Pile Driver Investigative Journalism Uncovers Pro Wrestling Underbelly

Pile Driver: Investigative Journalism Uncovers Pro Wrestling Underbelly, Saab Lofton, Las Vegas City Life
Choreographed Pro wrestling matches still fulfill fans’ cathartic needs. “In a world constantly consumed with violence, pro-wrestling is the only sane, logical path to conflict resolution,” explains Saab Lofton in Las Vegas City Life. “Unfortunately, mankind’s political imagination has yet to evolve enough to acknowledge this, let alone explore its possibilities in depth.” Not sold by Saab’s argument? Then read Sex, Lies, and Headlocks (Crown, $24) by Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham. In their history of pro-wrestling, the authors prove that the underbelly of this stigmatized pastime is much more creative, diligent, and ingenious than we think. Saab, as well as Assael and Mooneyham, argues that the fakeness of pro-wrestling is in fact what makes it so advanced. Because it is choreographed, wrestling is the most nonviolent sport. Also, the scripted fights dilute all tension and suspense, which can lead to the sort of violence and riots that the more family-friendly soccer often causes. And the stories–both in the ring and in the post-match locker room, are “on par with a George Lucas and Walt Disney.” So Saab must not have been too surprised when an Iraqi vice president suggested that Bush and Hussein end their battle with a duel in order to save American and Iraqi citizens–it’s cathartic and problem-solving.
–Abbie Jarman
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