Why Wrestling Needs To Be Weird

In the world of the WWE, AEW, NXT, and other professional wrestling organizations from across the [...]

In the world of the WWE, AEW, NXT, and other professional wrestling organizations from across the world, there is one constant that I often look back to when I think about my enjoyment of a match or a pay-per-view event: the statement of "Wrestling needs to be weird". Using the Fiend as an example, Bray Wyatt reinvented himself as a man wearing a terrifying halloween mask and hosting a faux Children's Television show as he told audiences who were going to be his next victims within the wrestling ring. There's a reason why this character has sold so much more merchandise than many of the other stars of the WWE and that's because since he is so weird, he is memorable.

Let's do a thought experiment. What are the motivations of some of the heels of the WWE as it stands right now? With the Miz, he has a giant ego and wants to defeat opponents to prove that he's the best in the business. What are Seth Rollins' motivations? Well, he has a giant ego and wants to defeat opponents to prove that he's the best in the business. How about Rusev or Elias or Kevin Owens?

Granted, these wrestlers are different from one another in many aspects, for example Elias has the running theme of always attempting to play a tune before any of his matches while the Miz truly leans into the "Hollywood Superstar" aesthetic, but what the Fiend offers that they don't is unpredictability. His motivations for winning a match play into the depth of his character and you may feel more about a match that he's in because not only are we witnessing a clash between two wrestlers, we're potentially witnessing the supernatural entering the ring.

Throughout the decades of wrestling, both heels and baby faces have brought unique personalities to the table, forming rivalries while simultaneously flipping allegiances and attempting to gain the spotlight. While each wrestler is ultimately attempting to win a match or win a belt, adding a little extra something into the proceedings that include a man wearing a mask akin to Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre or creating videos that document his past lives, ala Matt Hardy, make you feel like you're witnessing a reality outside our own and thus make wrestling that much more memorable.

Looking at the case of the Undertaker for example, when you look at his past, you see a man that walks in both worlds of this idea. He was presented as something of an immortal force originally, a grim reaper that just happened to be in the wrestling ring, whose origins dealt with mad cults and supernatural forces beyond our understanding. When we think back to the match that the Undertaker had against Brock Lesnar, how much more memorable would it have been if Undertaker's spirit had jumped into Brock after he was defeated, causing him to be the actual "spiritual successor" to the Dead Man? The Undertaker's skills in the ring can't be denied of course, but it's also the creation of this unique personality that transcends the boundaries of our world that gave the wrestler such longevity.

As we wrap up this article, I would be remiss if I didn't point at the first two seasons of Lucha Underground as a perfect example of the point I'm trying to make. Whenever I try to sell my friends on professional wrestling in general, I point to this series because the television show that appeared on the El Rey Network felt more like a comic book universe than it did the typical matches we saw on a regular basis from the likes of the WWE. You had dragon men fighting alongside time travelers in a men's bathroom with nunchucks in a bid to win a belt that granted the wearer immortality.

Not every wrestler needs to be an immortal fiend hell bent on avenging their own deaths, but hey, it couldn't hurt.