Wrestling and Accessibility?! What The…

Hold on. Let me explain…

For me, nothing beats the thrill of being at the edge of your seat as your favorite wrestling superstar is about to pin his opponent. This, along with the interesting and at times weird storylines, are the things that have made me tune in to the weekly shows dished out by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). I’ve been a fan of this wrestling brand since I was a kid. Ah, I even remember the time when it was called World Wrestling Federation…those were the days.

In addition to being a long-time WWE fan, I, as you can see, am also an advocate of accessibility. And with this in mind, I was elated when I realized that, as strange as it may seem, wrestling–in all its body-slamming glory–demonstrates a major principle of accessibility.

How Does Wrestling Demonstrate a Major Principle of Accessibility?

Here is what I’ve observed:

People who cannot hear the show’s audio can still follow the matches by watching the on-screen events. This is because the cameras always follow the two opponents whether they are in the ring or are bringing the brawl outside the arena.

At the same time, people who cannot see the on-screen action can still understand the sequence of events through the statements made by the commentators. Through the ringside commentators, persons who cannot see would also still know who among the two competitors is getting the upper hand and what signature move is currently being done by the winning opponent. Oftentimes you can even hear the sound made when a wrestler slams his opponent down the ring canvas.

These components enable the wrestling show to provide information and entertainment to most persons, regardless of whether they can only see the show or they can only listen to it.

That is one of the main principles of accessibility. An accessible form of information is made such that everyone can understand and appreciate it, regardless of whether they lack one ability or their abilities are complete.

And the great thing about it is WWE didn’t need to provide special features in order to achieve this, since their shows were simply made that way.


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