Clipped From The Morning Herald

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 - 'Hey, Mister, Is Wrestling Fake?' By JOHN LOTT...
'Hey, Mister, Is Wrestling Fake?' By JOHN LOTT There were half a dozen kids sitting in the row of Section C at the National Guard Armory Tuesday night, and when the gargantuan Luke Graham strutted towards the ring, they began wailing in unison "Crazy Luke, Crazy Luke Crazy Luke." Catcalls were evident from some of the older members of the audience, too. Graham was the of course, and he played the role to the hilt. Instead of walking up the center aisle to the ring, Graham sauntered around the edge of the upsetting a few chairs en route with deliberate carelessness. He climed into the ring with a haughty ignoring the taunts of the crowd. Then Ricky Sexton, the "good guy" of the ambled briskly up the center aisle, accompanied the usual cheers for the battle-scarred hero. Graham, his rhinestone - studded warmup jacket glistening in the arena lights, met Sexton and the referee in center ring. As they went through the usual pre - match discussion, the youngster next to me asked the inevitable question: question: "Hey, mister, do you think wrestling's fake?" I smiled weakly, shook my head, and gazed again at the two giants at mid-ring. "I'm afraid it is," I replied. "That's what I thought," the kid said, with knowing nod. Then Graham and Sexton went at it, and, traditional sagas of good vs. evil, the advantage vacillated from Bad Guy Graham to Good Guy Sexton. Amid the screams and catcalls from the typically - rabid audience, the hefty grapplers groaned and moaned in submission, then roared and during their respective moments of triumph. On one occasion, Graham, the larger of two, was in a supine position in one corner, Sexton mounted the ropes and descended upon Luke's midriff, much to the delight of the fans. What the fans didn't notice -- or maybe did, and simply didn't care -- was that Sexton's maneuver involved stiffening one leg and slamming it forcefully on the mat to produce a reverberating thud. The other leg, which delivered the assault Graham's person, was bent and touched flesh so lightly. As the tide turned in favor of the villain, held Sexton against the corner post with a and proceeded to pummell his victim with what appeared to be a closed fist. The fist, however, struck Sexton's jaw; Graham's other hand absorbed the punches, while Sexton screamed in feigned Graham won, with a body press in 12 and the fans booed and hissed madly. In the match, the villain won again, and the audience clearly disgruntled over the whole affair. "Golly," said tha kid next to me. "All the guys are gonna win tonight." But only in Shakespearean tragedies do heroes meet final exile, and this was no Shakespearean tragedy. The heroes triumphed in the remaining matches, and the crowd went home happy, assured that good and truth, as always, would win out in the end. It is a foregone conclusion that the professiona wrestling game is more entertainment than sport and that a certain amount of physical chicanery be assumed by even the most loyal afficianado Throughout the evening, the kids next to me at the more obvious bits of theatrics, but they the rest of the crowd were more than satisfied the loud noises produced by feet, elbows and 250- pound bodies striking the canvas. Like a movie, in which the elements of tnie-to-life drama are acted out by paid performers, performers, professional wrestling is an imitation. It is caricature of sport, in which the real drama intensity of combat is experienced only by the audience. And yet, like any other sport, professional wrestling attracts many diehard followers because it establishes an oversimplified, ideal picture of life's problems. A false picture, admittedly, but the Continued On Past 15 Col 4

Clipped from
  1. The Morning Herald,
  2. 30 Dec 1966, Fri,
  3. Page 14

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  • Clipped by glclow – 15 Apr 2013

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