Saturday, May 18, 2024
Editorial10 Signs You Watch Too Much Wrestling

10 Signs You Watch Too Much Wrestling

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“Gotta Catch’em All!”

While this isn’t something I do, many wrestling fans have glorious collections of merchandise. You could consider them “hoarding” fans, they fill their houses with as much merchandise as humanly possible. Tattoos, VHS tapes, magazines, DVDs, movies, video games, posters, autographs, t-shirts, action figures, glasses, mugs, hats, stickers, costumes; there’s so much merchandise to collect.

It’s a mixed sign, because having a collection is nice to have, but there’s examples of fans with large collections who continue to buy new merchandise every week. But that’s normal for any product, you’ll always have fans who love to collect (and do so despite the negative implications), and WWE specifically makes it easy and accessible. Do you really need the latest New Day shirt? Do you really need a sixth replica belt? How often do you watch the WWE Network? Was the latest movie featuring The Miz worth the money? I’ve always believed that less is more, and no one should look like a billboard for WWEshop.com.

Armchair Fantasy Booking

Everyone does it. Everyone’s booked a wrestling card at one point in their lives. Whether you was a kid playing with your action figures, a teenager messing around with friends, or an adult watching any WWE show, we’re always finding a way to criticize booking, and tell others how we would have done it differently. It’s a big sign for me, as I’ve booked fantasy tournaments since I was a kid; not just wrestling, but fantasy tournaments in general. Childhood Imagination is great, because it doesn’t matter if it lacks common sense .. but as soon as you try the same thing as an adult, with other adults contributing their own passionate opinions, it can get messy rather quickly.

I can also guarantee that every PPV with a bad ending will be littered with armchair bookers telling WWE how they would have done it differently. It’s strange, because if you tried that anywhere else, like a soap opera, a movie, or any other fictional piece, it would feel out of place. Fans of other shows simply express disgust for the anti-climactic ending and move on, whereas wrestling fans will talk about how it could have been different several hours, if not days after the show’s ended. I noticed this trend as the internet and social media rose to prominence, as it became easier for fans to share their likes and dislikes with other avid fans. I’ll go in to social media later, as this one is all about the fans (myself included) who over-analyze everything and offer “better” alternatives every chance we get.

Dressing Up

While this could come under a later entry, I wanted to include it individually as it’s mostly common among casual and former fans of wrestling. The World Darts Championship has a passionate crowd: they sing, drink beer, and most importantly, dress up in ridiculous costumes. I’ve seen a bunch of Hulk Hogans, Macho Mans, Warriors, and even Goldusts at the Alexandra Palace, so I felt like I needed to place this for fans who love to dress up with their friends.

It’s not just Halloween, anywhere with a party atmosphere which encourages dress up, guaranteed someone’s going to show up as a wrestler. Whether they watched (too much) years ago, or still watch, there’s no bias, and there’s no ridicule, because dressing up like a wrestler connects you to other wrestling fans at the party. I wonder how many dressed up as Bray Wyatt on Halloween last year.

“You’re Such A Heel!”

One sign of too much wrestling is the use of wrestling lingo in everyday situations. Whether you’re with friends, or at work, wrestling lingo can sometimes creep in and become a funny and alternative way to communicate. Using terms like “I’m such a mark for this”, may confuse the average person, but to any wrestling fan it means “I love this”. Referring to every villain in everything as a “heel”, or getting a promotion at work and calling it a “push” to your friends, there’s so many examples of wrestling fans using the lingo to communicate in their own way.

Sometimes the lingo influences people who don’t even watch wrestling, and then you know your wrestling habit, and the willingness to share it, has created a unique bond. But then you also have times when someone uses a particular word in the way it’s meant to be used, and you can’t help but think about it in the wrestling sense. And it’s not just limited to lingo, but abbreviations as well. For example, do you ever think about the promotion WCW when you see women posting on Facebook with their #WCW? I know I do. Lingo continues to be a sign of too much wrestling in your life, but the lingo can only become commonplace if you have friends and family who are willing to reciprocate, otherwise you may come across as a little weird.

