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How do you self-identify as a wrestling fan?


JerryvonKramer
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For all intents and purposes, DVDR and here seem like "IWC smart" HQ. Only, nobody who posts here seem to have any of the received (and irritating) opinions I'd typically expect from the Dean Malenko-loving* IWC smart crowd. This seems to be some sort of post-enlightenment haven.

 

This interests me a little bit.

 

So let me explain myself a bit here. I can't stand a guy like Scott Keith. To me, that guy just plain doesn't understand wrestling. He doesn't get it. There are a lot of people I've seen on the internet who talk like mini Scott Keiths. They rag on any match that isn't ****+ workrate classic. They think Dean Malenko is a top 5 of all time wrestler. They think any match with a fat man in it is an automatic DUD. I don't need to explain this to you, you know what I am talking about.

 

I don't know what you call those guys. Are the terms 'smart' and 'smark' now really quite redundant? Then you get those guys who act like wrestling history began in 1996. Then you get the old ECW guys who think ECW revolutionised the industry, or something like that, although it seems like they are now a dying breed.

 

How would I describe myself as a fan? I'm patently not a proper 'smart' fan. And I've never been a mark. I mean even as a 7 year old, I sort of knew it was a work. And I always supported heels -- and I mean DiBiase, Rude, Perfect, etc. proper heel heels when everyone else was a Hogan, Warrior, or Bret fan.

 

But I just love wrestling. I love it. I get a buzz from seeing a great match, a great angle played out, a great promo. I love seeing it analysed. I love hearing it talked about. I love hearing old guys talk about it. I love reading about its history. And I love discovering and seeing new (old) stuff. So I'm ... just a slightly nerdy fan? Or probably more accurate: just a slightly nerdy fan of the period 1980-2004/5. That's probably how I'd describe myself. There's probably a shit ton of great stuff from 2005-present I'd like too, but ... y'know.

 

-----------------------------

 

Anyway, I'm not so much interested about me, I'm interested in how you'd describe yourself as a fan right now in 2011. Have you changed as a fan? Did you used to be one of the guys I mention above? Are you still one? Don't be afraid to come right out and say that you're a proper 'smart' who is just into workrate or whatever. I'm just genuinely interested to know.

 

* I like Malenko as much as the next man, by the way. This is just the cliche, you know.

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I'm just a wrestling fan. Some things I like that lots of people do, and some things I like that most people don't. Just like anyone else, I suppose.

 

I tend to get annoyed at anyone who argues that in-ring is everything, just as I do at anyone who argues that no one cares about great matches. Looking at in-ring, promos and angles as distinct, competing entities instead of just different parts of a presentation is a compartmentalization that has always bugged me, and in fact is part of the ever-annoying mindset in WWE that the backstage stuff is an attraction on its own.

 

Anyway, I know where I'm going, but I can't quite find the words to get there at the moment.

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I'm just a wrestling fan. The rest of it is just bullshit.

 

I sometimes wonder if the folks who get wrapped up in smart/mark/smark/workrate/puro-snob tags realize how utterly stupid they are being. Anyone think that a group of Yankees fans obsess about whether another group of Yankees fans are smarks? They frankly worry more about whether other Yankees fans are assholes or jerkoffs.

 

This has always been an utterly useless discussion going all the way back to when Scherer use to play Us ("we're real fans") vs Them ("those Meltzer types who think too much"). No... we were just wrestling fans, while Scherer was the hypocrite trying to be pals with wrestlers and carve a living out of the wrestling business.

 

John

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A wrestling fan, plain and simple. An old one at that, who would rather watch old WCW Nitros from 98 than WrestleMania 27. Still, after 20 years of spending way to much time watching some much pro-wrestling bullshit, and enjoying the hell out of Misawa vs Kawada classics, Onita getting blown up in electric barbwire, Mick Foley dancing with hot girls & Mr. McMahon on the Love Shack set, enjoying the hell out of watching Sandman drunk brawling in ECW and Scott Steiner's insane promos, I don't see how how I could put it other than just saying "wrestling fan".

