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Have you ever wondered exactly what your child means when you hear them use the words chokeslam, powerbomb, Degeneration X, Suck It, or many other words that you probably have never heard of before? In the following paragraphs, we will be discussing the basics of pro wrestling, terminology used in the sport (or sports entertainment as it is commonly refered to), how it can make children act in school, and your reponsibility as a parent in the whole process.
Let's start off with the basics about pro wrestling, or as a lot of kids like to call it simply, WWF. What in the world does WWF stand for you may ask? It stands for World Wrestling Federation which is the biggest, most successful pro wrestling company in the world. It is owned by a man by the name of Vince McMahon, who you may have heard of recently in a variety of news articles or television reports. Mr. McMahon actually owns the parent company of the WWF, which is called Titan Sports. He has recently, as you may have already heard, started a rival football league to the NFL, called the XFL, or Extreme Football League. The WWF reaches audiences worldwide through many different television programs. Now, let's hope that you already know what your children are watching on television, but if you don't, allow me to tell you the days and times that the WWF has it's main programs. The biggest program the WWF has is called Raw Is War and it airs on the USA cable network on Monday evenings from 9-11pm EST. The second biggest show the WWF has is called Smackdown and it airs on the UPN network on Thursday evenings from 8-10pm EST. The other main show the WWF airs is called Sunday Night Heat, and yes, guessed it, it airs on Sunday nights. This also airs on the USA cable network and is shown from 7-8pm EST. The WWF also airs a recap show on the weekends (check your local television guide for times) which is more suited for children. We'll discuss this one in more detail later.
The Raw Is War (more commonly called Raw) and Smackdown shows contain the most violence and language for you to be concerned about. Now please understand one thing before we continue. I am an avid pro wrestling fan. I don't want to mislead you into thinking that I am anti pro wrestling, because I am not. I am also however a teacher, and I have seen firsthand how pro wrestling can make children act in school if they don't get the proper guidance about the subject. Now that we have that cleared up, let's continue. On Raw and Smackdown, you will see wrestlers by the name of The Rock, Kane, Bad Ass Billy Gunn, Road Dogg Jesse James, HHH (called Triple H), The Big Show, Rikishi, Too Cool, Mankind, The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and many more. Familiarize yourself with these names because you will hear them a lot from you children. Some of the wrestlers are good guys (baby faces in wrestling terminology), and some are bad guys (heels in wrestling terminology). Make no mistake about it though. Your kids will like the bad guys just as much, if not more, than the good guys. You will also hear phrases like Suck It (The rallying cry of the group called Degeneration X, or DX for short), Puppies (slang for breasts), Layin' the smack down on your candy ass (the Rocks favorite catch phrase), and many other "catch phrases" or favorite sayings of the wrestlers. Please take my advice as someone who has seen and heard this in schools, your children WILL repeat everything they hear on television and on the WWF pro wrestling shows!! They will also imitate their favorite wrestlers moves and actions. I am a teacher in an inner city school where we have little parent involvement and most of the kids come from single parent broken homes. I have seen the effect first hand that pro wrestling will have on these kids, so please take this advice seriously. On Raw mostly, but also somewhat on Smackdown, you will hear language that you might not have known was allowed to be said on television. Words like ass, asshole, suck it, bitch, and more. You will also see people sticking up their middle fingers at each other (namely Stone Cold Steve Austin) and grabbing their crotches in full view of the camera at each other. This happens every single week on Raw and Smackdown and will definitely leave a big impression on your children.
As I mentioned before, the WWF does air a more watered down version of its shows on the weekends that is more suited for children. While you will still see the violence and blood that you see on the regular shows, you will not hear the same language. This has been edited or censored out for children. You might want to seriously consider only letting your kids watch wrestling on the weekend shows for two main reasons. First of all, they won't hear the same kind of language and content that they allow on the weekday programs. Secondly, they won't be staying up so late on a school night to watch pro wrestling. The weekend show is absolutely more tailored for children and should be a good opportunity for you to watch the WWF with your children so you can see first hand what goes on in pro wrestling.
You might have a few questions about pro wrestling that you need answered before you let your children watch it on television or live. These are all commonly asked questions about pro wrestling and are easily answered. First of all, yes, the blood is real. The wrestlers do this through a practice called blading in which they take a tiny piece of razor blade and use it to cut their foreheads. By grimacing or tightening their faces, they can make a lot of blood come out of a tiny cut which feels no worse than scratching yourself with your finger nail. The other most common question asked about pro wrestling is whether it is real or not. The answer is yes and no. The endings to the matches are pre-determined, so in that way, you might consider it fake. Make no mistake about it though, the violence you see is very real. These men and women are actually being slammed around on the mat, punched (although the facial shots are usually pulled, or fake), kicked, hit in the head with steel chairs, thrown through tables and much more. There really is no way to "fake" being hit in the head with a chair, or slammed through a table, or slammed to the mat. However, this is one very important thing to tell your children, and something that I probably say about ten times a day to my students: The wrestlers are trained to break their falls, and minimize the impact that it has on their bodies. Your children are not and if they try these moves at home, it can result in serious injury or even death. Even though the endings are pre-determined, the violence is very much real. But, and this is a big but, the wrestlers practice and practice for years learining how to take and absorb these serious blows with it doing minimal damage to their bodies. Please, if you remember nothing else from this article, sit down with your kids and tell them this. It may be the one thing that saves their lives when it comes to pro wreslting.