You may be wondering how personally, or seriously, to take the following assessment of wrestling fans as a group. The answer: not personally and probably not very seriously, either.
But if you don't think any of the following generalizations apply to you in the slightest bit, then you my friend, are lying to yourself.
Not that being awful is anything to be ashamed of, or even a trait remotely specific to professional wrestling fandom. There are far, far worse sections of the human population.
Wrestling fans are better than ISIS, for example. Wrestling fans are also better than Donald Trump supporters. The overwhelming majority of wrestling fans are not Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy, or even Jared Fogle. Granted, these groups and individuals are not at all mutually exclusive, but that's beside the point.
But as is the case with the overeating and alcohol disorders wrestling fans are all too familiar with, problems don't get solved until they're recognized as problems. If wrestling fans ever hope to become less awful, first we must acknowledge the reasons why we are so very loathsome.
And in the long run, the best part of not-as-awful fans is it will lead to better wrestling. Higher functioning humans will require higher-minded entertainment, after all. By seeing their entertainment of choice improve, wrestling fans will become happier and therefore even better people. Everyone wins. Vince McMahon's total and absolute hatred for wrestling fans everywhere will be replaced with a quiet appreciation, even respect, for their dedication to improving themselves. We will make each other better.
But for now, first we must acknowledge our failings.
"This is obvious trolling," you think. The Sportster, a mind reading website, responds, "Yeah, pretty much, but hey, it's fun, so why not?!"
Here, in no particular order of importance, are the reasons why wrestling fans are the absolute frickin' worst ever.
15 They Aren’t Getting Laid
Sexually repressed adult men are the worst type of human beings that exist. All kinds of nasty behavior patterns and/or incidents are perpetrated by guys who are mad at the world because no one wants to see them naked.
Now, it would be a majorly sweeping unfair generalization to say wrestling fans are all out of shape slackwits with repressed anger and/or inability to accept or cope with personal responsibility for their own extended dry spells. But it would be downright inaccurate to say such wrestling fans don’t exist.
14 Or, If They Can Get Laid, They’re WannaBe MMA Fighter Douches
Now, the second worst type of human beings in the world are guys who didn’t get laid in high school, but some time during their 20s, they figured out whatever incremental lifestyle and/or personality augmentation was necessary to stop repelling potential coitus partners. At this point, they're far less likely to become maniacs, but when they remain bitter about their history of rejection, their repressed anger just conflates with overcompensatory cockiness and renders their company and companionship utterly goddamn insufferable. Many of these douches attempt ill-advised careers in mixed martial arts competition and/or idolize Seth Rollins.
13 They’re Not As Smart As They Think They Are
A study to determine what percentage of wrestling fans have the foggiest idea what goes into performing a successful wrestling match would be interesting, but ultimately exhausting and pointless. We’re guessing that percentage would be pretty darn low! Lower than five percent, if we’re being generous.
Maybe 40 percent of standard WWE fans can tell the difference between a good match and a mediocre match, but if you were to ask for specifics like “why?” and “how?” you might as well be asking them how their iPhone’s work. This ongoing obliviousness to the mechanics of their favorite entertainment fills fans with an existential terror, which leads to anger, which leads to being the worst.
Remember back when Goldust turned face when Jerry Lawler called him a homophobic slur, and in response, The Bizarre One announced himself as “All Man?” What about when the Billy and Chuck tag team followed the same trajectory about 10 years later? Isn’t it weird how whenever a minority character - Muhammad Hassan, The Nation of Domination, and Alberto Del Rio, for example - complain about white racism, they attract loads of heel heat? Why have mainstream wrestling fans historically felt compelled to boo gay characters and characters who address systemic racism?.
11 The Louder Ones Can’t Identify With John Cena
Plenty of fans chant “Cena Sucks!” Plenty of fans claim to loathe Roman Reigns. Wrestling nuts have been verbally urinating on Hulk Hogan for decades. But how often have we encountered a wrestling fan who claims to hate Mick Foley? Or even dislike Mick Foley? How about a “smart” wrestling fan who genuinely wanted to see Daniel Bryan kept in the midcard?
Passionate wrestling fans, in general, tend to skew toward overweight eccentric types, as opposed to captains of football teams. As a consequence, the characters who usually come out on top and win world titles do so at the expense of characters the most vocal fraction of the crowd can most closely identify with. Wrestling fans have to watch proxies for themselves get beat up and lose on their favorite television show on a regular basis. This makes them frustrated and more inclined to be the worst.
10 “Cane Dewey”
Nobody’s saying Tables Ladders and Chairs 2015 should be remembered as one of the all-time great PPVs and its main event clearly suffered from subpar build up and lack of audience investment. Nonetheless, at one point, Sheamus took a nasty ladder bump. Then, minutes later, Roman Reigns superman punched a chair into the now former-champ's face. The Philly crowd preceded to chant “Dan-iel Bry-an! (clap clap, clapclapclap) Dan-iel Bry-an!”
C’mon now. Nobody has to pretend to be excited about a match they could care less about, but proactively cheering a guy who isn’t even in the building at the expense of a guy who’s clearly doing his best and putting himself in no small degree of personal peril, well, you might as well be carrying a “Cane Dewey” sign.
9 Population-Wide Secret Self-Loathing
It’s not a stretch to say that wrestling fans may collectively harbor some substantial issues with low self-esteem. Individuals with low self-esteem have more difficulty maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships and employment, and are more likely to struggle with substance abuse. I read that on a website that looked official and authoritative.
