Friday, March 18, 2022

Is Sherlockiana like Pro Wrestling?

 I always wanted to be a pro wrestler.

There are several factors against my pursuing that line of work: a.) Have never been athletic in the least, neither muscular or capable of long-term exertion. b.) Big fear of physical injury. c.) The smell of a locker room is something I can live without for the rest of my days. Yet it just looks like so much fun when you take out the physical factors: Storylines, promos, and just the chance to rant, rave, and shout in public.

I always wanted to be a Sherlockian, too. And I don't think those two desires are completely unrelated.

In fact, I might propose the thought that Sherlockiana is pro wrestling with words.

Instead of "sports entertainment," something like "scholarship entertainment."

Like pro wrestling, where we often see real athletes from some other sport or Olympic event cross over into the staged contests of the entertainment, so to do we often see real academics cross over into the less serious works of Sherlockian fun. And just as pro wrestling actually requires real athletic ability combined with a flair for the dramatic to hit its peak, Sherlockiana at its finest requires real literary skills mixed with showmanship.

The research that goes into working up even the silliest of Sherlockian talks matches the actual hours of training that go into building up a body for a wrestling match. Two masters of either art can be as entertaining talking up their disagreement as they might actually staging a contest. And, as with wrestling, some of the most skilled, reliable workers never attain superstar status, yet stick around for a very long time, seen by the those who care enough to actually look.

Sometimes it seems like we're dominated by a single brand, yet there are a legion of smaller outfits out there keeping the heart and soul of the thing alive. Both endeavors have hit a point where breaking kayfabe (or not playing the Game) isn't as concerning as it might have been in years past. Adults tend to know the joke to each pretty well. Egos can get in the way, petty disputes happen, but overall there remains a community that often can think of itself as an extended family.

But that applies to most fandoms. 

There is just something about the mixture of reality and fantasy in wrestling that will always remind me a little bit of Sherlockiana. And as with Sherlockians who are also Trek fans, I know there are enough Sherlock-and-wrestling combo fans out there that it's not just me with an overlap.

Do we need bigger title belts in Sherlockiana? Something you could strut into a banquet room, wearing it around your waist or holding over your head? I suspect there are a few Sherlockians out there who aren't into wrestling but would still cherish the opportunity for such a garish display of their Sherlockian accomplishments. And I can think of at least one entertaining Sherlockian whom I could see holding a microphone and putting them in their place as they did.

Usually, we try to be a bit more mild-mannered in these circles. But every now and then, the glasses do come off, the dress shirts get ripped open, and . . .  well, the fun starts.

Yeah. I never needed to be a pro wrestler. I've got Sherlock Holmes.

No comments:

Post a Comment