The following is an op-ed from Neil Gray. His opinions don’t reflect those of SportsObsessive.com or 25YL Media LLC.
Wrestling’s brilliant, isn’t it?
It’s an art form in its own right, where dramatic, tension-filled stories play themselves out to the backdrop of violence or where a couple of blokes stick socks on their hands and see who’s got the deadliest move.
But being a wrestling fan isn’t all Tombstone Piledrivers and 5 Star matches, there are times when you’ll find yourself question just why you bother to pour your heart and soul into something quite happy to you kick you in the kaddidlehopper whenever it feels like it.
So join me as we take a look at 10 Reasons It’s Difficult Being A Wrestling Fan.
“You know it’s fake, right?”
There can’t be a grappling fan on the planet that hasn’t had someone they know or someone they’ve just met in a bar, inform them that pro-wrestling isn’t real.
You know the type, you can spot them a mile off, and they’re always desperate to share this information with you as soon as you mention that you like wrestling as if they’re the first person you know to tell you this.
It’s like they can’t wait to burst your bubble and send you hurtling back to reality, to paraphrase Bill Hicks, it’s almost as if they think they’re doing you a favor.
Well, you know what else isn’t real?
Movies, TV, Video Games, Comics, Books, need I go on?
Yes, I know that the outcome of a match is pre-determined, but that doesn’t mean that what’s happening in the ring is any less “real” than what you see on a screen. I’d go as far as to say it’s more real, as your beloved Captain Marvel or Game of Thrones character is usually on a CGI background or has a stunt double step in for them when the going gets tough.
There’s nobody else taking those bumps you see in the ring other than the people involved and I dare you, I double dare you motherf*cker, to walk up to any pro-wrestler and tell them what they do is fake.
May I suggest you start with Haku.
Enzo’s Rap Career
Originally this was going to be about all wrestler’s singing, but then I remembered this and realized that it wasn’t all bad.
For those of you too lazy to click on the link, that’s a video of Vince McMahon singing Stand Back and it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in the WWE or any promotion for that matter, but you know what isn’t funny?
Enzo’s rap career.
I try to enjoy terrible things. It’s just the way that I’m wired.
From crap movies to awful music, if I can find something to laugh at then I’m going to become a fan, but there’s nothing funny about what Real1, as he calls himself these days, is trying here.
Having been booted out of the company after failing to inform them of a rape case that was being brought against him, life couldn’t have been easy for Eric Arndt, but in May 2018 all charges were dropped due to lack of significant evidence.
Now you’d expect that Mr. Amore would’ve wanted to celebrate this news and he did, by releasing a rap song 12 days later that took constant swing’s at the women who he was accused of sexually assaulting as well as the fans who he claimed wanted to see him dead.
And the worst part of it all?
The song’s sh*t.
I could’ve forgiven him releasing it, no matter how tactless the lyrics were if it had had any redeeming features but it was just god awful.
Enzo- sorry, Real1 -raps like your drunken grandpa at your sister’s wedding, slurring his vocals over some of the worst lyrics ever spat in a recording studio and not even the line “my consensual penis” can save this affront to the music industry and the human race as a whole.
Too Much Content
Can you truly have too much of a good thing?
Yes, yes you can.
If you only watch AEW and WWE programming then that’s 11 hours, minimum, you need to invest in both companies each week and that’s before you take into account any PPVs that either company might be running that month.
Then there’s the Independent scene, and you can take my word on this, when we’re all out of Lockdown there’s going to be more shows than you can shake a stick at and while for a site like Sports Obsessive that’s where our bread and butter is, if you’re the one having to review them you can find yourself experiencing wrestling burn out.
Trust me, the life of a pro-wrestling writer isn’t as glamourous as I make it out to be.
This is something that you’d think would’ve been consigned to the history books by now, but no, the wrestling burial is still alive and well in 2020.
I’ve already looked at this in-depth here, but the fact remains that if the WWE loses interest in you then you’ll find yourself on Main Event faster than you can blink.
Just ask Ricochet.
Vincent Kennedy McMahon
There was a time when Vincent Kennedy McMahon was seen as a genius and rightly so.
Here was a man with a vision that was unheard of, to take pro-wrestling out of the territories and three-ring circuses and put it in the home of not just every American household, but every household worldwide.
It was a bold and brave move and it would pay off hugely, but he wouldn’t stop there.
When he found himself with his back against the wall during the Monday Night Wars, he unleashed the Attitude Era on us and would, eventually, crush his competition underfoot.
Sure, there were missteps along the way, but overall Big Vinnie got it right about 90% of the time, and that’s why the WWE is the biggest player in the game, even to this day.
It’s also why the company is dying on its feet creatively in 2020.
For every Firefly Funhouse, we get three dog food matches.
For every Becky Lynch at Wrestlemania moment, we get Sheamus vs. Bryan.
And don’t be under any illusion that Vince isn’t responsible for the dross that you’re forced to watch each week as nothing gets onto the screen without his final approval and if you thought, or at least hoped, that this would change anytime soon, with the XFL going out of business, again, he’s going to be in charge until they prize his cold, dead hands off of the wheel.
