Pro wrestling isn’t just body slams and violence — it’s also art

Professional wrestling has gotten a bad rap as neither being a respected sport nor form of entertainment. To most, the image of wrestling may still be beefed-up, baby-oiled behemoths like Hulk Hogan or John Cena competing in staged fights, or the over-the-top, spandex-clad comedy theatrics seen in Netflix’s “Glow.”

Pro wrestling’s merits as a legitimate sport have long been debated, but can this curious confluence of characters and Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics be considered art?

In the 1950s, a French philosopher likened wrestling to theater — the staged spectacles acted out in the ring presenting an allegory for good versus evil.

In modern day, critics have compared wrestling’s dramatic storylines to the televised soap opera. Wrestling is a well from which wider culture has long drawn, but has given little credit.

Take, for example, Hollywood plucking Dwayne Johnson from the wrestling ring and ascending him to the top of the box office.

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