Is pro wrestling an art or a sport? It’s a debate that’s plagued the business since its inception—and a topic that pops up on Twitter at least once a month. Old-school industry stalwarts maintain that even though the outcomes of fights are pre-determined, the athleticism required in pro wrestling relegates it to the realm of sports. Newer generations of grapplers, on the other hand, defend the narrative elements inherent to the medium and reify storytelling as the main feature of the entertainment, placing pro wrestling in the domain of art.
And then there’s RJ City. The 31-year-old, Toronto-based wrestler and stand-up comedian won’t take a firm stance on the endless art vs. sport dialogue, but he’s more than happy to remind you that it’s all fucking fake.
Although discussing the “fakeness” of wrestling has been a taboo within the wrestling world, RJ is one of many in a new generation of performers who are bucking tradition and calling out the charade implicit in their work. On social media, RJ can regularly be seen mocking wrestlers’ outdated commitment to kayfabe, alongside cutting psychological insights that often point to the fragile masculinity of his opponents.