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At the risk of sounding like a parrot. I'm a wrestling fan. I know what I like and what I don't, and I like to think for myself. I think the most annoying thing about ROH diehards is when Meltzer or Keith give an ROH match a high rating, and they'd point to that as being "proof" that it really as a great match.

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I think this is a very interesting post in the context of this thread: http://prowrestlingonly.com/index.php?show...p;#entry5466239

 

My iphone gave passe a diacritical mark. I think a lot of the 90s workrate styles are passe amongst viewers in 2011. I suppose all styles are dated in a sense. Perhaps I should have used the term "not in favour" in some thing like that.

 

I think it's pretty clear which styles are out of favour with people at the moment. It doesn't mean they're out of favour with everyone or that there aren't people who think independently of whatever the subculture within a subculture within a subculture say, but things have definitely changed. If you look at the stuff that's no longer popular, whether it's 90s Joshi, AAA, Super J Cup, UWF-I or any other former boom, they all share a common element and that's that they were flashy styles. Wrestling fans tend to fall into two categories these days: hardcore fans who prefer substance over style and long time fans who don't have any qualms about pimping what they like. Hence why you're just as likely to get pimping of Demolition and New Generation WWF as you are IWRG or Fu-ten, to name drop a few of the better stuff around.

 

In the past, there was very much a workrate ideal when it came to wrestling. Not everybody was interested in only 4-5 star matches, but that culture was very strong. Interest in workrate styles thrived in that era, and I think what you're seeing now with guys preferring more minimalistic stuff is in some ways a backlash against that era. It's also a reaction to the current product, which, in trying to up the ante from the 90s workrate styles (or, in truth, find their own identity) became more ridiculous than even the most workrate driven stuff of the 90s.

 

As for who I'm talking about, I'm mainly referring to the type of person who will watch a large cross section of stuff based on recommendations or threads about matches. I'll call these people the "dabblers", since they'll dabble in mostly anything if it's interesting. I do not see a lot of positive things from these people about older workrate wrestling. M-Pro is probably the only workrate style they like, and to illustrate how fickle and meaningless all this is (but engaging because its the type of stuff that keeps many of us interested), I'd argue that M-Pro is only well received because it fell over the radar for a number of years and the time is right for a revival. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that in ten years time people will be "rediscovering" 90s Joshi, etc., but really my point is that if I think about what I thought was a good match 10-15 years ago, my tastes have changed significantly. Loss may have been talking about common elements of great wrestling throughout the decades and how the basics don't really change, but I think that's a little different to reception and the "text" that we turn wrestling matches into (for want of a better word.)

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I don't mark as being as negative a term as it's generally used in wrestling anymore. Other entertainment fields have similar terminology without it (always) carrying this connotation of being an idiot that it seems to in wrestling circles. In the rawest business sense I see a "mark" as anyone paying to see the product, it's a term that represents paying customers. I don't see that as good or bad, to me it's a neutral term. I mean, you can see the same snarky bullshit over people that still pay money to see Metallica in 2011, or other entertainment that falls off the cool bandwagon. "Hurrrrr U paid to see Metallica, they R old and sold out." "Yeah... so?" Pretty much the same kind of discussion the original post is talking about in wrestling circles.

 

To me it's a pretty lame insult. It hasn't carried any weight in that sense for me personally in a while now. It's wrestling's version of "you're gay". Ooooh, feel the burn.

 

I am kind of glad Zach Arnold's old forums ceased to exist at some point and were replaced with a new one. I can't even imagine how much snide bullshit I must have written there back in the day. I was a complete snob for a while very heavy into Japan at a time when what WCW and the WWF were doing was really turning me off, and I was probably more than a bit of a jerk. I'd like to think I've mellowed out a lot at this point. A few years will do that to you, I guess.

 

And for the record, I'm basically a "retired wrestling fan" but also a "big nerd that still digs the forums". I enjoy this place, and also DVDVR. They are places I can get varied opinions and also still engage in relatively civil discussion at the same time. That is a hell of a lot rarer than it really should be (not just talking wrestling but forums on subjects of any kind), and honestly I find overall considering it's size that DVDVR is for the most part a remarkably well behaved group, and it has attracted a funny ole subsect of people that are quite knowledgeable in quite a few areas. This place is really calm, and I find the discussion here mostly worth my time reading even if I don't contribute a ton. Both are places I still enjoy talking wrestling, and in DVDVR's case, a ton of other things too.

