Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
goc

What does "casual fan" even mean in 2017 wrestling?

Recommended Posts

Yesterday I saw one of the usual arguments on twitter about "casual fans" and how dumb they all must be to only watch WWE or be Roman Reigns fans. At this point following WWE requires, at the bare minimum, 5 hours of weekly television watching. There really isn't anything "casual" about the fandom of someone who devotes 5 hours a week to watching wrestling. If you add in PPVs, 205 Live, NXT, Talking Smack etc the number only goes higher. Isn't it time to pretty much retire the term "casual fan" for someone who watches Raw and Smackdown every week? How much time does someone have to devote to watching wrestling every week before they can stop being looked down on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think most people mean casual fan is someone who just watches WWE and maybe a ROH show from time to time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

casual fan: someone who watches WWE and is not involved in message boards or tape trading

Using the term "casual fan" to describe those people is pretty wild. Even leaving out the tape trading part that is, at a bare minimum, like 90% of the WWE audience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always meant "casual fan" as someone who follows WWE to a point and knows who the wrestlers are but doesn't watch every week isn't totally up on the storylines.

 

The people who watch weekly but don't go on message boards are just plain fans. And then people like us, who watch non-WWE wrestling and analyze/discuss it would be hardcore fans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always meant "casual fan" as someone who follows WWE to a point and knows who the wrestlers are but doesn't watch every week isn't totally up on the storylines.

This is a definition that I think is fine and makes a lot of sense but it's almost never how it actually gets used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As WWE adds more and more "essential" (whether or not any of it's all that essential when everything is covered fairly extensively via replays and flashbacks and whatnot) programming, I think the definition of a casual fan changes. I think today I'd describe a casual fan as someone who doesn't branch out from what's been presented in front of them for however long they've been a fan. There's nothing all that casual about watching 5+ hours of what is essentially one TV show every week, but I think I'd agree the mindset behind it might be. Matt D's also very right with his argument, that it's all on a scale.

 

It's weird, because this sort of divide is present in other forms of entertainment, but in different ways. Could we describe someone who watches two or three football games a week as a casual football fan? You're looking at 6-10 hours a week with all that football. Back when I had TV, I used to do that most every week, but I never considered myself all that much of a hardcore football fan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The buddy I watched WM (and most of the Big Four shows with) watches Raw most weeks and never watches Smackdown. He's been a fan since the 70s but can't be bothered to keep up with all the content

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

casual fan: someone who watches WWE and is not involved in message boards or tape trading

Using the term "casual fan" to describe those people is pretty wild. Even leaving out the tape trading part that is, at a bare minimum, like 90% of the WWE audience.

Yes. Casual fans will always make up the vast majority of the fanbase. And I agree with that description.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

casual fan: someone who watches WWE and is not involved in message boards or tape trading

Using the term "casual fan" to describe those people is pretty wild. Even leaving out the tape trading part that is, at a bare minimum, like 90% of the WWE audience.

Yes. Casual fans will always make up the vast majority of the fanbase. And I agree with that description.

 

The word "casual" really doesn't seem to fit though since there are a lot of people who fit that description that are hardcore WWE only fans. There really isn't anything "casual" about their fandom except that they don't watch other wrestling & they don't go to message boards.

 

WWE draws 60,000+ fans to WrestleMania every year and people swear up and down that "there are no casuals at Mania" but ain't no damn way every one of those people is a message board person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's relative for sure. It's a definition that probably always changes. A casual fan now may be more invested than a hardcore fan 15 years ago. I don't think that definition is locked in so much as I think it describes the current situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The message board comment is wildly inaccurate. On our local forum we have a bunch of people that are as casual as a wrestling fan gets, to the point you could really only argue whether they are even wrestling fans anymore (they will watch Wrestlemania, maybe Summerslam or Royal Rumble if they're free that night and we organize live viewing and skypeing, and like, two or three matches a year outside of that if that). It's about the degree of being obsessed with wrestling. Someone who watches Raw and Smackdown every week is not a casual fan, and the variety of the wrestling one watched is a completely different issue than whether or not someone is a casual fan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone who doesn't watch regularly and might tune in if there is a big event, if they happen to catch it on TV or if WrestleMania is on.

 

I'd agree with this as the beginning and end of a casual fan's engagement with wrestling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know people that watch all the TV and PPVs of just WWE and don't branch out or go online. But they watch more than I do because I just find the WWE to be tedious now. So it's kind of weird because I would say I'm a more hardcore fan even though I probably digest less wrestling content on a weekly basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

casual fan: someone who watches WWE and is not involved in message boards or tape trading

I think the message board thing is less relevant than ever (exception to PWO of course) because most people are on Facebook and Twitter nowadays. So even if someone likes the WWE Facebook page or follows along with their hashtags (as is pushed on TV) then they'll be exposed to a lot of different stuff that 'casual' fans of the past wouldn't have.

 

To me casual fan used to be synonymous with fans who weren't online but now that everyone is then even the most casual watcher can easily be exposed to 'internet wrestling culture' or however anyone wants to categorise that. It's a whole different ball game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

casual fan: someone who watches WWE and is not involved in message boards or tape trading

I think the message board thing is less relevant than ever (exception to PWO of course) because most people are on Facebook and Twitter nowadays. So even if someone likes the WWE Facebook page or follows along with their hashtags (as is pushed on TV) then they'll be exposed to a lot of different stuff that 'casual' fans of the past wouldn't have.

 

To me casual fan used to be synonymous with fans who weren't online but now that everyone is then even the most casual watcher can easily be exposed to 'internet wrestling culture' or however anyone wants to categorise that. It's a whole different ball game.

There are a lot of people I follow on twitter that don't watch anything other than Raw/Smackdown but tweet a lot about WWE so this also skews the whole dated idea of what a "casual fan" is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If someone knows what a heel is, can that person be a casual fan?

 

Do they have to know the terminology or just the concept? Because surely everyone knows wrestling has good guys and bad guys by now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If someone knows what a heel is, can that person be a casual fan?

I don't know if there is anyone talking about WWE on twitter that doesn't know that kind of term regardless of whether they've ever gone to a wrestling news site, message board, whatever. But they also don't fit the usual definition of "smart" fan where they are going to give star ratings and talk about work rate either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terminology.

The word heel is really not even "insider" knowledge anymore when you have some fucking goof like Dolph Ziggler making his twitter name @HEELZiggler and doing Q&A's using the hashtag #AskTheHeel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, kayfabe, work, shoot, babyface, take your pick.

I'd say an overwhelming majority of people who have only ever watched WWE & only use Facebook/twitter to talk about it online would know those terms, yes. It doesn't take much for there to be crossover in the discussion between people who only watch WWE and the hardcore "watch everything & keep spreadsheets of it all" types and it's not like those terms are super difficult to understand and pick up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×