Fans of professional wrestling are as diverse and volatile as the roster of superstars they support every week. It’s an ever changing, evolving, dynamic industry and these qualities manifest themselves in a vast array of supporters scaling from casual observers to obsessed diehards.
At one end are those with a passing interest, they watch the odd episode of Raw and occasionally indulge in a pay per view with a group of mates. They’re familiar with most of the roster, but don’t know too much about each superstar. They view pro wrestling as a spectacle and a bit of a soap opera, and enjoy it for what it is.
The polar opposite are the super crazed wrestling fans who live and breathe every episode of Raw and Smackdown, keep an eye on NXT and watch every pay per view. Quite often they keep an eye on other brands too like TNA and even some international promotions. They know everything about everyone, and have posters all over their walls of their favorite superstars. They know it's scripted, but they still ride every moment as a high profile boxing match.
In between the two extremes of that spectrum are a whole host of different supporters harboring varying degrees of insanity, resentment and affection. Some people focus all their energy on one wrestler, through good times and bad, through heel turns and back again. Others prefer heels only, and drop off a superstar if they become a good guy. Others still are the opposite, and always hate the bad guys. There are know it alls, hangers on, diva droolers, blind sheep and old stable hands who can’t accept the likes of D-Generation X or the Ministry of Darkness no longer exist. And plenty more to boot.
Here are the top 15 worst kinds of wrestling supporters.
15 The Minority Huggers
This lot are quite disgusted by the glitz and glamour of the WWE, and formerly of the WCW. Those companies are at unrealistic heights, and not what wrestling is all about them. Minority Huggers used to watch ECW, and now invest their time in watching TNA. They're also well across everything that's happening in Japan, and occasionally go and watch indie shows when they come to town.
A word of advice, don't try and discuss wrestling with these fans unless you enjoy condescending looks because you don't know that PJ Black is TNA's reigning King of the Mountain.
Never has there been a better stable than D-Generation X, and never will there be, according to the DXers, who still wear the clothes of their favorite group to wrestling shows today. At their peak DX were a brilliant group with WWE legends Triple H, Shawn Michaels, New Age Outlaws Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, the entertaining X-Pac and wrestling's strongest ever female wrestler, Chyna.
There were others along the way, but DX has been finished for a long while now, despite a few teasing returns last decade through Triple H and Shawn Michaels. DXers live in hope there'll be a big happy reunion one day. They also enjoy spending their days comparing the perceived inferior modern day stables to their Attitude Era heroes.
13 WCW Mourners
You know that guy who used to watch WCW religiously, and now doesn't even watch wrestling anymore? He's a WCW mourner. When Vince McMahon bought up WCW in 2001 and absorbed the brand into his on WWE, most WCW fans came with him. A handful opted instead to give up on wrestling, saying they weren't interested if WCW no longer existed. There was plenty of great wrestling to watch post-WCW. Are you telling us there's been nothing better than WCW programming back in 2000?
12 Diva Droolers
These guys have no real interest in what’s happening in the ring. All they do is gawk at the divas whenever they come on screen, fantasizing about how much better their life would be if they could marry a female wrestling talent. Most of these guys are single middle aged men who barely know the difference between Stone Cold and Triple H.
But they do know everything about Stephanie McMahon and all of the divas who have wrestled for her, past and present. Fortunately, most of these guys tend to not attend wrestling shows in person, preferring to stare and dream at a safe distance from their lounge rooms. This was more prevalent in the Attitude Era, when divas regularly competed in bra and panties matches and lingerie pillow fights.
11 Blind Sheep
Very similar to the blind sheep who follow sporting teams, or political parties. You know that mate of yours who agrees with everything Donald Trump says? You know he or she doesn't really agree with Trump, but because he's representing the Republican Party, everything he says must be correct. So it is the case with blind sheep in wrestling. They believe everything they're told. Whatever the WWE does is always the right move for the company. When a belt changes hands it's always at the right moment. As is the case for heel turns. Blind sheep love the product and idolize the wrestlers. In some ways they're the biggest fans of the lot, but you can't help but roll your eyes when they refuse to question anything WWE does.
10 The Attituders
If you're reading this then there's every chance you probably know many people who fall into this category. In fact, if you grew up in the 1990s this is probably you. You can't help but hark back to the glory days, when Stone Cold would fight The Rock for the title, when The Undertaker had a Ministry of Darkness shadowing his every move, when D-Generation X were at their peak, when the McMahons were screwing superstars through The Corporation.
Attituders refuse to move on, claiming none of the modern wrestlers and storylines are any good. Perhaps they have a point to some extent, but it is still important to understand the WWE is constantly evolving and changing and sometimes it's best to just go with it.
