While I decided that 2015 was going to be a year of trying new things, one thing I hadn’t anticipated was getting into a new television program. This typically wouldn’t be anything groundbreaking, but it’s not just any show – it’s wrestling. (So sometimes, the ground – or ring – does break.) Shortly before the new year began, my sister and her boyfriend bribed me with homemade pizza from scratch to come to their apartment to watch the WWE’s Monday Night RAW. Food is the most effective way of bribing me, so I went.
Coming from a broadcasting and production background, the bit of WWE programming I’ve seen since then has been some of the most entertaining and fascinating television I’ve seen recently. The development of in-depth, intertwining storylines with so many characters is brilliant, but any programming worthy of airtime will have that. One of my favorite aspects of it is that at some point during the show, one of the superstars references something in the news. A few weeks ago, Jon Stewart even made an appearance on RAW. For kids who probably don’t keep up with current events, it’s a neat outlet for them to hear about things happening in the world. WWE also hosts an annual reading challenge to encourage kids to read, with the grand prize being a trip to WrestleMania, the event of the year. On top of the content and off-screen initiatives, my sister also helped me realize how many anti-smoking commercials are aired during WWE’s programming on other cable channels (i.e. USA and SyFy). As long as children don’t imitate the professionals’ moves like my older brother did on my sister and me when we were younger, it’s hard to argue against it.
Growing up, my sister and I often watched wrestling as it’s what our brother wanted to see. I always hated it. It’s weird to come back years later and see the programming and the larger enterprise for what it really is – and to enjoy it so much.
And in the interest of full disclosure, congratulations to my big sister for landing her dream job! Tomorrow will mark the first time in over two years that we’re not going into work at the same company and while this makes me sad, I couldn’t be more happy and proud.