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Selling Wrestling to the Girlfriend (Help!)


j-storm
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So this could end up being Mission Impossible, but I could do with some help! 

I'm trying to convert the Missus into a fan of Pro Wrestling, or at least be able to stand it. I think her only experience of it has been some really hoaky, see through work so you can imagine her criticisms. 

Any suggestions for what to get her to watch that might sway her? Matches that if you had no idea how Pro Wrestling worked you'd think it was a shoot. 

Got a feeling I'll still enjoy these way more than she will... but still! 

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I turned my ex-girlfriend from a definite non-fan into a girl with the oddest taste in wrestling ever through just watching random bits I thought she'd like, until she found characters or gimmicks that appealed to her. She's a big fan of Kota Ibushi and Handsome Jimmy Valiant, which is a pretty great combination.

I started her off with a Royal Rumble, I think they're usually a good shout. Easy to follow, introduces you to a bunch of characters at once, and usually good fun, and if you go for the right time period can be a bit campy without being hokey. The 1992 Royal Rumble worked for me.

Beyond that, not sure if it would be to your tastes, but my ex got really into CHIKARA - if her criticisms around wrestling are based on its fakeness and naffness, it can help to find something that pretty openly says, "yeah, we know, just run with it". Pretty much the opposite of you looking for stuff that makes you think it's a shoot, but just another take on getting around that problem.

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I'd completely bypass the matches to start with, and show her that Max Landis Wrestling Isn't Wrestling thing from a few years agoi. I don't like Landis massively, but I do appreciate that for a complete non-fan it does provide a really good explanation of the concept. 

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My girlfriend got into wrestling by watching NXT with me. More specifically, the Sami Zayn title win storyline from a couple of years back. She absolutely lapped it up when we watched the title match against Neville. Then the who bit with Kevin Owens after. That golden age of NXT was perfect for getting someone into wrestle. Simple, straight forward, 1-hour shows.

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Royal Rumble is a good shout. Same with Wrestlemania really. I'd go with a modern/the latest one so they can invest in some current characters who aren't dead, retired, fired or doing films. Then see how that goes and perhaps experiment with other companies. Think the British scene has something for everyone these days. 

A good shout for a single match is probably Sasha v Bayley at Takeover Brooklyn 2015. Simple story, awesome action and a big crowd hot as fuck for women's wrestling, which was still very novel at the time. 

Probably avoid anything attitude era-y until they're a lot more acquainted with the stuff. Not the first impression you want to give in this day and age 

Never really bothered to share wrestling with my ex, but I remember she was over my shoulder watching the first Takeover Brooklyn with the Vaudevillains, then same again for Jack Gallagher v Akira Tozawa in the CWC. So she must think wrestling is just a shitload of old-time blokes 

My current partner saw me retweeting a gif of Paul Robinson biting Jack Sexsmith's ugg-booted ankles at the last Progress show and they were very amused and wants to watch stuff with me now. 

Edited by sj5522
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My good lady wife likes watching 'the one that does all the flips and stuff' (also known as Rey Mysterio), but can't abide the long technical matches. She's also obsessed with looking at Roman Reigns, so you could try that approach instead...

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Sasha/Bayley's a good shout.

I wouldn't go with Wrestlemania - when this topic has come up before, I've seen people suggest the Triple H/Undertaker Hell in a Cell match, and I can't think of anything worse to try and sell a non-fan on. It's too caught up in its own hype and too heavy with wrestling melodrama, if you're not already a fan it could turn you right off. Wrestlemania's like that for me - if you don't get caught up in all the pomp and circumstance, it's just everything about wrestling dialled up a notch, and if you already think it's campy and a bit naff, that's not going to help.

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1 hour ago, j-storm said:

I'm trying to convert the Missus into a fan of Pro Wrestling, or at least be able to stand it. I think her only experience of it has been some really hoaky, see through work so you can imagine her criticisms. 

Any suggestions for what to get her to watch that might sway her? Matches that if you had no idea how Pro Wrestling worked you'd think it was a shoot. 

See, I convinced my fiance to go from despising it to tolerating it, to actually quite enjoying it (to the point she came to both WWE UK Championship Live shows with me this weekend) by doing pretty much the exact opposite of what (I think) you are proposing.

Once I'd got her to realise that wrestling is INTENDED to be ludicrous, she turned around on it. What turned her off about it was the idea she had that everyone (fans & performers alike) took it mega seriously while it was plainly ludicrous.

I'm referring exclusively to WWE content, here.

Everyone's different, though.

Edited by Statto
Added (I think) to first paragraph.
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What you need to do is leave her alone with a television and a remote control in her hand for a few hours and after those few hours you walk in, sit down and explain to her that everything she has just watched is fake. TV is fake. So if she has a problem with wrestling then she must have a problem with everything else on TV because everything else is fake too. Wrestlers are actors. They are no different to Eamonn Holmes reading pre prepared questions and the guest giving pre prepared answers. It's no differen than Big Brother where everyone knows what is about to happen before it does. It's no different than Eastenders or Come Dine With Me. It's all planned in advance. It's all acting. It's all a show. It's just there to fill time and fill your day, it's background noise, it's not meant to be taken seriously just like everything else on TV is not meant to be taken seriously. It's just there to entertain you and pass a few hours of your time.

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18 minutes ago, Statto said:

Once I'd got her to realise that wrestling is INTENDED to be ludicrous, she turned around on it. What turned her off about it was the idea she had that everyone (fans & performers alike) took it mega seriously while it was plainly ludicrous.

Absolutely this. I find this is the biggest stumbling block for just about everybody who can't get their heads around wrestling - they just assume that it's taken 100% seriously.

It's a long shot, but if you can get her to come to a show, that's always a good shout. The atmosphere at a good live show can work better to win someone over than anything on the telly.

 

I don't like the "everything on TV is fake" argument. Nothing puts off a potential fan more than someone who's default approach is to be really defensive about the shit they like.

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It doesn't matter that it's true, it's not particularly helpful for the task at hand.

I highly doubt the best way to get your partner into wrestling is by mansplaining the concept of drama to them.

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