This means wrestling fans collectively have trouble functioning and fulfilling their most basic purposes for existing. Thanks to preexisting issues that would likely exist even if professional wrestling had never been invented, wrestling fans are fundamentally bad at being wrestling fans.
8 Vince McMahon Also Hates Wrestling Fans and Himself
Wrestling fans are a slovenly, boisterous lot who tend to lapse in regard to personal hygiene. Now, imagine being surrounded by such individuals your entire life. Keep in mind that a minuscule segment of wrestling fans grow up to be wrestlers themselves, if not work in the industry, meaning Vince McMahon has had virtually no reprieve from wrestling fans for his entire 70 years on planet Earth.
Internet fans sometimes complain that top WWE creative staffers aren’t listening to the audience. No kidding. Not only does their boss secretly despise the WWE Universe, he knows WWE is basically the only act in town as far as wrestling on TV at this point, so anyone who tweets about discontinuing their WWE Network subscription is probably just being dramatic. Vince McMahon would kill us all if murder was legal.
7 Legitimacy Complex
It’s bound to make a person bitter when their sport of choice is constantly derided by advocates of more traditional athletic competitions as “fake.” Especially when un-scripted sports can be just as inauthentic as wrestling. For instance, is every single New England Patriots game any more or less fixed than a typical John Cena match? Of course not. Nonetheless, wrestling fans overcompensate for their insecurity by defending the honor of pro wrestling far more fervently than they need to, basically turning them into the kind of people who claim to be very proud to live in New Jersey.
6 Childhood Cartoon Heroes Can’t Live Up To Reality
One thing we can appreciate about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Spider-Man - we don’t have to worry about TMZ catching them in a video screaming ethnic slurs while defecating on an underage sex worker. For better or worse, wrestlers blur the line between real people and imaginary characters. Hence, longtime wrestling fans keep having to deal with the disillusionment that comes along with seeing a childhood icon like, let’s say, The Ultimate Warrior, ranting about how “queering doesn’t make the world work.” Or finding out Jimmy Snuka pretty much probably murdered his girlfriend. Or hearing about He Who Shall Not Be Named But Was Once Known as The Crippler going psycho and murdering his family. It can be a bummer!
5 The Ugly Stereotypes (Like This List)
In the big scheme of things, wrestling is not considered high art. If you tell a stranger you’re a big professional wrestling fan, even if they have no negative preconceptions about wrestling fans, even if they themselves are wrestling fans, they’re not going to assume you’re smart. In fact, wrestling fans as a whole are often dismissed as dumber than fans of unscripted sports.
Partially, this is a burden of history - one must keep in mind wrestling fans gained this reputation by insisting that their favorite sport was “real” for decades upon decades.
4 They’re Constantly Made To Feel Silly When Their Favorites Lose
Once again, let’s gaze back at the 2014 Royal Rumble. Clearly, a great many attendees at the Consol Energy Center that evening were tremendously fond of Daniel Bryan. The “Yes” Man appeared, and put on an outstanding performance alongside Bray Wyatt. If all they wanted was to see Daniel Bryan wrestle, they should have been satisfied, correct? What do wins and loses, or in this case, participation in a specific match that’s only important within an imaginary storyline, matter when you know it’s all a work?
Why is this kid so upset over CM Punk losing a “fake” fight?
Because he’s a wrestling fan, that’s why, and for reasons that are difficult to articulate, we all understand. For the same reason why Batista winning the Rumble in 2014 was a slap to the face of us all. Stop making fun of us.
3 “It’s Still Real To Me, Damnit!”
When a wrestling fan gets mega stoked about events transpiring in the ring, we refer to this phenomena as “marking out,” correct? So, since “mark” is a code word for uninformed wrestling fan, in essence, we’re implying that displays of authentic enthusiasm inspired by pro wrestling are inherently stupid and something we should feel bad about. And we came up with this idea ourselves.
This concept where having fun is shameful is specific to wrestling fans, and unheard of within the scope of other fandoms - be they sports-oriented or otherwise. Shouldn’t we all celebrate the “It’s Still Real To Me” guy instead of joining in with confirmed scumbags Opie and Anthony in acting like he did something embarrassing? Nay, we say.
2 They’re Never Happy
It’s fine and good to mock the children who go nuts with joy every time John Cena wins the world title, if that makes you feel better about yourself. But what if they are, in fact, the smartest wrestling fans of all?
Think about all the smug, smarmy alpha-wrestling nerds who pan every single PPV or live show they see. Doesn’t it seem sad that they’re unable to report anything but disappointment from a form of entertainment they supposedly enjoy so much? Maybe it’s possible for a wrestling fan to become so obsessed that they actually do a 180 and secretly start to hate wrestling - leading them to spend much of their free time watching a TV show they can't stand?
1 Actually, Wrestling Fans Are Not The Worst. “Legitimate” Sports Fans Are More Awful.
Fans were downright livid when Batista won the 2014 Royal Rumble. Circumstances seemed perfect for an outburst of mayhem and random destruction of public property. And while a few media outlets described the reaction as a “riot” taking place, I hardly recall any reports of arrests, fires, or anyone flipping over any cars.
Meanwhile, devotees of “authentic” sporting events riot for real all the time. Fifty people were arrested amid a rampage that transpired after the Lakers won the NBA championship in 2010. This writer was present for the 2004 Red Sox riots in which a young woman was accidentally killed by the BPD. Soccer riots are so common they're practically a cliche.
Not unlike every single major WWE feud, the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry has been exaggerated by Major League Baseball in order to sell more “Yankees Suck” T-shirts, but good luck explaining that to Red Sox fans.