The internet wrestling community, or IWC for short, is a group of wrestling fans who communicate their opinions about wrestling via the internet. Though wrestling has been around since the days of traveling carnivals, the IWC is a fairly new development in professional wrestling.
In the past hardcore wrestling fans who wanted to know the inner workings of the business were isolated, only learning insider news from wrestling publications. Although newsletters and magazines were enough to figure out some aspects of what was happening behind the scenes, the advent of the internet would create a means for fans to interact with each other.
Though the IWC started as simple as fans reading pay per view results on rudimentary websites, soon the community would evolve as fast as the internet was. The biggest growth period of the community is said to have occurred during the height of the Monday Night Wars between WWE and WCW, but some believe it may have started after the Curtain Call incident at Madison Square Garden.
After the Kliq broke kayfabe during the last night Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were employees of WWE in the 90s, fans were shocked to find out that the bad guys and good guys were actually all friends. This one little crack in kayfabe was exploited by the IWC, with new found websites dedicated to exposing the secrets of the professional wrestling business.
Now the IWC have access to podcasts, spoilers, shoot interviews, and a slew of other outlets to satisfy their quest for wrestling knowledge. As the community grows, so do the negative stereotypes that are associated with the IWC. While it is true that some of the fans in the community exhibit behaviors mentioned on this list, not all IWC members reside in such a cliche category.
Since I consider myself a member of the IWC, I will use the word “we” to describe some misconceptions about our community. As always if you think we missed anything, feel free to comment below.
15 We Love Indy Wrestling
For the most part, indy wrestling is unwatchable - and no ROH, and Lucha Underground do not count as independent promotions. Most indy shows are one of two things, spot fests or botch fests. Spot fests are shows where none of the wrestlers ever sell as hurt, they just keep popping right up creating a lightning fast match. The botch fests are shows where the wrestlers don’t really know what they are doing in the ring, and usually end up on an episode of Botchamania. Either way, indy wrestling lacks the psychology or skill to make it a consistent viable source of entertainment.
14 We Are All Trolls
While there are some members of the IWC who do actively seek out conflict, most of the community is actually quite friendly. In fact if you go to a news site during a pay per view and hang out in the comments section, you can have great conversations about matches happening in real time. More times than not the trolls who go against the grain and disagree with everything are ignored, falling into obscurity soon after.
13 We Hate WWE
The truth is that the IWC does not hate WWE, we may not like the WWE, but hate is too strong of a word. The community has strong opinions and memories associated with wrestling, as most of us grew up with it as a part of our family. So when things are being handled poorly in the WWE, we react as if a family member is in distress, thus the hate. The hate would be better described as us hating on WWE, more so than actually hating the company itself.
12 We Think CM Punk is God
There is an ironic element to the relationship between the IWC and CM Punk. While ascending the ranks of independent wrestling, Punk was called the “King of the Indies” by the IWC. His efforts would eventually lead him to the promise land of the WWE, where he would eventually be the top star in the company.
The so called “Summer of Punk” is actually when many IWC members turned on the Straight Edged Superstar, claiming that he was overrated, and a sell out. When Punk retired from wrestling the IWC really exploded with hate for the former WWE Champion, accusing him of walking away from them. Truth be told there is still bad blood between the IWC and Punk, that may not go away until his eventual return to the WWE.
11 We All Hate Triple H
Let’s preface this by saying, there are many IWC members who hate Triple H, and have for nearly 20 years. With that being said, there is a growing subset of the community that has come out in support of the COO of WWE. His ring work with Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXX, along with his creation of the NXT brand have redeemed him in the eyes of many. Add the fact that Triple H is responsible for WWE signing former ROH and TNA stars, and you have a pretty split IWC on their opinion of the 13 time Heavyweight Champion.
10 We All Live in Our Parents' Basement
Internet memes would have you believe that wrestling fans sit in their parents' basement and watch every moment of professional wrestling. While the IWC are hardcore fans of wrestling, many of them are highly successful in their personal lives. Since I can never prove that I am in fact not writing this in my mother’s basement, let’s use celebrities as examples.
