten minutes earlier. The end of the match was quite spectacular. Bayley performs this amazing move off the top rope.
Sasha is surprised. Bayley then picks her back up. Well, we'll see here in a second. Picks her back up, throws her down and pins her, getting the title, one, two, three. So, it's a very exciting and very dramatic conclusion to the match. Men and women everywhere had tears in their eyes about how emotionally moved they were.
I'm not making this up. A lot of us were easily able to suspend our disbelief and enjoy this match for what it was. And I thought that was really interesting because, well, you know, you could think that I have unsophisticated taste in entertainment and maybe I do.
But, I can tell you that wrestling match was better than a lot of books that I've read or TV shows that I've watched. And I found it interesting that they were able to do that with basically no dialogue, no real preparation, right. They were doing it live in front of people.
The setting is incredibly simplistic. They're characters are very unclearly defined. And yet they were able to allow me to suspend my disbelief and become emotionally invested in this outcome of this ridiculous performance. Right? I know this is not is not a, this is not a competition, I know what this is.
This is them working together to put on a performance and there's no way it even looks like a real fight. If you watch MMA it doesn't look like wrestling. Yet, I was able to become invested. So, I wanted to kind of break down how they do that because it's fascinating.
What they do, is they, have a set of tools that they then piece together. They're very, very basic and put together a story without a whole lot of effort and it sort of gets to the essence of what it means to tell a story. But, first things first. You probably think wrestling is fake.
So, we don't use the F word when we talk about wrestling. This is Vince McMahon here with the chair. He is the CEO/Owner of World Wrestling Entertainment, for real. He is hitting his son, Shane, in the head with that steal chair. That really is his son, that really is a steal chair.
He really is being hit in the head. Now, Vince isn't swinging as hard as he possibly could, of course not. But, Shane's really getting hit in the head there. So, the things that happen in the wrestling ring are really happening. These people are really doing this to each other.
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