 

I've tried a couple times in the last couple years to get back into actually *watching* the wrestling, but with no immediate social circle of wrestling fans to hang out with (my best friend back in high school was the guy who introduced me to ECW, and Japan, and we did nothing but watch wrestling for years), combined with having seen so many of my favourites drop dead, end up semi-crippled, or screwed up on drugs, wrestling has got harder to watch for me than it should, so I just don't. It's just not as fun as it should be for me, even if I still enjoy discussing plenty of things about it. In terms of my own wrestling interests, when I have watched over the last 5 years (which has been less and less, and has been 0 for most of the last couple), it's a lot wider now than it used to be. I'm always going to be a guy that enjoys the long epic, and as such, enjoys things like the long 1990's AJPW main events. But that doesn't mean I don't love me a good Dusty Rhodes promo, or that I would expect or want the same thing from every company anymore. In that sense over the last decade of wrestling fandom, I've smartened up a lot. There is something to enjoy in almost every style.

 

What's a smart fan exactly? I dunno either.

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A mark is someone who is the fundamental antithesis of what a smart fan is, like an antagonist to a protagonist, Joker to Batman, night to day, peanut butter to jelly.

 

A smart fan to me, is what we as a collective represent in comparison to the ordinary fan who watches Raw and attends shows without having lengthy discussions of workrate, voting on 150 matches from one territory in the 1980s, or posting semi-religiously on Internet messages boards with a primary focus on professional wrestling. We are aware of the dark secrets the business has in its closet, we are knowledgeable in wrestling history, and most of us watch wrestling footage like a movie columnist watches movies.

 

Not quite sure how to define a smark though... Maybe this is where Meltzer, Keith, and Keller fall into, but as I type that, I'm not entirely convinced.

 

While I would call myself a wrestling fan, I am inclined to also say I am a bigger fan than the normal wrestling fan.

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I think this is a very interesting post in the context of this thread: http://prowrestlingonly.com/index.php?show...p;#entry5466239

 

My iphone gave passe a diacritical mark. I think a lot of the 90s workrate styles are passe amongst viewers in 2011. I suppose all styles are dated in a sense. Perhaps I should have used the term "not in favour" in some thing like that.

This isn't the case at all.

 

90s workrate style is passe among *some* viewers in 2011. Those would be a small subset of fans.

 

Go to a wrestling show and the same number of fans in the crowd eat up "workrate style" as the did in the 90s. Go look up Alan 4L's list of **** matches in 2010 and you'll find workrate all over it. Alan isn't alone... in fact more fans like what he likes that fans follow the Anti Moves Movement.

 

Before anyone tries to say that everyone in the 90s loved workrate style, you'd be wrong. Anyone remember those Wrestling Classics posters who hated "flippy floppy" wrestlers? There have always been guys like that who hated Rey vs Psic because they weren't Ric Flair stooging for Tommy Young.

 

I'll go to a show on Saturday night and I guarantee you that they will be creaming in their pants over workrate. And despite it being a small hole in the wall, there will be more people in that building than regularly post here... or frankly most boards on line other than the biggest of the big like DVDVR and WO-4. And again, even in places like that you'll find workrate lovers. Someone tell Rob Naylor that the workrate he loves is passe.

 

We all like to project our own opinions, and those of the circle we run in, onto a larger mass. We often make a mistake when doing that.

 

John

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I am kind of glad Zach Arnold's old forums ceased to exist at some point and were replaced with a new one. I can't even imagine how much snide bullshit I must have written there back in the day. I was a complete snob for a while very heavy into Japan at a time when what WCW and the WWF were doing was really turning me off, and I was probably more than a bit of a jerk. I'd like to think I've mellowed out a lot at this point. A few years will do that to you, I guess.

I'm glad some boards disappeared too, because I had my days as an unbelievable asshole. I would be embarrassed to read some of the stuff I was writing at the time probably.:)

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What exactly do you call a semi-professional announcer who "retired" in his twenties? Your guess is as good as mine, man. But generally I've always leaned towards the term "smark". Someone calling themselves "smart" as a label always struck me as sounding awfully presumptious, while "smark" feels like it has an acceptable level of self deprecation for what boils down to being an expert in watching guys in their underwear pretending to fight.

