Pro wrestling is slowly but surely creeping its way back into the mainstream. However, the absolute last place I expected to see an article about pro wrestling – let alone a documentary – is the New York Times.

In the NYT Op-Doc “The Aria Of Babyface Cauliflower Brown,” director Tim Grant attempts to convey the art of pro wrestling to people unfamiliar with the art form. He explains:

[…] In the first few minutes after meeting the wrestler Cauliflower Chase Brown, when we happened to share a table with our significant others at a poorly attended dinner party, I realized how wrong I had been about wrestling. “It’s storytelling,” Chase told me. “There’s more to it than people realize.” He drew comparisons to classical Greek theater, Shakespeare and, most notably, philosophy, his area of study at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. He talked about concepts of truth and the factors that make a character good or evil. The role of catharsis and how to understand a crowd. How wrestling, at its best, is the closest form of theater to jazz. I felt appropriately called out for my judgments of wrestling over the years, understanding that I had reserved the power of story to acclaimed films and other “higher forms” of art as approved by cultural authorities. I had become a snob.

How many of you have known someone like Grant or felt judged for being a fan of pro wrestling? I don’t hide my fandom at all, but I’ve also had people literally laugh at me and even call me a child when I told them I watch pro wrestling. I guess they just don’t get it.

Watch grant’s op-doc below – it features Matt Hardy!

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