I was 9 years old, I was watching The USA network, and possible my favorite show. WWE super stars. I can remember it clearly. Jake The Snake Roberts, had Macho Man Randy Savage, tired up in the ropes. Jake took out his King Cobra, and made it clamp down on Macho mans arm. My 9-year-old mind was blow, and my stomach dropped to the ground. I was scared, I was mad, and by god I was crying. I didn’t cry at movies or tv when my hero was hurt or was in danger. See I was always told movies and tv were fake, but wrestling…wrestling was real.
This wasn’t the only time I felt this way, Hogan VS Warrior at mania. What, good guys fighting each other…This is happening? Two of my favorite wrestlers against one another, and I was torn, I watched that match and I was a complete mental mess. Then HBK put Marty through a window, my heart was broken.
I felt those feelings a few more times as teen as I watched The attitude area, but those were more goosebumps and pops of excitement for all the run ins, and returns they did then. I didn’t feel the emotional and heart-break until I was much older.
To make wrestling feel real, the business uses a term called KayFabe, it’s what they used to describe selling an angle or a story as real. Bad guys and good guys never could ride together or seen out together. They had to live the story and characters they played, to sell the story to make people want to pay and see the outcome of an angle. Now most people say KayFabe is dead, well I say it’s still here and is right in our faces and stronger than ever.
Like I said I didn’t feel those feelings like I did when I was a kid, until I was much order, at wrestlemania 30. The build for months, almost over a year was Daniel Bryan, every fan and most of the guys backstage wanted and knew Bryan was the guy, he should be on top. WWE saw other wise, he was to small, constantly getting hurt, or they Chopped it up “to a flash in the pan”. That’s not just the story behind the scenes, that is the story they told on the shows, in the headlines. Daniel Bryan is a B+ player, HHH was the voice of the office and Daniel Bryan and the fans were the voice of the little guy always getting stepped on and over. That is KayFabe, they used what people thought was real, and used it to sell a story.
This wasn’t the only KayFabe they used that night. The best use of KayBe was used mid show, and it gave me the sadness, the anger, and all the feelings I had as a kid. It was when Brock Lesnar best The Undertaker and ended the streak. Now the build wasn’t great, it was short and no story really to it. The end of the match on the other hand…Taker didn’t kick out, the place is silent, they don’t play Brock’s music until one minute after the bell, Heyman jumps in the ring in shock, is it a botch? Did this just happen. Everyone WWE fan watching it, at home, and in the stadium, are going through every single emotion a human can have…then Taker can’t get up, he’s hurt, he’s…he’s human? Yes I know Taker got a Concussion during the match, that’s true. That was in the early part of the match, he Wrestled the whole match, so was he selling the injury at the end? Did Brock go into business for him self? That is still talked about to this day among fans…That is KayFabe, that is KayFabe at its best. We still don’t really know what part of it is real, the outcome socked us, and they used our emotions to make us think someone real happened.
That’s not the only new KayFabe going on, again with Brock just this past mania, we all knew Brock was leaving for UFC. Brock did a Run in at a UFC event, Danna White tweeted he was coming back. They showed Danna in the crowd at mania, we all knew Roman was wining, we knew no one has kicked out the F5 in over a year, we Knew Brock was leaving and Roman was getting the belt. Only, Brock is still here and Roman Lost. That’s KayFabe, it’s not dead people, it just evolved, it’s being told in a modern way.
KayFabe went from a man Making a snake attack a man, or a voodoo witch doctor making green blood pour out of a bad hair piece, an evil undead Wizard fighting his brother he set on fire. Now is contract disputes, and not being big or strong enough. The biggest moments in the last 10 years, the most iconic moments used modern Day KayFabe to draw us in and play with our emotions and make us care. The only reason we think KayFabe Is dead is because we have forgotten what it’s like to be kids and how to separate our critic selfs from our fan selfs.