If pro wrestling is fake and the outcomes are pre-determined, then why do they bother with pre-match stare-downs at all? The point of getting in someone’s face — we understand — is to gain a psychological advantage over the opponent, to intimidate him, to shake his confidence by forcing him to blink first. But why would you need to psyche out or intimidate your opponent if he is actually going to just let you pin him? (or vice versa.)
If the winner is already selected and the fanciest moves are achieved by working together like dance partners, isn’t the pre-match In-Your-Face posing a bit unnecessary? Shouldn’t they spend less time standing around making googly eyes at each other and more time delivering fancy flippy moves and throwing around wild haymakers?
The commentators describing the in-ring action explain to us that an unspoken conversation is being held between the two combatants. I believe an unspoken conversation is actually being held between the two men and the audience.
The point of the stare-down is not really for one man to gain the mental Upper-Hand over the other, but rather to eroticize the match and play up the sexual tension between the men in the minds of the audience. As they stare intimately into each other’s eyes (both stripped to the waist), one man often licking his lips in anticipation, the audience receives an ambiguous message — that they’re either about to fight or fuck, and we would be OK with either outcome.
If the whole point of pro wrestling is to give the viewers an erection, then a pre-match staring contest suddenly makes sense. They aren’t actually trying to intimidate each other — they’re trying to arouse us. This explains why these pose-offs are so common in the pro wrestling ring — just another brand of Eye Candy for the excited audience to suck on.