Even now, in 2019, a year in which Orange Cassidy wrestles apathetically with his hands in his pockets, and Joey Ryan's penis is protected with the discipline of an All Japan Pro Wrestling 1990s super-finisher, the amorphous, fading concept of 'kayfabe' is staunchly protected within certain circles.
Kayfabe was never a means of preserving the work, because the business was exposed as a predetermined "sham" years before the invention of the Irish whip - a move that in itself reveals the artifice of the racket. Kayfabe was held in reverence because suspension of disbelief drove ticket sales. A wrestler not taking this sacred tenet seriously was akin to seeing a boom mic in the foreground of a feature film; an immersion-breaking distraction that asked too many questions of the process, revealing it as careless and unworthy of investment.
That was then: the now, of best, ******* bouts, draws on a celebration, not concealment, of the performance.
Mainstream wrestling nominally operates within a kayfabe universe, although the concept is used as a dramatic device - so much so that we are effectively through the looking glass...