Friday, November 11, 2011

5 things that puzzle me about wrestling fans

I’ve been alive for 25 years, and for just as long I’ve been watching wrestling. But even after all this time, there are some things that still puzzle me.

1. Why is it that so many fans piss on the Indies, yet never even bother watching more than 2-3 matches from there? ~ I’m constantly trying to push people to pay attention to the Independent leagues, where actual wrestling exists, but seemingly nobody has the balls to sit down, and watch a 10 minute clip on YouTube. “It’s BORING! It’s DUMB!” Say the bitchy little naysayers, and yet none of them can even name me ONE Indy league.

Others still ask me how they can at least preview an Indy league before committing their hard earned $10 to it, and I say the same thing. “YouTube them. Google it.” And always I hear the same complaint. “That’s too HARD! It’ll take too much time! Obviously it’s not worth my time if I have to Google it.”

Do you see how LAZY that looks to me? The same person who said that they can’t be bothered to Google one Indy promotion, will then spend about 55 minutes of his time YouTube searching the same 3 Chris Jericho videos he has on VHS and DVD… and on his Facebook wall ~ again and again and again.

2. Why is it that people will watch either WWE or nothing at all? ~ I’m constantly seeing the ratings for Raw and SmackDown dip, as more and more people I know give up on the company altogether. This guy’s not getting booked at all, that guy’s being de-pushed, I’m sick of Cena and Orton ~ are some of the myriad of complaints I see every week. “So stop watching that then, and check out AAW with me.” Is my encouraging reply.

“NO WAY!! It’s not WWE.” Is the pig-headed sentiment I usually get back. Why? We’ve established that you no longer wish to see the WWE as it is now, so why the sudden defense? Is it honestly that hard for you to fathom giving something else a try?

3. Why it is that most fans can bitch about the WWE, but if I do it, I’m somehow “naïve” or “stupid”? ~ I tried an experiment once.

So this year, Christian won ~ and then lost ~ the SmackDown belt. The entire title reign lasted less than a weekend, and everyone got pissed. It wasn’t enough that he lost the belt, it was made worse that his push was thrown away so that Randy Orton could hold the belt a 10th time. Truth be told, I don’t think Randy should have even held it the first time, let alone the other 9, since he’s sloppy, has too quick a temper, and has yet to be anything like the wrestler his father, uncle or grandfather were, but I digress. Christian was screwed, and even non-wrestling fans knew it.

Now unwittingly, I shared the exact same sentiment as a man on a YouTube page. (Since I don’t remember his name, let’s just call him “Rodger”.) Rodger and I both posted the same sentence:

“Christian just got SCREWED out of the title. I say we boycott SmackDown this week to show the WWE the mistake they just made.”

Now when I posted this sentence, I got the following responses on many a chat, forum and channel:

“You’re so naïve! Oh here we go again with Kori’s naivety rearing it’s ugly head. Look stupid, just because you and the other internet SMARKS can withstand 60 minute matches at your backyard Indies doesn’t mean the rest of us can. It’s JUST an angle. If you don’t like it STOP WATCHING dumb Kori!”

Rodger posted the EXACT SAME sentence I had.

“DUDE you are SO right. Fuck WWE. Let’s boycott Raw too!”

What the hell? Am I THAT intimidating that this would happen? So it’s alright if a MAN says it, but not me, right? Gotcha.

Nice to see the lack of manhood on the internet.

4. Why is it that people will defend that which annoys them? ~ Picking up from the last segment, a lot of people have been upset this year over stupid decisions made by the WWE. I’ve seen some alarming comments from people about Muppets, wrestlers that have been dropped lower on the card than need be, storylines that got stupid fast, all kinds of complaints from people who actually work 3 or more jobs a week, just to afford 5th row tickets to the next house show.

I’m always being told “Well just stop watching then!!” from these exact people when I point out the mistakes of this company. So a few times, I’ve turned the tables and asked them to do the same thing. “Just – STOP – Watching.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! They’re um like the BIGGEST company in the world! Stupid Kori, why um it’s just a storyline, and I don’t always have to agree with it. I’m a fan and I know that. You’re just a hater.”

A similar reaction can come from a child, who professes to have outgrown his favorite toy, yet will scream and holler if another boy touches it.