9 Old School
These are kind of like the Attituders on steroids. Baby Boomer wrestling fans hark back to an age where Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan were actually young, Vince McMahon was nothing more than a ring announcer and guys like Bruno Sammartino, Lou Thesz and Killer Kowalski dominated the ring. This particular kind of wrestling fan are usually good to listen to for a while, until they start telling you that back in their day the fighting was a lot more real, the wrestlers were tougher and so on and so forth. The same argument that's usually dragged out in discussions about American football in the days of yesteryear. The Baby Boomers are best handled by listening as opposed to arguing. It's okay to be an old school fan, but to dismiss anything done past the old age is a little ignorant.
8 Switch Hitters
These are the kind of mainstream fans that eat out of the palm of WWE Creative. They cheer and scream when a babyface walks to the ring, while booing and hissing at the heels. Whenever there's a heel turn, all of a sudden they're personally offended and develop an instant hatred for the wrestler who just 30 seconds ago was their favorite.
Or vice versa, they'll instantly develop a strong kinship with any superstar who switches the other way, sometimes even claiming to their friends that they've always had a soft spot for the heel come fan favorite. This is possibly the most common type of wrestling fan.
7 Gender Benders
There are male and female versions of gender benders. The females spend most of their time deriding professional wrestling for being such a sexist business that only parades its endless stream of divas for a bit of eye candy. Once they've finished making their point they resume staring at the masculine physiques on display every night and keep buying more Roman Reigns posters for their collection.
Then you have the male version who pretend they're disgusted by the 'obvious' use of steroids in the business, constantly telling you it's impossible for a natural man to look like that. Then in the very next conversation they'll tell you how hot Trish Stratus is, and that they're very impressed with the current crop of divas, even though he refuses to watch them wrestle. Gender benders are hypocritical and insufferable.
6 Achilles Heels
This mob are kind of like Jerry Lawler except instead of commentating, they’re in the stands. Purely and simply they love the bad guys. As soon as someone makes a heel turn, they’re on board, even if just 10 minutes earlier they despised the character for being such a babyface. Roman Reigns was cool as a heel member of the Shield, but now he's a boring babyface. If John Cena were to turn heel tomorrow, all these people who have hated him for years would instantly call him the coolest thing in the business. They don't seem to understand that the business works best when faces are loved and heels are hated.
5 Adult Marks
There are plenty of adult wrestling fans out there, and most of them are completely reasonable. They see it as a bit of light hearted entertainment and a throwback to their teenage years when they may have overindulged in WWE or WCW. But occasionally you get an adult fan who's constantly trying to justify his passion, and this gets really quite painful. They get their back up when people start using the word 'fake', pointing to steel chairs and first blood matches as a counter argument. They're constantly telling you that wrestling superstars are some of the fittest athletes in the world. And they sometimes even try and pull you a little deeper into the world of wrestling fandom by showing you old tapes of their favorite pay per views, or long gone superstars.
Adult marks are actually pretty good fun to hang out with because they're so easy to wind up. Just don't become one yourself.
4 Know It Alls
Roman Reigns was never going to win that Royal Rumble. Only two people have ever won it when entering first, and no one's ever won it coming in first in Florida during a Democrat presidency in a year ending in 6. Stats gurus love following sport, and occasionally they crop up in wrestling circles too. This is that mate of yours who seems to know every WrestleMania venue of all time, and the complete move set of every superstar on the roster. They can list every single Hardcore champion since the belt's inception and they know exactly how long Goldberg's infamous winning streak actually was. Know It Alls can actually be quite handy to watch wrestling with whenever you're looking for a random piece of information although after a while they can get quite taxing.
Usually when you're hitting your early teens you discover that professional wrestling is in fact scripted. Maybe your dad has decided it's time to gently let you down, much like he did with Santa Claus at the appropriate moment. Or maybe you see one too many wrestlers walking away from a piledriver and start to suspect all is not what it seems. A small clutch of fans either never went through this, or if they did they never accepted it. So they ride every powerslam, every boot to the face and every submission move as if it's really been delivered. It's quite curious to watch the believer in action, and the funny thing is they won't allow themselves to be told otherwise.
They're a strange lot, the haters. They watch wrestling every week without fail, but spend all their time complaining about how bad it is. All the moves are stupid, the gimmicks are silly and the storylines are boring. Sometimes the haters have one superstar they idolize, to the contrary of their usual disposition. And strangely enough it's usually a mid carder or a one time champion that doesn't tend to attract too many mainstream supporters. The haters like to compare every other superstar to their solitary favorite, and tell anyone who listens why their hero is clearly the best in the business. Don't hang out with haters, there's simply no need for all that negativity.
1 Closet High Horses
They spend all day and night deriding you for being a wrestling fan with comments like “It’s so obviously fake, I don’t know how you can watch that”, and “If this was real he’d be dead after that tombstone”. But behind your back, they go home, climb down from their high horse and watch every episode of Raw and Smackdown, fascinated by how something so blatantly 'fake' can be so captivating. Then they go back to telling their mates how if this was real life there would be no way The Big Show would ever lose. And so goes the cycle. This lot are best avoided, they suck the fun right out of it.