Or more beautiful than you understand, at least.

The woman in this clip is Victoria, long-time bad guy in the WWF/WWE.  Her character has always been a psycho bully, beating up the more popular women and never really being a fan favorite.  She was never the most popular performer in the business, but she worked hard, made her opponents look good, and always gave the fans a great show.  Last week, she retired.  The clip below takes place during a commercial break, meaning that it wasn’t televised for the folks at home.

What you see here is one of the moments that only wrestling can do — and I’ll repeat that — ONLY wrestling can do this.  This woman has played this character for years, and here, in her retirement, she drops her character to thank the fans and get a well-deserved moment in the sun.  Important things to look for:

  1. The “Please Don’t Go” chant that starts at about 1:07 — wrestling fans show appreciation like no one else.
  2. The way she’s limping around the ring — the story of the match she just fought was that her opponent had messed up her leg, so she’s selling that injury, even in her one moment in the sun.  She’s making her opponent look better, even though she’s not fighting anymore.
  3. The brief interaction with the little girls at about 1:51 and 1:58 — there’s some true emotion in that, because you know that no matter how effed up the view of femininity that wrestlers have to present sometime, there’s pride in being a strong, hard-working woman, and to have a young girl thank you for it and tell you that she loves you or that you’re awesome — you win at life.  Really.
  4. And then, the moment, the killer, the thing that actually has my eyes all kinds of misty as I write this, it happens at 2:38 or so — she takes a long, deep final bow (something that you never really get to do in wrestling), soaks up the cheers, and then…at 2:45, she dives right back into her character, tearing at her hair, playing the crazy evil psycho one last time, but this time, instead of stirring up the crowd to hate her, to fear her, to want to see her lose…she stirs the crowd to applaud her career.

Seriously.  It’s poetry.

(I hope it doesn’t get taken down.)