Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fanboys Will Be Fanboys

This entry may seem a little similar to my response to the various gripes about WrestleMania, but this will be an ongoing topic I frequently discuss because it is why various wrestling companies do not listen to the internet fans for feedback. I got into a bit of a heated discussion with Thomas Daniels over at the wrestling website Inside Pulse the other day (you're welcome for the plug), which was the basis for that original rant on smarks and why they're hurting the industry, but I had another run-in today with someone who was downplaying the Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker match as not that great because it was "sloppy." Specifically, a DDT that Shawn Michaels hit while reversing a chokeslam (I think it was a chokeslam), where The Undertaker's head didn't quite make full contact with the mat.

This is why wrestlers and their employers don't take the internet community seriously. If you're going to worry about little things like a DDT not hitting the mat all the way or a rough dive over the top rope while ignoring the greater picture of two guys going out and busting their asses for thirty minutes, telling a story between the ropes, epitomizing the definition of "WWE Style" all while a hot crowd is hanging on every minute of it, then you're never going to find a match that you enjoy. Let's say instead of HBK and Taker, you sent out two guys like Paul Burchill and Shelton Benjamin (no disrespect to them, just an example) and they had this exact match, move for move, with 100% perfect execution, then this match simply would not have been as good. There would've been no story there, no emotional attachment to the match, no 20+ years of history involved in each character, or a build up that was 11 years in the making. This match is so good because of all of those factors, a slip-up on a DDT means nothing in the context of the story.

I grow tired of this idea that you have to be cynical and bitter in order to be an "informed" fan. These people remind me of when I went to the theater to see Watchmen on opening night and a guy was walking around in a trenchcoat, jeans and Rorschach's mask and some fanboy next to me actually says "Look at that idiot, Rorschach wouldn't wear jeans." How can you possibly expect anyone to take you seriously when you say something so asinine? Whether it's Rorschach's pants or HBK's DDT, you sound like a complete tool.

Wrestling fanboys are no different than any other, if a 45-year-old man doesn't dive over the top rope as gingerly as he did fifteen years ago, they have to knock 3/4 of a star off the match, and those people are precisely the problem with the wrestling industry today. The Internet Wrestling Community makes up a sizable portion of the wrestling fanbase, but because of the loudest, most obnoxious portions of it, the entire group gets written off as a bunch of dorks in their mom's basement by those within the industry. It's not that "smarter" fans don't have good ideas for characters, matches, storylines, etc., it's that the ridiculous fans are drowning them out. When you come across as an unappreciative, obnoxious jerk, surprise... people don't want to listen to what you have to say. They ruin it for the rest of us and that's why sometimes I go off on things the way I do, I hate the fanboy mentality that to be the biggest fan, you have to be the most critical. It's tired, it's old, I've been reading some variation of it on the internet since the old days of WWE's AOL channel in 1996, you'd think some of these people would've grown up by now.

*Above image courtesy of GamesRadar.


  1. I run into this with baseball fans too. Complain complain complain. It's pretty obvious they (the baseball fans) either 1. can't enjoy the game anymore, 2. never did, or 3. think non-stop griping is a sport unto itself. Which always leads me to wonder, why spend so much time watching and discussing something you obviously don't care about?

    If the joy is gone, it's time to move on.

  2. Good article! I wish I could say that the cynicism has crept in since it became obvious that the WWE wouldn't reach the critical high of the late 90's - but I've read reports from back then where they were just as critical as the product. It asks a big question why these people are wrestling fans, unless they happen to go to the ballet and give that a star rating too.

    Oh and I too read that Inside Pulse article. I hope that man doesn't want to be an actual journalist, or else he'll be flipping burgers for the rest of his life. "I hope this gets Christian drafted to whatever show Triple H isn’t on after next week’s draft special." Seriously? Before Backlash 08, Triple H hadn't held the World Title in over three years, and spent that time feuding with established wrestlers and putting over guys like Batista and John Cena. Is this 2003 or something?