Celebrity, even to this day is a strange phenomenon. Us “normal mere mortals” can sometimes feel a connection with our favorite movie, television, rock star, or of course our favorite wrestlers. But just because they travel the highways and byways and are always at airports, rental car places, restaurants, and gyms more than they’re seen with their own families doesn’t just mean you can run right up to them and grab a selfie.
Wrestlers, hard to believe are actually just people, like us. Imagine if someone approached you in a way you had zero interest in being approached - how pleasant are you going to be? Multiply ten-fold for people who experience that feeling multiple times per day. Take into consideration that feeling, and several more and follow 5 Things Fans Shouldn't Do When Meeting Wrestlers (& 5 They Should).
10 Shouldn’t - Leave Their Headphones Alone
We now live in a world where just about everyone is plugged into something. When you’re on your morning commute, don’t you have headphones in and you’re listening to your favorite music, watching a movie, or listening to a podcast.
Wrestlers are plugged in too. They also would feel the exact same way you might if someone took it upon themselves to yank the earbuds out just to get your attention; which has happened to CM Punk during his heyday. Just because you’re supposedly the best in the world doesn’t mean you want to be “on” all of the time for the fans, but one fan didn’t respect Punk’s privacy just to get a quick picture.
9 Should - Use Common Sense
Unless you’re a cop with the cherries on, nine times out of ten, you should always follow simple common-sense rules. These are human beings after all, and mostly every one of us understand the rules of social interaction.
JR likes to tell a story about a guy has come right up behind him in and airport and has whispered “as god as my witness, he’s broken in half,” only for the man’s son to apologize to Good ol’ JR. If it’s not something you would appreciate happening to you, don’t assume you can do it to get a wrestler’s attention.
8 Shouldn’t - Don’t Approach Them In The Bathroom
Or anywhere else for that matter that is probably inappropriate. You’re in the restroom with a wrestler, perhaps it’s best that you both finish - make sure you wash your hands! - and then perhaps try to approach.
But the restroom is not the place to take a selfie, no matter how many teenage girls have those on Instagram.
7 Should - Be Respectful
Walking right up to anyone without saying hello first might be a mad choice. Do that to a wrestler while you’re waiting in line with them, or worse - while they’re out to dinner with their fellow wrestlers or families and you’re bound to have a bad experience.
Even if you don’t get to have a picture, a hello and a handshake can still make for a better memory than a dirty look and a derivative of “get lost.”
6 Shouldn’t - Don’t Bring 973 Things To Sign
Between eBay and sports memorabilia shops all over, there are plenty of places to make a buck or two off of a wrestler. But asking them to sign a stack of 8 x 10s or action figures or anything other than a single autograph is begging for a wrestler cutting a promo on you or just telling you to get lost.
Even during scheduled signings, they’re not going to want to sit there and smile while you hand them a sack full of merchandise, they know what you’re trying to do.
5 Should - Ask For Permission
Saying hello and extending a hearty handshake is always a nice gesture that were taught as kids. When you’re meeting a wrestler, it also is a great idea to ask for permission from the person before you start swooping in for hugs, pictures, and conversations; even after you’ve at least said hello.
Remember what your folks and teachers taught you – it’s always good to mind your manners.
4 Shouldn’t - Don’t Use Wrestler Jargon
For years, the business and its inner workings of the business were kept tighter than most government secrets. Vince McMahon, much like Verne Gagne before him started cracking the code on “sports entertainment” to get around a lot of the athletic commissions.
Ever since more and more fans have learned plenty of carney words that used to only be uttered around wrestlers. While we all know it’s a show and they know we know, it would be fairly disrespectful to start using words like jobber and kayfabe around your favorite superstars.
3 Should – Use Their Wrestler Names
While calling Bryan Cranston “Mr. White” or Jon Hamm “Don Draper” if you ran into them in the streets wouldn’t be offensive to them (probably), actors prefer their real names to their most iconic roles when meeting them.
But to a wrestler, his or her work name IS their public name. So unless you see John Cena or Paul Heyman or any other wrestler who uses their real name, you shouldn’t yell out Paul or Phil if you see Triple H or CM Punk.
2 Shouldn’t - Don’t Approach If They Look Busy
Generally speaking, most wrestlers don’t really like being approached when they’re out with their families, running errands, or at the gym. It’s really best to get their attention at the arenas before the shows.
Remember, spending time with their families is their downtime and technically their time at the gym is work since they have to look good and be healthy. It’s always best to not approach if they look they’re busy or on the phone, chances are - they’re busy.
1 Should - Thank Them For Their Time
When you see your favorite wrestler in public and you’re polite and say hi and grab a picture and spend a few moments chatting with them, it’s definitely a very cool thing. But remember, their time (just like your time) is limited.
It’s important that you thank them for their time. Sure, you might have got what you came for, but it’s just good manners for thanking someone for taking a moment out of their day to acquiesce to you.