 

And for the record, I'm basically a "retired wrestling fan" but also a "big nerd that still digs the forums".

Ditto. Despite the fact that I have barely watched any wrestling over the past few years, probably more than half the forums I post on are all wrestling-related.

 

 

There's been a lot of talk about tastes changing on this board recently, so I thought I might share something illuminating. At another forum (which has a wrestling section but isn't the main part of the board), I've recently fallen into a habit of getting on a voice chat and watching wrestling matches with a bunch of kids. Well not literally kids, only a couple of 'em aren't legal adults yet, but most of them are in their late teens or early twenties. Most of them haven't been smarking for very long, and only discovered the internet wrestling sites in the past couple of years. I've sort of been playing the wise old mentor, just correcting common misconceptions and providing random historical trivia of the sort which anyone here could. The point is that most of these young fellows just aren't educated at all in any wrestling outside of the American mainstream, and I've been showing them some of the other stuff that's out there.

 

So with Youtube as my guide, I've been showing them all kinds of random shit from different promotions and decades (so far, the late 50s is the farthest back I've gone). It's been fascinating to see how today's young smarks view the old stuff. Some of the Usual Suspects end up beloved: anytime I throw on a Kobashi match, it's always a crowd-pleaser. But other stuff apparently hasn't aged well at all. I showed them Malenko/Guerrero from ECW, and it bored them to death. They seem kinda unimpressed by flippy cruiserweights in general, whether it's NJPW juniors or lucha or whatever. But show them two big heavyweights in a stiffness contest, and they eat that shit up. Stan Hansen is one of the current group favorites, and really everything from 90s AJPW has gone over well (except for Jumbo, whom they still seem oddly resistant to). Yet they've also got a weird appreciation for more old-school, theatrical stuff; everyone seems to love Andre's work, even in his later broken-down years. And it took 'em a minute, but after I explained enough of the psychology to them, they finally seem to be warming up to Baba. On the other hand, nothing I try seems to get Backlund over with them, or most mat wrestlers in general. Slowish technical wrestling tends to lose their interest in a damn hurry; even some old Johnny Saint carny magic gets a tepid response at best. But give 'em a Duggan vs Dibiase blood brawl, and you can hear these kids marking out over the Skype connection.

 

Strangest of all, however, has been their reaction to joshi. These 15-24 Male demographics apparently love them some joshi. Part of it may actually be thanks to TNA; despite continually sabotaging their Knockouts division for years, it's still exposed a lot of today's kids to the likes of Ayako Hamada and Amazing Kong and whatnot. So it's remarkably easy to show them something like Toyota or Hokuto vs Aja or Nakano, and they go gaga over it. But, the absolutely strangest thing... well, there's no easy way to say it. You know who their absolute tippy-top favorite wrestler, male or female from any era, is right now? Sakura Hirota. I swear to God, yes, seriously. They LOVE her. I think we've already consumed every single Hirota match on Youtube (which ain't much, maybe a dozen total) and they still want more. Draw your own conclusions, I have none of my own.

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A wrestling fan, plain and simple. An old one at that, who would rather watch old WCW Nitros from 98 than WrestleMania 27. Still, after 20 years of spending way to much time watching some much pro-wrestling bullshit, and enjoying the hell out of Misawa vs Kawada classics, Onita getting blown up in electric barbwire, Mick Foley dancing with hot girls & Mr. McMahon on the Love Shack set, enjoying the hell out of watching Sandman drunk brawling in ECW and Scott Steiner's insane promos, I don't see how how I could put it other than just saying "wrestling fan".

X2 :lol:

 

and I don't give a mierda the rating star system :angry:

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You know who their absolute tippy-top favorite wrestler, male or female from any era, is right now? Sakura Hirota. I swear to God, yes, seriously. They LOVE her. I think we've already consumed every single Hirota match on Youtube (which ain't much, maybe a dozen total) and they still want more. Draw your own conclusions, I have none of my own.

