Five Ways To Save Olympic Wrestling
The International Olympic Commission have decided they know more about physical competition than the Ancient Greeks. Which is weird, because we don’t remember any IOC member states attacking each other in the nude but for a couple sharp things.
It would be unfair of us to mock the IOC as a bunch of pansies without evidence, so they’ve given us some, because at the first sign of any manly competition the IOC ran away. They voted by secret ballot to eliminate wrestling from the Olympics. Because if you were about to piss off every wrestler in the world you’d do it secretly too.
Wrestling is one of the original Olympic sports, back when you fought near-naked against men who spent the rest of the year trying to kill you, because the Greeks were better at every kind of passion. It’s the purest way two people can compete without converting themselves into pure energy and thinking at each other.
We have five suggestions which make more sense.
1. Drop “Equestrian”
The cut has been presented as a sensible cost-cutting measure, an excuse immediately revealed as bulls**t by the fact they kept Equestrian. “Equestrian” is another name for “Dressage”, which is another name for “horse dancing”, and now you know why they have two fake names. The same reason demons do: to prevent people from learning their true nature and dismissing them.
You could host wrestling for the cost of that suit. The competitors could use their stables and probably eat the same amount too.The idea that horse dancing is a core sport while wrestling isn’t is proof that zombies don’t exist, because otherwise the entirety of Sparta would rise to show Europe what eating horse meat really looks like. The only thing the Ancient Greeks used horses for was riding to kill other men all around, or riding because there were only men all around.
The whole point of the Olympics is demonstrating human ability. Can you spot the problem with equestrian? The only time people get together to award each other prizes on how much physical labour they made other things do is when all the prison guards meet in one place so that Steve McQueen can burst in and kill them. If we’re going to have a sport based on humans riding other things to do all the work, it should now be something awesome like jet-boxing.
2. Threaten Table Tennis, Then Drop Soccer
Wrestling wasn’t one of a wronged array of excellent sports. The previous list of “core sports” had 26 entries, and the new one has 25. Wrestling was the only one cut. Football wasn’t. Table tennis wasn’t. And we would really, really like to see both of those sports locked in a room with wrestling to explain that. Let all three demonstrate their mighty Olympian skills.
We understand that there many reasons for table tennis to remain (pretty much every person living between Chengdu and Tokyo). But Olympic football is the only globally televised wooden-spoon event. We already have a World Cup for football (or “soccer” if you’re one of those people who plays football with your hands), and it’s already one of the most televised events in existence. Entire countries shut down based on World Cup matches, and those players aren’t in the Olympic. Creating an Olympic event which doesn’t feature the best in the world is embarrassing to everyone involved.
So threaten table tennis, relent, then drop football during the backlash, which will honestly be a relief for everyone on both sides of the argument.
3. Combine it with Weightlifting
The Olympics is a living museum of things the human body doesn’t have to do anymore. Strength has been rendered obsolete by the forklift, but we still watch weightlifting because there’s something amazing about world-class simulated constipation.
Unfortunately it’s only amazing once. After that the entire event could be replaced with two gifs: one of a successful lift, another of a drop, and write the size of the weight on top. A series of names, numbers, and the words WIN or FAIL. This is the only Olympic coverage which could be entirely replaced by a Twitter feed. The solution is simple: merge it with wrestling. Weightlifting will get a lot more interesting when the weights are trying to lift you back, and every wrestling match becomes a David and Goliath story of skill versus X kilograms of human hydraulic lifting piston. The combined sport will get a lot more attention when every day is a highlight rule of international suplexes.
4. Add It To The Pentathalon
Some outraged voices were demanding that the Modern Pentathalon be dropped instead, but that’s stupid. Modern Pentathalon is already the most efficient sport in the games. Pentatheletes compete in pistol shooting, fencing, a 200 m freestyle swim, jumping horses over obstacles, and a 3 km cross-country run. That’s the closest we can come to Olympic James Bonding. If there was any justice we’d drop the separate “core” sports of Shooting, Fencing, Equestrian instead. That way we could keep Pentathalon and Wrestling twice and still cut one sport overall.
Those are events we can do without. The original Olympic events were based on warfare, as city-states showed off how buff their soldiers were to avoid future conflicts. Nowadays the only such event would be “nuclear weapon ownership” and the few countries capably of playing would spend all their time making sure no-one else could enter. Archery has been rendered obsolete by shooting, and Olympic shooting is useless as a combat skill without Olympic “not standing up in plain sight wearing brightly colored clothing”
Fencing depends on the your enemy agreeing not to use anything more advanced than swords, then also agreeing not to use any swords which actually work for attacking people. Fencing is how people prove they’d win a fight against an aggressive birthday balloons. While two people wrestling is the one combat art people still regularly use. And the Olympic stage features far more technical skill than 2 am on the street after closing time.
Pentathalon is one of the few Olympic events to produce fully upgraded human beings instead of single-purpose muscle support systems. The only way it could kick more ass is if they tackled each other, and it just so happens we have a sport based entirely on tackling in need of a home. Change the finish line of the run into a wrestling ring, and Royal Rumble the contestants as they arrive. Because that’s what the original Greek Olympic Pentathalon did anyway. Sure, you’ll have to change their name to sexatheletes, but once all the single women (and men) of the world watch these contestants manifest their latent Bourne identity followed by Aquaman, Errol Flynn, Prince Charming, the Flash, and then sweatily grapple in a row, that will be literally true.
5. The Ultimate Olympic Competition
Wrestling isn’t the only victim of this idIOCy. They’re saying that wrestling, baseball, squash, karate, sport climbing, wakeboarding, wushu and roller sports should fight it out for an Olympic event. We suggest that they fight it out AS an Olympic event. They’ll go from seven of the least-viewed events to the most popular sport of all time! It’ll be Thunderdome and Rollerball and pretty much every WWE pay-per-view simultaneously!
It’ll also solve pretty much every problem with all of those sports: real wrestling will compete with giant Americans pantomiming at each other, baseball players will actually have to move around for their money more than once a day, squash players will finally be cured of thinking they’re achieving anything, karate will kick ass because that’s what it’s for, the climbers will set record times as they try to escape the carnage, wakeboarding will be entirely purged of hippies, wushu will also kick ass (while saving priceless Ming vases which comically ended up in the event), and Rollerball will rapidly evolve into a real thing.
Luke McKinney watches the new Halo series and mocks The Craziest Scientific Theories of U.S. Politicians. Following him on Twitter @LukeMcKinney, where he responds to every single tweet.
For more Olympic insanity, check out The 4 Most Unsporting Olympic Medalists in History. And if that’s not enough unchecked muscularity, behold The True Tragedy of He-Man!