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Can you remember when or what it was that made you realise the moment/s that these big, muscle bound supermen weren’t really trying to kill each other in there?

I can’t remember the exact point tbh but had been told it was fake in the playground numerous times but refused to believe it but I can remember sitting watching Smack ‘Em Whack ‘Em with my brother & friend and we were calling out which moves were real & which weren’t. There was no way any move from the top rope were fake & I think we established all finishers were legit too.

Right up until the attitude era certain matches or angles would really make me question whether the line into real competition had been crossed, Austin/Bret had me convinced it was real again & I also believed the hate between McMahon & Austin was genuine.

Also any examples of people gleefully informing you ‘it’s all fake, you know’?

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"An eagle-eyed viewer might be able to see the wires. A pedant might be able to see the wires. But I think if you're looking at the wires you're ignoring the story. If you go to a puppet show you can

It's still real to me dammit. 

It's amazing how many of the responses to threads like this are along the lines of "my dad told me it was fake" or "an older kid at school said it was all fixed." Why would you believe those dirt

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The first time I was exposed to it round a mates house, I wasn’t paying much attention. Got in the car and told my dad “Gareth was watching wrestling” and my dad, a boxing fan, scofffed and told me it was fake. Next time I watched wrestling, I actually watched it, and decided I didn’t care if it was fake, I enjoyed it anyway. It was WrestleMania VI.

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I honestly was like 4. 

I used to watch wrestling late at night while my grandad looked after me while my gran was at bingo, he'd chuck it on, tell me it was fake but was no different to fight scenes in TV shows, drink his rum and coke and occasionally be interested in the characters that I started to tell him about as I paid more attention.

Wed always chuck the golf back on before anyone came home as he definitely shouldn't have been letting a 4 year old watch 10pm attitude era RAW.

Had mates telling me that that stuff was fake but the WCW stuff was real was always funny, I guess that was like the previous generation thinking WoS was real for me. 

I think the neurotic side of my brain from an early age kinda realised super quick that if Boxers didn't need to dress up in stupid outfits and talk before fighting, why were all these wrestlers and then I just saw it as "Dancing With Slams" as I've called it over the years. Always respected the level of training it took and lifetime to get in shape, but never really got hoodwinked by it all.

People definitely did try and tell me it was blood capsules and that the steel chairs were styrofoam though, maybe to stop me doing the same thing, who knows.

 

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It was a match between The Mountie and someone, possibly Warlord, where a combination of their timing being off, and the camera being in a position that inconveniently highlighted how those elbows came nowhere near connecting, nor explained why he was reacting to them a full two seconds later that broke the looking glass for me.

Once that happens, everything looks off. "Why is he just stood waiting to be suplexed? He's actually letting Saggs pick him up! They aren't really fighting each other at all!!!"

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It's amazing how many of the responses to threads like this are along the lines of "my dad told me it was fake" or "an older kid at school said it was all fixed."

Why would you believe those dirty liars?

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I remember when I was about 6 or 7 my Mum's friend ripped into me repeatedly for liking wrestling and saying it was fake but I ignored her. Looking back I think she was being a bit of a cunt to be honest. But if it made her feel big to take the piss out of kids then so be it. My parents never brought it up really, didn't care as they just knew I was into it. I think by a certain point I just accepted it wasn't a real sport. I started getting into football when I was about 8 or 9 and wrestling became secondary to that so there was no reason to deny it anymore. 

To be honest I still don't see a problem with it being fake. TV shows and movies have protagonists and antagonists, and when watching you get behind the protagonist. When people comment to be now about it being fake, I make the point they admit it is, and I'm not fucking stupid but all the violence scenes in any movie you watch are fake too. Also in action films the good guy almost always comes out on top, there may be the odd exception, in wrestling the bad guy wins quite a lot. 

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21 minutes ago, JNLister said:

It's amazing how many of the responses to threads like this are along the lines of "my dad told me it was fake" or "an older kid at school said it was all fixed."

Why would you believe those dirty liars?

This is sort of how it was for me in the early '90s. My dad would occasionally say it was fake, but more than anything my older brother would - he hated, and still hates, wrestling, so would always put it down as fake and rubbish if it ever came up in conversation. I could put aside my dad saying it, but him saying it over and over again made me doubt it.