Heh, out of all the comps i've made over the years my Hirota one was by far the biggest seller.

People love the heck out of that girl

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You know who their absolute tippy-top favorite wrestler, male or female from any era, is right now? Sakura Hirota. I swear to God, yes, seriously. They LOVE her. I think we've already consumed every single Hirota match on Youtube (which ain't much, maybe a dozen total) and they still want more. Draw your own conclusions, I have none of my own.

Heh, out of all the comps i've made over the years my Hirota one was by far the biggest seller.

People love the heck out of that girl

 

I have never even heard of her! :( I fully intend to youtube her later this week, though.

 

 

I am one of OJ's "Dabblers" -- I don't think he meant it critically, and I don't take it as an insult. This summer marks my 5th anniv watching wrestling. And if you count the time I discovered tape trading, youtube matches, PWT, puro, etc, then it's really only been 3 years. There's so much that's new to me that just about all I can do is pick and choose from what people suggest in MOTYC Nomination and "what are you watching" threads. My fandom was a compressed/speeded-up version of most people's. I went through my wannabe-smark phase in 2008-09, to my mind.

 

But nowadays, I just like Rasslin of many flavors and eras. Sometimes I am critical and sometimes I am not. I just want to have a good time, and when it starts to feel like a job then I back off -- it's one of the reasons I don't participate in the DVDVR 80's polls or the smarkschoice WCW poll or even the movie polls on DVDVR, much as I would like to work through that all that footage. It becomes stressful and not fun.

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You know who their absolute tippy-top favorite wrestler, male or female from any era, is right now? Sakura Hirota. I swear to God, yes, seriously. They LOVE her. I think we've already consumed every single Hirota match on Youtube (which ain't much, maybe a dozen total) and they still want more. Draw your own conclusions, I have none of my own.

Heh, out of all the comps i've made over the years my Hirota one was by far the biggest seller.

People love the heck out of that girl

 

I never *ever* understood the love for Sakura Hirota. Ever.

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But other stuff apparently hasn't aged well at all. I showed them Malenko/Guerrero from ECW, and it bored them to death. They seem kinda unimpressed by flippy cruiserweights in general, whether it's NJPW juniors or lucha or whatever.

What do they think of current stuff that is a continuation of cruiser/juniors stuff? In other words, your typical ROH or DG or PWG stuff?

 

I wonder if juniors-style spot wrestling has now gone so far beyond 90s juniors spot wrestling that stuff from 15 years ago is boring.

 

Big heavies like Hansen are drmatic and theatrical, so they're not terribly far removed from say Taker-HHH.

 

John

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No one here is "just a wrestling fan". We are wrestling obsessed super nerds who can write pages upon pages about a single match. We argue for hours, sometimes weeks over what is the best match, wrestler, year, angle, promotion, era, etc.

 

I am a fan of sports teams and movies and musicians. With wrestling, I am fucking sick with obsession.

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No one here is "just a wrestling fan". We are wrestling obsessed super nerds who can write pages upon pages about a single match. We argue for hours, sometimes weeks over what is the best match, wrestler, year, angle, promotion, era, etc.

 

I am a fan of sports teams and movies and musicians. With wrestling, I am fucking sick with obsession.

Very true.

 

Oh man, my internet connection went just as I clicked on the add reply button. I really liked my post too. It was a great one!

 

Last week, I was watching a match from 2002 and it was everythig that I loved about wrestling. All out organic natural feel, brilliantly innovative, different, INTENSE and smartly put together. Two tag teams giveing it all. I got such a rush just from watching it. I love wrestling because it combines what I like about being a rock star with an athletic exhibition of fighting spirit. I like to use one word to self indentify myself as a wrestling fan. Passionate. If I'm not feeling passion from watching a match, than I'll switch to something else.

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No one here is "just a wrestling fan". We are wrestling obsessed super nerds who can write pages upon pages about a single match. We argue for hours, sometimes weeks over what is the best match, wrestler, year, angle, promotion, era, etc.

 

I am a fan of sports teams and movies and musicians. With wrestling, I am fucking sick with obsession.

