First of all, I should say that I am not a self-loathing wrestling fan. I love wrestling more than just about anything in my life. I proudly wear my wrestling t-shirts and hoodies (and Seth Rollins wristbands). Just about everyone I know is aware of how much I love wrestling. Moreover, I try not to judge how wrestling fans react live in arenas because I don’t believe in “boo the heel, cheer the face” doctrine. Wrestling would not have reached many of the strong periods that it has if people reacted differently than how they were actually feeling. With that said, there are types of fans that do annoy me and I thought I would share it for documentation purposes.
Annoying Fan Type #1: Fans who disrespect the performers.
There was a Raw after Wrestlemania a few years ago where the fans made sexual references to the women wrestlers based on who they were dating at the time. That was a bad moment or wrestling fans and the apex of disrespect. There are also the fans who chant for announcers, “CM Punk”, “Randy Savage”, “Rusev Day” and any one of a number of chants that are not about the wrestlers in the ring. Let’s not forget the beach balls.
I am the first to say that the company should be the ones to get people engaged in what is going on in the ring. At the same time, there are three things about that. The first is the wrestlers work hard (for the most part) and it is not ideal that the fans “go into business for themselves.” The second is that silence also sends a message and is not as disrespectful. The third is that this is my list and my visceral reaction to people engaging in beach ball antics and random chants is “that’s disrespectful.” I am not saying (other than what happened on that one night after Wrestlemania in the women’s tag match) that the chants cannot be justified, I am saying that they annoy me.
Annoying Fan Type #2: “You’re just a basement dwelling, Bullet Club t-shirt wearing virgin.”
I have written about this before. There is something to be said for the “elitist fan” who cannot wait to tell people how much they love NJPW or PWG or some other non-WWE promotion. Yes, that can be annoying….but they are not even on my list. It might be partial bias because I have followed NJPW regularly for the past 14-15 months and I really enjoy it. Moreover, I am starting to get tired of people ranting about WWE without giving other promotions a chance.
The above preamble in mind, the type of fan who truly annoys me is the one who wants to take shots and judge someone personally because they seek out non-WWE wrestling. First and foremost, to a certain degree many wrestling fans are nerds or geeks…and there is nothing wrong with that. Simply watching the most mainstream product does not make one immune to that (nerd or geek) distinction. Secondly, as I noted in my Bullet Club post from a while back, I do not understand the idea of shaming someone for liking wrestling enough to seek out non-WWE versions of it. Granted, sometimes the shaming is in response to an elitist, but that does not make it right. Moreover, it seems just liking a different promotion from WWE is cause for ridicule. I have seen people insulted simply for praising other promotions in juxtaposition to WWE. I have seen people insulted simply for praising non-WWE promotions.
Even taking away the wrestling angle of it, there is just something wrong with taking these types of shots at people. Either it’s (the people being “loser virgins”) not true and even if it is…it’s no one’s business what someone’s personal life is like other than the people involved closely with the person. This idea of wrestling fans making fun of people who like wrestling is…you know what…it’s disappointing. That is the best way to put it.
Annoying Fan Type #3: “I” and “Should”
There is no connection to I and should when it comes to wrestling analysis. I’ll just say upfront that what I look for in wrestling analysis is for someone as best as he or she can to speak for the fans. I’m have little interest in the “I don’t like this so it’s bad” approach to discussing wrestling. That is what I mean by “I” and “should”. I see it so often, someone on a YouTube video or a podcast saying “I don’t like this, Company X should do that.” That is not how it works and to me that’s a good thing. The better approach is to say “I don’t like this, I wish Company X would do that instead.”
“Should” in wrestling comes when there is something that is obviously going to work or something that is obviously not going to work. Other than that, it is all someone’s opinion on what is good and what’s not. No company “should” do something based on someone’s taste in wrestling. Dalyxman and JD from NY are very much guilty of this approach, but they are not the only ones.
Annoying Fan #4: Those who do not try something else
If a promotion bothers people so much and it’s so bad, then it would be nice if the people who hate it would watch something else instead of ranting about the same company all of the time. Certainly WWE is the organization that comes to mind when I say this.
I acknowledge that out of all of my subjective annoyances, this may be the most subjective. I understand that for some people (like those on YouTube especially), the WWE is where the interest is. Indeed, if the people who post about WWE stopped posting about WWE, then their numbers would go down no matter how good people who watch NJPW think it is…because most wrestling fans here in America do not watch NJPW. I can’t ask someone to do something that is going to cost them in terms of money or exposure. Moreover, NXT is just about universally praised by people who complain about WWE main roster programming so there are some positive videos and there is something to compare WWE’s main roster product to and perhaps the biggest reason for my disillusionment with the constant complaining is that there is no comparison to another product…but if I am being honest there is (NXT).
I’ll compromise my argument even more by saying that I completely understand the idea of a wrestling promotion being like a home team in the sense that if my team is not good, I still watch and support my team…but I am not going to accept that team not being good.
With all of my own counterarguments out of the way, this post is my list of annoyances and people who constantly complain about the WWE without sampling other promotions is something that I have a viscerally negative reaction to. I also am just not a fan of ranting, nitpicking things that don’t matter and the idea of watching something that one does not enjoy. Not to mention the thought that constantly comes to mind that these rants are somewhat manufactured in order to get exposure and in some cases money.
Also people who constantly rant about wrestling sometimes lose perspective. I will admit other than God and some people in my family (two people in my family actually), there is nothing or no one more important to me than wrestling. I am saying that to say if I think someone does not have wrestling in its proper perspective then you know people take their criticism too far. I’ll reference JD from NY’s reaction to Paige’s apparent forced retirement, it did not matter to him because she was in a bad storyline and/or her character was compromised by the Absolution faction (in his opinion). That is so lacking in perspective (and it goes back to #3 on my list) it is not worth elaborating on. What an unfortunate viewpoint.