Kayfabe, wrestling's inner sanctum, preserved the secrets of professional wrestling for years and years. Throughout the 20th century, before a mainstream dormant in popularity experimented beyond the old, protective narrative, nobody ever really took pro wrestling at face value. Perhaps in the 1910s, but that’s about it. They knew it was in some way predetermined; they just didn’t care.
People were in awe of and prepared to accept the illusion, which promoters were mostly prepared to present as something on the level, early, proto-Vince McMahon Jack Pfefer excepted. Wrestling was real if we believed in it, and it's ironic that such an ugly industry was received with such an earnest innocence. It was a bit like Christmas for grown-ups, if Santa Claus was a pill-addicted sociopath.
The rise of the newsletter, and subsequently the internet, allowed the mask to slip—which the performers themselves soon accepted, as the shoot interview circuit in part compensated for the limited avenues in which to make money, post-WWF/E expansion.
“We already knew these you dipsh*t.”
To be clear: we aren’t revealing secrets here. Beyond the mystery of how Kenny Omega’s V-Trigger hasn’t yet drilled through some poor f*cker’s face, there are virtually none left to reveal in this post-smart age.
We instead aim to determine how these secrets remained secrets, what false narratives became prevalent prior to the revelations, and the effect these revelations had on the industry…