I'm also totally in the closet now. I wasn't in college or high school. I went to a bunch of indy shows in college for god's sake. But now, totally closeted. It's a "Don't talk about the war." sort of thing whenever I'm with a college friend I went to shows with. All cost-benefit.

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But other stuff apparently hasn't aged well at all. I showed them Malenko/Guerrero from ECW, and it bored them to death. They seem kinda unimpressed by flippy cruiserweights in general, whether it's NJPW juniors or lucha or whatever.

What do they think of current stuff that is a continuation of cruiser/juniors stuff? In other words, your typical ROH or DG or PWG stuff?

 

I wonder if juniors-style spot wrestling has now gone so far beyond 90s juniors spot wrestling that stuff from 15 years ago is boring.

 

Big heavies like Hansen are drmatic and theatrical, so they're not terribly far removed from say Taker-HHH.

 

John

 

Personally, I find there is a big difference between ROH and say DG. PWG kind of has the same kind of feel as ROH does.

 

 

90s workrate style is passe among *some* viewers in 2011. Those would be a small subset of fans.

 

Go to a wrestling show and the same number of fans in the crowd eat up "workrate style" as the did in the 90s. Go look up Alan 4L's list of **** matches in 2010 and you'll find workrate all over it. Alan isn't alone... in fact more fans like what he likes that fans follow the Anti Moves Movement.

 

Before anyone tries to say that everyone in the 90s loved workrate style, you'd be wrong. Anyone remember those Wrestling Classics posters who hated "flippy floppy" wrestlers? There have always been guys like that who hated Rey vs Psic because they weren't Ric Flair stooging for Tommy Young.

 

I'll go to a show on Saturday night and I guarantee you that they will be creaming in their pants over workrate. And despite it being a small hole in the wall, there will be more people in that building than regularly post here... or frankly most boards on line other than the biggest of the big like DVDVR and WO-4. And again, even in places like that you'll find workrate lovers. Someone tell Rob Naylor that the workrate he loves is passe.

 

We all like to project our own opinions, and those of the circle we run in, onto a larger mass. We often make a mistake when doing that.

 

John

This is all true. People who complain especially if it is against the consensus (even if they're wrong) stand out more. Sometimes they can also shout their opinions louder and because their opinions are more against the norm they bring attention to them with other people debating them. This can give a sense of perception that their opinions may be right due to importance.

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GH is right. Nobody here is "just a wrestling fan."

 

That being said, most of those who post here are willing to keep an open mind about things and go back and watch matches again to see if there was something they missed.

 

I used to fall into that trap of believing that only certain wrestlers were truly among the great workers, that the guys who were losing steam during the Monday Night Wars must have always sucked, and that the guys who could pull out all these eye-popping moves must belong among the best in the business.

 

Now, upon re-watching matches and looking back at what actually worked in wrestling, I've realized that's not necessarily the case. I've come to realize that a guy who can do a ton of moves isn't automatically a great worker and that the best workers were those that did the most with the moves they used.

 

I've also realized that, when it comes to drawing power, charisma is a major selling point, and when it comes to in-ring work, you've got to be able to get the fans caught up in the moment. Even with the rise of the Internet and more admission in the wrestling industry that everything is a work, it's still possible to get fans caught up in the moment and forget that they happen to be watching a work, and instead think about how much they loved a match.

 

I do think a lot of opinions today have been shaded by what was presented during the late 1990's. Things like what was going on in ECW, the stuff that ended up on WCW programming, and the stuff that came during WWF's Attitude Era period were certainly unique at the time, but not all of it holds up well. Yet some people act like the product just needs to be made even edgier than it was back then.

 

More to the point, I think the biggest mistake some of the folks who wrote during the Monday Night Wars period was this: They assumed, because they had gotten older, the pro wrestling product needed to cater to _their_ tastes now that they were older. They forgot that what really helps pro wrestling is, as your current audience ages, you build a new audience. Whether you go with the young kids/teenager market from Rock N' Wrestling or the teen/young adult market from the Attitude Era, that's where you need to go to build a new audience.

