Jacob Waring at Bleacher Report argues pro-wrestling should not be considered fake just based on the sheer amount of skill and athleticism necessary to perform the moves. Many wrestlers have been seriously injured during matches over the years. It is clear that pro wrestling requires the same sort of fitness and skill as any other sport.
There is no room for error, as many complex wrestling moves can result in serous injuries or death.
Joe Burgett elaborates on that point and says since pro-wrestling is very much a real thing, and it essentially functions as a sport, it should be considered a sport. It's true the fights are choreographed and planned ahead of time, but there's no way to know who will actually win. Like with all sports there's a sense of who will win, but ultimately it's impossible to know until it actually happens.
I think wrestling is the placebo to sports, its just like a sport in every way, like a placebo is to medicine. It looks like a pill acts like a pill, and you take it and you believe it works, just like wrestling. We watch it, and it is just like any other sport, when it seems different.
Sure you watch it and like it, but is it just like basketball or football? Just like a plecebo, you can't tell a difference. When you watch it, it will always be the same, just not. Surely people who understand wrestling can tell you that.
People who have never seen a wrestling match judge it, and say its fake because they heard it was. When in all actuality they have never known one bit about it. If they were to watch it and actually see an entire show, they would see it as any other sport.
Critics say if you have to make that many excuses to explain why pro wrestling is a sport, it's probably not a sport. Pro wrestling has a lot of aspects which appear to be a sport, but people still can't get over the fact that it's a choreographed and pre-planned event. Overtime in basketball games aren't predetermined to make a better storyline. Extra innings in baseball aren't planned to inject excitement into a game. Sports needs randomness and chance to have real competition.
It's fair to say pro wrestlers are athletes. They do plenty of athletic things. But at the end of the day, they're essentially performing a play—albeit an athletic play.
It is a scripted and performed event much like your favorite play, movie or television show. So in retrospect, the WWE is no different from the Jersey Shore...except for much better actors, athletes and fights.
Professional wrestling takes the notion of sport and scripts it... kind of like a sports movie. Even though the outcome is predetermined, that doesn't mean there aren't qualities of "sport" involved. Poker is on ESPN every day. Is that a sport?
It ultimately comes down to whether you can look past the script. Pro wrestling has the same level of competition and athleticism as any other sport—if not more.
Just because there's a script involved it doesn't take away from the competitive environment of professional wrestling. Ask any former wrestler, read an autobiography on a wrestler or use common sense. There is tremendous competition within the WWE. Not performing to the high standards in the ring? "You're Fired". Not getting over with the fans? "You're Fired." Being a nuisance and refusing to be a team player? "You're fired."
But for many people, the fact that it's scripted makes it clearly fake and definitely not a sport.