“If I Haven’t Seen It, It’s New To Me!”

No matter how angry we get with wrestling, many of us continue to tune in no matter what. We love it so much that we often hope for better days. We hope that next week will be better, but even if it doesn’t live up to expectation, we’re going to watch it again next week regardless. How many times have you seen fans threaten to stop watching because their favourite wrestler didn’t win? How many times have you seen fans boycott social media, threatening to cancel their WWE Network subscription? But how many of them really follow through on their threats? Not many.

And why? Is it habit? Is it because we know anything can and will happen when we least expect it? It’s a bit of both, it’s something we feel compelled to see every week, and we’re always waiting for those special moments, and we don’t want it spoiled by social media before we get to see it. But then you think about fans of “wrestling”, those fans who are not just fans of WWE (like myself), who have stacked weekly schedules. Let’s go through my weekly schedule as an example: Raw, NXT, TNA, ROH, Smackdown and any PPVs. So that’s nine hours of wrestling before you consider PPVs, and there are PPVs for WWE, NXT, TNA and ROH, so another 2-4 hours at least. And I’ve been watching Wrestlemania’s for my series of articles, so there’s another four hours.

And we ain’t even thought about the WWE Network and online footage. Any wrestling fan, if done right, could be watching wrestling every day of every week without fail. It’s excessive, and a subject I’ve touched on before about over-saturation in the business, but instead of going through the subject of “too much wrestling” again, I’ll finish this entry by saying .. even if you’re just a WWE fan, there’s still a lot of content, and somehow we manage to see it every week.

Online Shenanigans

Ironic considering where I’m posting this. A sign of too much wrestling is spending far too much time on social media, forums, and dirtsheets. Whether it’s to enjoy the latest memes, complain, spoil shows for others, or read the latest “exclusive” news, we’re always up to something online. Then you have fans like myself, who write opinionated articles on wrestling to provoke discussion. As fans we’re exceptionally passionate and there’s many avenues to have our voices heard, whether it’s positive or negative. We see it all, and often it’s negative and argumentative. It’s too easy to argue over wrestling, because it’s a matter of perception, and everyone has their own likes and dislikes.

The sign grows bigger the more you rely on it. Honestly, without social media and dirtsheets there would be less “spoilers” kicking around, but the good thing about social media, forums, and dirtsheets is having a platform for wrestling fans to meet other wrestling fans. You may find yourself having no one to talk too about it, so having somewhere to share is refreshing. Still, it doesn’t stop some from going too far, and the shenanigans will never end as long as wrestling fans remain passionate.

“Remember The Good Ol’ Days?”

If you can go to a party and immediately reminisce about wrestling with an old friend you ain’t seen in years, it’s a sign of too much wrestling. Even if one friend stopped watching years ago, and the other continued to do so, it still applies to both, because you loved it back in the day when wrestling was great. The need to reminisce will never die, as the new generation will grow old and be replaced with a newer generation.

The difference with discussing it in person is you’re much less likely to argue over differing opinions. Unlike the internet it’s far more exciting and refreshing to share memories. And it’s not just related to old friends, whomever you share those memories with, remembering the greats is a therapeutic experience. While some signs could be considered strange or excessive if done too much, I honestly can’t see any drawbacks from this one. Unless you’re doing it while you’re supposed to be working? Or If all you ever talk about is wrestling? There’s a limit for sure, depending on the company you keep.

“Wrestling’s FAKE & Childish!”

Doesn’t that grind your gears? When you love wrestling but there’s always one person who doesn’t get it? You then feel obligated to explain how wrestling isn’t fake, it’s scripted, and you don’t see anyone calling soap operas or movies fake because they ain’t real. You explain how wrestling still hurts, and how wrestlers can still be injured, but the outcomes are pre-determined beforehand. Then you have to explain why wrestling fans enjoy it, even if it is “fake”. It’s like an alien concept to some, they are simply unwilling (or unable) to suspend disbelief and enjoy it for what it is.

