Vince McMahon often says WWE is "making movies, pal." WWE is not wrestling, but has instead become sports entertainment, creating a universe where anything can happen, even if it might defy logic.
Cut to this article.
Over the last two decades, the way WWE has shot its product has changed dramatically. Once focused on the action with only a handful of camera cuts has now become a more "cinematic" presentation where fans see multiple angles of the same shot, catch crowd reactions, and flat out miss spots.
Making movies, pal.
But which movie is WWE making?
There are two famous wrestling movies. Only two, in the entire existence of wrestling movies. Don't debate me on this, I review movie wrestlings as part of my "job."
The first is The Wrestler, a critically acclaimed film that received Oscar nominations and helped revitalized the career of Mickey Rourke.
The second is Ready To Rumble, a film that I absolutely love and believe should have received Oscar nominations, but helped kill WCW.
The main event of The Wrestler sees Randy "The Ram" Robinson battle "The Ayatollah." The match ends with Robinson being suspended in midair. You are left to draw your own conclusions on what happened next. Think of it like The Sopranos except better because you only invested two hours into the movie, not six seasons.
The match lasts five minutes and features 36 camera cuts for an average of 7.2 camera cuts per minutes.
On the other side of the spectrum, Ready To Rumble is main evented by Jimmy "The King" battling Diamond Dallas Page in a triple cage match. For those that don't know what a triple cage match is, it's a cage...on top of another cage....WHICH IS ON TOP OF ANOTHER CAGE! And then the World Title is suspended from the ceiling.
The match lasts eight minutes and 16 seconds and features 298 camera cuts for an average of 36.05 camera cuts per minute.
As a bonus, I also watched Cockroach Mask vs. Dragon George, which is the main event of My Dad Is A Heel Wrestler. This film was not included in the original research, but let this be a lesson in data; the more you have, the better your points will be.
Cockroach Mask looks mysteriously like Hiroshi Tanahashi under a mask while Dragon George is eerily similar to Kazuchika Okada. They even work a similar match to the famous Okada vs. Tanahashi matches.
The bout between Dragon George and Cockroach mask lasts eight minutes and 10 seconds and features 157 camera cuts for an average of 19.2 per minute.
As a well-respected research journalist, I watched Randy Orton vs. Keith Lee from WWE Payback to see how many camera cuts were part of the match. I chose this match because it lasts six minutes and 40 seconds, so it's a nice average between the main events of The Wrestler and Ready To Rumble.
In six minutes and 40 seconds, Randy Orton vs. Keith Lee had 133 camera cuts for an average of 19.9 per minute.
In conclusion, WWE is not making the greatest wrestling film of all-time nor are they making the most critically acclaimed wrestling film of all-time.
They are making a film that appeals to a certain segment of the audience who enjoys reading subtitles and must suspend disbelief in thinking real people are playing fictional characters.
Thanks to Carlos Toro for his help with the math. If the math is wrong, blame the education system.