A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Message is that violence is funny, brawn is preeminent, humiliation is hilarious, and women are sex toys. Ridiculous "soap opera" scenarios created to heighten drama.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme simulated physical violence (largely without weapons), rarely bloody.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Men and women dress provocatively and pose seductively.
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Some crass language along the lines of "you suck," stronger curse words are bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Cross-promotions seem to be integrated into the show (a movie trailer starring a pro wrestler is introduced by members of the show).
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sporting event-meets-soap opera is brimming with non-stop physical violence, including body slams, headlocks, knees to the groin, smacks, punches, and kicks. The violence, although simulated, usually looks very real, and wrestlers are often injured during matches (though this element is played up only for dramatic effect). The series' comedic elements could convince younger viewers that this kind of violence is innocuous, while, in reality, much of it is choreographed and shouldn't be attempted by untrained people. Via dress and behavior, male and female sexuality is portrayed in an overt, stereotypical manner.
Is It Any Good?
Each episode begins with the lower-ranked wrestlers, whose moves are so obviously choreographed and whose personalities are so relatively dull that it can be difficult for a non-fan to tolerate. As the action progresses, the characters get more compelling, and the wrestling begins to look more realistic, even though it's accompanied by over-the-top mugging at the camera and oh-so-dramatic throes of pain. Professional wrestling has an enormous fan base. As one might assume, the fans are generally young and male, though a glance into the stands at these events, which are filmed live, reveals plenty of women and children in the audience. Fans of the show -- and the genre -- say the personalities (and their intricate, soap opera-like storylines) are what attract them, rather than the fighting, though there have been reports of youths copying showy wrestling moves to tragic ends.
The invention of women's professional wrestling (the Divas) has theoretically put women on the same footing as men in the WWE, but overt sexism and exaggerated machismo is part of the game. Ladies are often used to escort male wrestlers to the ring or pose seductively by the ropes. Characters are so over-the-top that some would say they're poking fun at the personalities they inhabit -- overly macho men, most obviously. But viewers too young or too cynical to tease out the subtleties of this interpretation will see it as simply an outlandish celebration of violence and testosterone.
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Our Editors Recommend
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