At some point, I did some sort of school presentation talking about wrestling. God knows what I actually talked about, as I only caught the odd WWF highlight show on Sky, and while I had my favourites I don't think I ever really had a firm idea of what anyone's character was bar the obvious - Jerry Lawler was a king, Duke Droese was a binman - and certainly wasn't able to follow any proper storylines. That was probably the first time I ever mentioned it at school, though, and other kids and the teacher - from what little I can remember - basically responded with, "it's all fake, though, isn't it?". Apparently wrestling never really took at Walkington County Primary.

So I don't think there was ever any one great realisation or anything, but a couple of years of those persistent doubts eventually made me realise it was all a bit silly. I stopped watching it around '95/'96 for that reason - and because I vividly remember being genuinely freaked out by Goldust - but still caught the odd bit through to '97, as I can remember seeing a clip of Bret Hart getting superkicked out of his wheelchair. My first couple of years at secondary school, before I moved to Jersey, I looked down my nose at people who were into wrestling, despite being in all other respects a massive nerd. But I don't remember it even really being a topic of conversation in '98/'99 at school - I'd overhear the odd person saying "Tombstone Piledriver" or "Stone Cold", but mostly everyone seemed to be into Tomb Raider and South Park far more than ever being fussed about wrestling.

 

I basically bypassed the bulk of the Attitude Era and started watching again in 2000, as all my mates at my new school were into it, and at that point I don't think there was ever any question of whether it was real or not, we all just liked it regardless. Though I was probably briefly a "BUT THE HAZARDS ARE REAL" over-defensive knobber.

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My parents used to tell me it was fake and I didn’t believe them. Just thought they were trying to wind me up. But the first time I saw Triple H hit a someone in the head with a sledgehammer, which may have been 99 when he started using it? That’s when I realised it was fake. Because his opponent didn’t die. I could live with steel chairs. It was the sledgehammer for me. 

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I dunno I sort of just knew I suppose. I never knew the inner workings til I stumbled upon power slam when I was 11 or 12 when the newsagents didn't have my usual raw or wwf magazine in stock. Then my mind was warped by Fin Martin and I became an annoying teenage know-it-all for a few years. 

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57 minutes ago, Nostalgia Nonce said:

It was a match between The Mountie and someone, possibly Warlord,

If this match happened I’d like to see it.

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I don't think I ever thought of it as a legit sport or contest, it was a TV show / thing with action figures, just like Gladiators or Star Wars or Power Rangers. Whether it was 'real' or not didn't matter, just whether it was fun / that guy looked cool or not.

Once I got back into wrestling in a big way in 2000, it was the same story as a lot above - parents telling me it's all fake to try and stop me watching that rubbish. I was well aware and the idea of matches being pre-determined didn't affect my enjoyment at all, but I think I did do the overly defensive "yes, but look at this Ladder Match, you can't fake that" a number of times to try and justify myself. 

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1 hour ago, Shy Dad said:

Had mates telling me that that [WWF] stuff was fake but the WCW stuff was real

This was playground wisdom in 1993 as well. An idea that you'd think wouldn't stand up to scrutiny with wrestlers moving back and forth between them, but then look at guys like Ken Shamrock and Brock Lesnar since then. Maybe we were right after all.

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I think I always knew it was fake, but didn’t know how it was done and the inner workings of how matches are worked and put together until years later, it was all about characters & story.

Whenever there was blood, my mum (who famously “won’t watch anything unless it could actually happen”) always used to say that they used blood capsules. She’d have been overjoyed at finally being right if she saw that segment where the Inner Circle beat up The Young Bucks’ dad

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Mine was more of a gradual process as (given my age and decent level of academic intelligence) it was probably more some incredible levels of suspended disbelief than literally believing.

When I called WrestleCall from the phonebox (just over a minute for a 50p coin) and heard Hogan beat Flair in their first WCW match, I still thought of it as a sport but was certain Flair had been convinced to take a dive.

When Shawn Michaels won the Royal Rumble, I was excited but it wasn't quite the same level of "my man has won the contest" as Flair in 92.

Then at WrestleMania XI just before the Diesel-Michaels match I thought "Well, Jarrett's IC champ and Yokozuna & Owen Hart are tag champs, and I know they aren't going to have Michaels win and all the champions be rulebreakers" and that was the closest thing to a moment of acceptance.

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