It’s not just on social media, it’s in everyday situations as well. You could try talking to a colleague about wrestling, and someone walks up, listens in, then expresses disappointment at the subject of wrestling as they can’t contribute. Soon enough, the creeper (didn’t know what to call him/her) is labeling wrestling as childish, trying to make you both feel immature for watching it. Then you explain how millions of people around the world watch wrestling on a regular basis; most of them adults. Dumbfounded, the creeper tries to think of a witty response, but inevitably fails and walks away. You know when you’ve watched too much wrestling when you’re forced to defend something you enjoy. Surely everyone’s experienced that? Or is it just me?

“Oh You Didn’t Know!?”

You’ve done it, you’ve imitated your favourite wrestlers hundreds of times. Whether it’s a WOO! Hell Yeah! Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? Or tried rolling your eyes back like The Undertaker, you’ve watched enough wrestling, and everyone knows it. You hear the shattering of glass and automatically assume business is about to pick up. You open a can of beer and feel the need to Stone Cold Stunner someone afterwards. Someone pisses you off and you respond with a vicious crotch chop and a middle-finger salute. Hey Chico (with a toothpick), guess what? You’ve been watching too much wrestling.

I spit in the face of people who don’t want to be cool and watch wrestling. Well .. I don’t, but anyone who’s watched WWE in the past ten years will know who I imitated. Fans will always copy their favourite wrestlers. Imitation is flattery, and wrestling fans have always been willing to express their love through it. You’ll imitate someone so frequently it becomes an annoyance to others.

How many of you quoted a wrestler today? I’m going to guess most did, even if it was once and you didn’t really think about it. We like catchy things, we like being able to dress up (see #8), and we like annoying our friends and family with our love. The imitation sign links up with #1; they go together like a cute couple sitting on a bench eating ice creams as they stick their thumbs up in tandem saying “Have a nice day!”

“Don’t Try This At Home!”

Ha. Don’t try this at home. What a joke. How many of you wrestled someone or something at one point in your lives? Whether you gave a teddy bear a suplex, your friend a chokeslam, or you got your drinking buddy in a full nelson, you’ve watched wrestling enough to do it your way. And we do it in so many different places, like trampolines, bouncy castles, ball pools, beds, even outside on the grass, there’s many places we can defy the rules and risk our necks.

I remember back in school, everyone was in to wrestling then .. and South Park. So while we imitated South Park and the Attitude Era, we also greeted each other with middle-finger salutes, Stunners, Rock Bottoms, Chokeslams, and many other moves you usually wouldn’t see in a school corridor. It almost became an insult not to greet each other in that way. Nowadays, as long as you have a trampoline or a bouncy castle, you can still reminisce with your friends by delivering a sick jumping DDT. Or maybe even a clothesline “over the top rope” .. flipping the bouncy castle over in the process? (thanks to a Facebook poster for that true story) It seems when we can safely perform these moves, and the time calls for it, age isn’t an issue.

While this is technically imitation again, I decided to include it because it’s dangerous, but we do it anyways. You can’t break someone’s neck with a crotch chop, but you can break someone’s neck with a piledriver. While I’ve personally taken and given several piledrivers (in my teen years, not lately), and know that I never came close to injuring others, or being injured myself, all it takes is one careless idiot to drop you. Absolutely need trust between you and your friends, and clear communication if you’re going to do it; that should be part of the fun, learning how to perform the moves as safely as possible.

And that’s all from me. I hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as I did writing it. Didn’t feel like work at all, more like a trip down memory lane, while also poking fun at myself and others. Please share your personal “signs” with everyone, so we can understand each other a little better. A community needs to share, and if there’s one thing I want from this, it’s something we can all enjoy together as wrestling fans who watch far too much wrestling. Good night EWN 3:16.

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