Tag Archives: Mustafa Samiullah

My Life as a Wrestling Fan-Part 2

Part 1

Q: Who is my favorite wrestler of all-time?

A: Bret Hart

Q:  Favorite Storyline?

A: Hart Foundation versus Steve Austin

Q: Favorite Event(s)

A: Wrestlemania 17, Canadian Stampede, Backlash 2000, Wrestlekingdom 11, WrestleKingdom 12, Dominion 2018

Q: Worst Moment?

A: This is tough, part of me just wants to go with something in the fictional universe so I don’t have to pick between real-life tragedies…I’ll pick from one of the real-life tragedies and say the Benoit murder-suicide because a child died.

Q: Why do you and what do you like (about) wrestling

A: In Part 1 I discussed my other entertainment interests (and my other interests in general). When it comes to wrestling, it has everything that I look for in entertainment in one place…especially drama and athleticism.

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A Wrestling Post Not About Wrestling

Two Fridays ago, I spent time with someone who I am quite fond of and when I left I was miserable. I felt like a burden to that person and it increased my depression. This past Friday, I spent time in front of my computer watching NJPW Dominion and while I am still struggling-that made me feel better than just about any day I have ever spent with the friend in question or any other friend.

I forget if it was this blog or my more personal blog, but I said that if I had the choice between never watching another wrestling show or never talking to my friends again, I would choose the latter (and it would not even be a difficult decision). Not all wrestling is as good as Dominion (which should go without saying and that is an impossible standard). The point is that wrestling (especially wrestling that I enjoy whether it is current or past wrestling) does it for me like nothing else and no one else in the world does.

I’ll put it this way, after seeing the friend two Fridays ago, I was crying tears of sorrow. After Omega beat Okada, I had tears of joy.

Whether it is chanting Kaze ni Nare with the Osaka fans, smiling widely when Takahashi celebrated the junior championship or having my eyes moisten when the Golden Elite hugged, wrestling (especially today’s New Japan) gives me something that nothing else in the world does. I’m beginning to think that wrestling gives me something that nothing or no one else in the world can.

 

The Type of Wrestling Fans I Dislike the Most

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.

Is What Works Always What’s Best?

First of all, before I get into this, I should say that what works is usually what’s best when it comes to wrestling. Indeed, whether it is booking or matches, if it gets over…then it is what should have been done. I have said this before and I am sure that I will say it again, pro wrestling should be analyzed more on a reactive than a proactive basis because the goal of wrestling is to get over. If something gets over than it’s good. If it does not get over, then it needs some tweaking at least and it should be overhauled at most.

With all of the above said, there is part of me that takes issue with Dave Meltzer’s claim that if it gets over, that’s all that matters. I want to point out that I am complete agreement with him if we are talking about drawing money, as long as it is not unethical…then if it draws money or ratings…then it is all that matters. I am not so sure about that position when it comes to a match. It is something that I would have to think more deeply about.

I’ve heard Meltzer debate this with Jim Cornette and there is part of me that agrees with the latter that making a mockery of wrestling is dangerous even if the match gets over. Of course, the Young Bucks in general, Joey Ryan’s penis gimmick and infamous matches featuring Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi are examples that go to the heart of the argument. I would argue that wrestling styles in general should be included when looking at this argument (ie: are there some styles that keep people from taking less seriously).

While I am not sure where I stand on this argument, one thing to keep in mind is that if wrestling styles get people booked and help them make money…then it is tough to argue with what the wrestlers are doing. On the other hand, another important thing to keep in mind is that some things can go too far. A prime example of that is Lio Rush no-selling a powerbomb off a ladder through a table. That is one of those things that whether “it worked” or not, probably should not be happening.

I’m all for throwing away wrestling conventions in the pursuit of getting over and making money, but there are some things that if they are encouraged keep wrestling from even being wrestling. As subjective as I think wrestling is (outside of acknowledging what works and what doesn’t), I do believe that we need to have some standards.