Jim Cornette Fans
I have a love/hate relationship with Jim Cornette.
One on hand, here is a man who has a brilliant mind for the business and a passion that is second to none. He’s a walking encyclopedia with so much historical knowledge floating around in that head of his that he really should be in the Library of Congress.
Plus he hates Vince Russo and Braun Strowman so that’s a plus in my book.
And on the other hand, he’s like that drunken homeless guy you see in the street, standing around yelling at passing cars as he rails against anyone he deems as killing the business, while he unleashes his four-word guns at Independent Wrestling of the flippy s*it variety.
I might not always agree with him, but when he’s right, he’s right.
So instead I’ve decided that his fans deserve to be on here, or as I like to call them the Korny Klux Klan.
I swear that a vast majority of people that follow him on Twitter and Facebook spend their weekends wearing white pointy hats because as soon as anyone, and I mean anyone, dares to question Jimmy H. Christ then the pitchforks and flaming torches come out as they mount up to defend their hero.
Hell, I’ve even seen them go after people just because he said that he hadn’t been impressed by their match.
Nothing more, no “Holy crap, that was terrible”, just a simple “Nope, didn’t work for me”.
They seem to have appointed themselves the Defenders of Wrestling, with JC as the head of their militia, and there is no reasoning with them.
I’ve tried, only to be on the receiving end of some horrendous abuse so my advice is, if you see the “It’s Still Real To Me” brigade heading your way, run.
Oy vey, this guy.
Where to start with Terry Gene Bollea?
How about the fact that he couldn’t wrestle for spit, or that he built an entire career around three moves while making sure anyone who actually deserved to be the face of the WWE or WCW got held back or buried?
Or how about the fact that his whole “Say your prayers and take your vitamins” schtick was bull-honky of the highest order and that the only reason he was as pumped as he was was due to steroids.
Still not enough for you?
Alrighty then, how about that godawful “Hogan Knows Best” program that seemed to be everywhere at one point or the fact he was determined to make his daughter, who he has a very Trumpesque fascination with, a star no matter what.
Or the time he was brought in as the savior of TNA, only to drive so many nails in its coffin that it’s a miracle it managed to survive.
Do you want more? Well, I’ve got more, brother.
How about the sex tape or the fact that he was exposed as a massive, racist piece of sh*t and was rightly booted out of the WWE?
Or how about when he was allowed back in- because Vince loves money -and all he had to do was apologize and he somehow still managed to avoid saying sorry, instead just warning the new generation of wrestlers not to get caught on tape before going on record accusing certain people backstage- like the New Day -of not being willing to give him another chance.
And finally, the cherry on the cake, how about last week where he claimed that the only cure we needed for COVID-19 was Jesus F*cking Christ in our lives, instead of, y’ know, a vaccine.
So, yeah, f*ck Hulk Hogan and if you’re still a fan of this ego-maniacal douchebag after everything he’s done, then f*ck you too.
Chris Benoit Apologists
Do you want to know why Chris Benoit isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame and Chyna is?
Because doing porn is nowhere near on the same level as killing your entire f*cking family.
I’ve already had a pop about this in the Hogan entry, but the fact remains that racism is still alive and well within pro-wrestling.
Whether that’s in the WWE with hardly any black World Champions or their refusal to view Asian wrestlers as anything other than novelty acts, or in WCW where Ole Anderson was an open racist and happily admitted it, if you come from an ethnic minority, then wrestling can be a hard ride for you.
And don’t think the Independent scene gets off lightly either.
Tessa Blanchard has been exposed as a vile human being, with both bullying and hate crimes being leveled in her direction, only for Impact Wrestling to just straight up ignore the overwhelming evidence and keep their World Championship around her waist.
It amazes me in this day and age that these kinds of people still exist, but not as much as it does when wrestling promotions just conveniently ignore the facts in front of them.
Other Wrestling Fans
Not everyone who watches wrestling is as level headed and as open-minded as you, dear reader.
There is a certain section of the fandom that is so toxic that they should come with a free hazmat suit.
These are the people who defend their corner no matter what, those that will hunt you down on social media just to berate you in public for liking anything that isn’t their own personal chosen company.
Yup, I’m talking about WWE fans.
I’ve met some Independent fans that are pretty bad, but no-where is the poison rifer than within the hardcore WWE heads.
They hate indie wrestling and they hate you for liking it.
They’ll point out that most of these shows take place in gymnasiums, in front of half-empty seats, and that their beloved WWE talent, such as Randy Orton, would never be seen dead in that kind of environment, while at the same time cheering their stupid heads off for Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins, two of many wrestlers within the WWE fold that cut their teeth at these kinds of shows.
Over my time as a writer, I’ve worked across many genres, comic books, film, video games, and there have been elements within those that I wouldn’t pish on if they were on fire, yet nothing matches the apocalyptic rage a WWE lifer will get in if you dare mention that the Attitude Era really hasn’t aged well or that perhaps, just perhaps, The Rock wasn’t the technically gifted God that everyone makes him out to be.