Last week's Fightful Podcast with Shane Helms took a look at the confusing rules of professional wrestling.
One that they focused on was the practice of wrestlers removing the CRT monitors from the announce table before putting their opponent through it. It's one of those idiosyncrasies you notice all the time, but never think to really ask "Why do they do that?" You can watch an instance of this little quirk by clicking this link.
Helms know what it looks like to the viewing audience: “Here’s the way it comes off … ‘You wanna hurt the guy, but you don’t wanna hurt him too bad, so let’s move those monitors out of the way.’"
But he says, there's a very different reason for taking care when Chokeslamming or Powerbombing or Pedigreeing a 250 pound man through the announce table. "Those monitors are expensive, that’s what we’re told. We’re told the same thing about the microphones, the monitors and the cameras—you damage them, that’s more than a couple hundred dollars there. Those things cost thousands of dollars. In WWE, and TNA, those things are expensive as hell, that’s top notch equipment there, so if you damage them, they have every right to take it out of your paycheck. But then again, you’ll see the guys take (the monitors) out, and half the time they f*cking throw them down anyway, they’ll take it out so the guy don’t get hurt, but then they’ll (throw) it down. The monitors aren’t as (expensive) as the big cameras are, the cameras you see with the guys on their shoulders, those things are high quality.”
Some have called for a uniform kayfabe reason to be given, perhaps the suggestion of a fine being levied if a monitor ends up broken. That fine might be extended to other pieces of technology, like cameras or microphones. Helms volunteered that this pretend fine suggestion actually exists in real life.
“I’ve never gotten fined, but I know guys who’ve gotten fined for breaking microphones. Because the guy will say some bullsh*t and then slam the mic down real hard. You need microphones on wrestling shows. Especially for you indie guys out here, indie promoters will tell you, you got guys cutting a promo and the whole time you’re just sweating: ‘Don’t throw my microphone down.’ Because you don’t want to go waste money on a microphone, anyway.”
You can watch the entirety of the podcast in the video at the top of the page.