5. Why is it that I can read the writing on the wall, and nobody else can? ~ So it seems that I over-react to things. Alright, I can point out a few occasions on which I am guilty of this. But still there are things that are starring us all in the face as I type this:

1. The WWE stock has dropped from $25 when it opened in 1999, to $8-10 in a mere 12 years. We CAN’T just pretend it’s all the economy’s fault, when other companies in the stock market (such as Mattel) have not suffered nearly as badly as the WWE stocks.
2. The ratings for Raw and SmackDown haven’t seen a 4.0 since Brock Lesnar quit.
3. The WWE has lost NXT and Superstars’s TV deals in the same year ~ and at this rate may not even be able to renew Tough Enough for a full second season.
4. The PPV buy rates have DROPPED to less than half of their typical revenue.
5. Overseas house shows that used to draw an easy 10-15,000 people are now barely bringing in 4-7,000 paid fans. A drop in the bucket? Maybe, but losing more than half of 15,000 fans is NOTHING to be happy about.
6. The merchandise at Wal*Mart, K-Mart and Target are NOT selling well. Hell, even multi-action-figure wrestler himself Evan Bourne pointed it out:

7. The storylines are crappy re-hashes from older ~ FAILED ~ storylines of years past.
8. The youth are being undermined and pushed down, in favor of pre-manufactured sports entertainers.
9. Many of the talent being pushed are over-groomed girly-men and non-wrestling talentless tranny-bitches. (Minus the beauty.)
10. WWE is bleeding money with each failed movie. (The Reunion is quickly becoming it’s own meme for having lost so much money.)
11. Creative is so mentally bankrupt, that they keep begging McMahon to beg back former WWE employees ~ to NOT use them. *COUGH BRET COUGH*

I’m watching WCW flash in front of my eyes each week, as I see one Russo-esque swerve after another. (HHH is is not is in charge but broke up with his boyfriend Kevin Nash and Johnny Ace now has power. HAH?? Is this WWE or TNA???) And yet every time I point ANY of this out, I’m either greeted with “Stop watching” or some sort of long-winded explanation as to why I’m somehow “wrong” for believing that a company that rakes in millions of dollars could “ever” fall. Oh stupid me indeed, why there was only ONE Enron, ONE WCW in the world, why it could “never” happen again… even as I’m watching every store in the area clearance off WWE merchandise and condense the aisles to a fraction of what they were before.

Now I’m not saying we’ll all wake up tomorrow, and have the WWE just disappear, but I am saying that the day is coming where the company as we know it now will cease to be. Hell, the company we fell for as children is LONG gone.

GONE are the days of competent valets that don’t try to hump every wrestler who appears on screen, stylish dresses and ladylike entrances. In place of strong women I can be proud of, we have girls not good enough to be the skank ass whore that is Snooki. ~ That’s right I went THERE.

GONE are the days of wrestlers acting like MEN, knowing when to say “NO!!” to a moronic booking idea ~ for now we have little, simpering girls, who pout and cry should the idea of saying “I dunno” cross their minds. “OH but Vince might fire me, and I wanna wif out my WWE dweams.” REALLY??

GONE are the days of superhero, larger than life wrestlers in a WWF ring, touting the virtues of eating your milk and drinking your vitamins, as they fight in storylines no more complicated than good vs. evil. Instead, we have ill-coordinated groups that lack focus, little boys in sparkle pants that bitch and moan about who gets to wear the matching mask, angry puffy men who can’t seem to cut a convincing promo ~ or for Heaven’s sakes do ONE good Hammerlock ~ without a training video, shimmery boys with hair much more shiny than my hairspray-laden curls ~ wearing much more makeup and body glitter than Boy George at a Lady Gaga concert, and of course, the 30-somethings who act like an urban 12 year old, jorts included. (What happened here??)

The WWF we had as kids was dead and gone long before the Monday Night Wars. And really if you think about it, WHY would anyone want to work there anyways? Think about it, we have so many interviews, DVDs, podcasts and internet videos from most of the surviving cast of the 80’s and 90’s WWF we loved so much as kids. And each one of these ex-WWF wrestlers ~ even Hogan ~ have stories about what a sick place the backstage area was. Steroids, drugs, unclean rings, NO medical insurance, rampant alcohol and sexual abuse, oh sure those things never truly went away, but is that really the element you’d want to be in? More scary are the after effects these guys warn about. Liver, muscular and stomach damage from those chemicals, STDs, mental trauma, frienemies (fake friends who are really your enemies) suddenly that story--line of good vs. evil looks really blurry.

So it’s clear that the WWF we once knew is gone, and the current WWE product is suffering. So why are people ~ even after realizing this ~ are still willing to defend it, the moment I say anything?

Now my best two guesses are that there are some real misogynists on the web, and that those who swear they aren’t are at the very least in denial about the state of what they think is wrestling. However I’m open to other suggestions ~ ideas more manly than an insult hurled in my direction.

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