 

Yet I read many reviewers today and they act like the product needs to cater to their interests specifically. Rather than simply say than John Cena is poorly booked when better booking means he could so much more from a business perspective, they blame Cena for being a bad worker (and while I don't watch much of the current product, I can say from what I've watched from Cena, his in-ring work is not the problem). And much of my dislike for that goes back to how I used to be when I wrote for wrestling websites (and I'll admit much of my writing was pretty bad).

 

Anyway... I think there are a few folks out there who have really lost touch with what really makes the pro wrestling world go around. True, many of those who present the product today have lost touch with that as well, but it doesn't help when those who write about it today miss the point about how the product should be presented to maximize fan interest in the product and to build a new audience.

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No one here is "just a wrestling fan". We are wrestling obsessed super nerds who can write pages upon pages about a single match. We argue for hours, sometimes weeks over what is the best match, wrestler, year, angle, promotion, era, etc.

 

I am a fan of sports teams and movies and musicians. With wrestling, I am fucking sick with obsession.

I'm also totally in the closet now. I wasn't in college or high school. I went to a bunch of indy shows in college for god's sake. But now, totally closeted. It's a "Don't talk about the war." sort of thing whenever I'm with a college friend I went to shows with. All cost-benefit.

 

My closet is the internet.

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No one here is "just a wrestling fan". We are wrestling obsessed super nerds who can write pages upon pages about a single match. We argue for hours, sometimes weeks over what is the best match, wrestler, year, angle, promotion, era, etc.

 

I am a fan of sports teams and movies and musicians. With wrestling, I am fucking sick with obsession.

I do the same over sports and movies. Listen to sports talk radio and you'll here folks doing the same thing about their local sports teams.

 

I don't think any of us said we're "casual wrestling fans", akin to a casual sports fan who might go to Dodger Stadium twice a year and watch 10 of the 162 games on TV.

 

But I've watched:

 

* at least 95% of the Lakers game this year

* all but 3-4 Duke games this year, 1-2 of them which weren't available on the tube

* I suspect every ManU game this year that's available with 1 possible exception

 

Those are the three teams I follow rather strongly.

 

In contrast:

 

* I haven't ordered the AJPW 80s set despite being a hardcore of an AJPW fan

* I have about 500 dvds sitting around collecting dust to be watched... eventually

* I have to be dragged to the PWG show this weekend, while it was easy get me to a Kings game a few weeks ago... and I don't even follow hockey

 

The first one I want badly, but I also know that it would just go in the pile with the ones in the next group... I don't want to order it until I can carve out time.

 

On the other hand, my dad and I are planning a trip to see a game at Old Trafford. I have no wrestling trips similar planned, and doubt I ever will again.

 

Perhaps one will say I'm a hardcore / smart / smart fan of ManU / the Lakers / Duke. But really... I'm not. There are folks who have season tickets to Old Trafford. I don't. There are guys who pay thousands to watch the Lakers. I watch Lakers games on TV. Watching Duke games is nothing: Bruce watches them all as well, as do lots of people in the Carolinas.

 

Folks watch Raw and Smackdown every week. 4 hours of wrestling a week, 52 times a year. Hardcore / Smart / Smark?

 

I watch one hour of Castle 22-24 times a year. Hardcore / Smart / Smark Castle fan? Or just someone who follows it.

 

Do we invest a lot of time talking about wrestling?

 

Sure. But when I was involved in a online baseball league for six years, pretty much every day... I did the same. None of us involved were really hardcore "gamers". We just had a fun league, were semi-competative and liked talking about it / participating in it. A far cry from those dude on the annual Madden show on ESPN. :)

 

We are just wrestling fans. On a scale of 1 to 100, we are in the upper quarter in terms of time we spend on it. Some of us more than others. Lord knows, I've watched more hours of The Mentalist this year than pro wrestling, and just did a Top Chef-a-Thon to finish the last season and haven't done anything remotely the same for wrestling in more than a year. :)

 

Will: you might be beyond a "just a fan" with the amount you watch and all the sets you put together. But the rest of us? Not really different from someone who is a Baseball + Football fan who watches as much of his favorite teams in those two sports. If you followed Kris Z's facebook, you'd see him morph from UNC hoops season right into Braves season... which morphs into Falcons season, with loads of comments about both. The brain has the capacity to follow a lot of shit. :)

 

John

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