Also: I don’t think “bizzare” is a good word to describe the community. “Special” would have been much better.
I love wrestling as a performance, and it is a art, but the cost of it is in the wrestler's bodies, much closer to boxing than football. I can't really love small promotions where they are probably giving themselves serious conditions that will manifest twenty years down the road for less than minimum wage and the vain hope the WWE will scout them.
Played right these guys can reduce the risk significantly because the rules of engagement aren’t guaranteed upon entering the ring. With boxing and football, you have a much more stringent set of rules to follow.
Here's a friend of mine who plays harp and ... -does- did wrestling.
He dislocates his shoulder : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXS-hixeI_4
I think a more positive term might be "specialized".
1 - https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/35777/can-the-wo...
Sub-cultures in the age of like-counters. It looks like some still exist, but you can't see those easy on the web because the have not so many likes and they don't even come up (except you do a special search) on Youtube or Google searches.
Punks not dead. I'm working the door for a show right now.
Maybe this is regional, but "special" can mean "special like special education", that is, mentally disabled.
Just as Landis says, most of wrestling sucks. Its poorly choreographed, the storylines can make no sense (why does a communist boar want to fight a football coach?), or straight depressing (people well past their prime, ala Mickey Rourke's character in The Wrestler).
However, there is something magical to having the empathetic bound with an indie wrestler. You know that are doing for the love, because they might be paid $0, even after driving hours to the show. In Mick Foley's books, he talks about how he slept in his car eating a tablespoon of peanut butter to train at a particular school.
In addition, its story driven, much like any soap opera. Characters come and go and some stay and change. These characters arcs are the appeal to audience members, but they take longer levels of commitment to develop. Once they are there, its near impossible to remove the need to keep up with the story, even on a minimal level. I don't watch RAW every Monday, but I still make sure to check /r/SquaredCircle on Reddit for the latest news/videos.
In one podcast, I recall Shawn Michaels (former wrestler, now a born again Christian) talk about how wrestling consumers very, very similar to Christian consumer. In his example, he was promoting a Christian redemption movie (The Resurrection of Gavin Stone) he stared in. It doesn't necessarily have to be the worlds greatest, but they will spend money on it because it explicitly it supporting one of the consumers' major interests.
Plus, who doesn't think some of the moves just LOOK BADASS?!
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYvMOf3hsGA
I really dislike when the performers itself treat it like a joke or don't take it seriously. We all know it's a story and not a real athletic competition, but watching all the fourth-wall breaking, winking, nudging and general silliness that goes on with a lot of indie stuff truly leaves me be-wildered. Even if the performers treat it as a joke, it's still incredibly dangerous and taxing on the body. So you have performers making no effort to suspend our disbelief while in reality they're injuring themselves just the same.
I'm generally impressed with how, if done correctly, you can maintain the emotional connection that is often referred to as "suspension of disbelief" while making the unreality explicit.
Wrestling has its own set of "in-universe" realities that we the audience are conditioned too. If they're adhered too, and everything makes sense in the logic of that framework, I find it easy to suspend disbelief... provided of course I care about the conflict.
Equivalently, it's the only form of fiction which some people think isn't "real". Try this on for size: "You know movies aren't real, right?" Can you seriously imagine anyone saying that? It would be utterly absurd. Yet in discussions of wrestling, it's par for the course.
A fun way to make sure you aren't invited back to parties is to convince those people that you genuinely believe the UFC is a work while pro-wrestling is a legitimate competition.
The adult fans might know it's fiction; children are still figuring out where that line sits.
Arguably the largest part of this illusion "kayfabe" has been dead for years and years - everyone knows wins and losses are predetermined. That doesn't stop promotions from using wrestling news and social media to blur the lines of what's real and fake when it comes to contracts, injuries, and alliances.