WWE has featured some of the biggest stars from music, film, and television in their programming as active participants. I can assure you that if Jon Stewart and Stephen Amell weren't superfans, they would not have taken active roles in storylines; also I can assure you that neither live in their parents' basement. Before you think that they aren’t apart of the IWC, just remember that the internet gives us anonymity, so you never really know who is online.
9 We Never Get What We Want
Remember that time that Daniel Bryan won two separate matches at WrestleMania, or that time that Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase the night after Wrestlemania? Well those things were directly caused by the uproar of the IWC. The community may ask for a lot, but when we band together and make our voices heard, we can make things happen that wouldn’t otherwise.
8 We All Hate John Cena
This misconception may have actually been a fact a few years ago, but the last few years have redeemed John Cena for much of the IWC. Though many members of the community may not like him, most of the IWC does respect Cena for all of his accomplishments. There is actually an entire subset of the IWC that acknowledge Cena as the greatest wrestler of all time. The number of Cena supporters have grown exponentially with all of his great matches in 2015.
7 We All Have Extreme Ideas
WWE creative seems to think that you can either please the general audience, or the IWC but never both. While there is a hint of truth to the previous statement, most community members just want to be entertained by new wrestlers. They want fresh storylines, that utilize different mid card wrestlers who have potential to be great. The IWC propelled guys like Bryan, Punk, and Rollins to the top of the card, and the general audience loves those guys; so why not take the opinion of the IWC more often?
6 We All Love the Attitude Era
The Attitude Era was great, so much so that Stone Cold Steve Austin is being prominently featured in WWE2K16. The era actually permeated pop culture during the late 90s, but that fact doesn’t mean we all liked it. A vocal portion of the IWC have made it known that they thought the entire Attitude Era was overrated. In fact yours truly wrote an article about why it was overrated, which was then debated by the IWC on this very website.
5 We Don’t Have Lives
For some reason, the general public believes that wrestling fans don’t have lives outside of watching the product. In reality, whenever you see a family at a wrestling show, specifically one with young children, there is a good chance that the parent is/was a member of the IWC. Being part of the IWC is a hobby, one that most of us do in moderation one or two nights a week. The other nights that we aren’t watching wrestling, we are out having fun, or spending time with our friends or families.
4 We Think Wrestling is “Real”
For the record, wrestling isn’t fake...it’s fixed... there is a big difference. We know that the outcomes are predetermined, but just because we don’t like wrestling being called fake, doesn’t mean we think it is real. These performers are some of the best athletes in the world, and to call what they do fake is insulting to them, and to us as fans. So in a way, wrestling is real, just not in the way that people think we perceive it.
3 We Are Actually a Community
Ironically the IWC isn’t really much of a community at all, rather we are a bunch of superfans connected by the internet. Most IWC members actually have radically different opinions from other members, making them more different than alike. If members of a community don’t live in the same place, or share common attitudes, can they really be considered a community?
2 We All Think “It’s Not As Good As…”
Some members of the IWC have a bad habit of thinking that nothing is as good as (insert claim here). The truth is that while there are members of the community who are contrarians, most can be persuaded with a good argument based in facts. For the most part the IWC will accept new champions, new storylines, and new aesthetics, if they are appealing. If nothing was as good as (insert claim here), IWC members who attend live shows wouldn’t start the “this is awesome” chants that we hear while watching.
1 We Are Going to Stop Watching Wrestling
I have a breaking news alert for everyone who has ever been apart of the IWC… you will never, ever, stop watching wrestling. You may take a break from it for a while, heck you may even cancel your WWE Network subscription, but you will be back. Even with all of the #Cancelwwenetwork tweets that may have been trending after the 2015 Royal Rumble, the IWC still remained.
The same users are still using the same handles, making the same comments, and that is what it truly means to be part of the internet wrestling community.
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