Be A Fan Not A Hater

Wrestling is fun

Okay so here is a sad fact but I have been watching wrestling longer than a lot of people i know have been alive……in the immortal words of Metallica “Sad But True”. I can actually still remember watching World Of Sport with my Uncle and loving every minute of it. British wrestling was still big in those days and when the WWF came along with its huge stars and non stop marketing machine I was officially hooked forever. Obviously over the years my love for the business has been tested, it’s been pushed and it’s grown with every amazing match/segment I have witnessed. Unfortunately I have also become more clued in to the inner workings of wrestling. I have seen and heard about the politics between performers, promoters ripping workers off and all those stories that exposed the harsh underbelly of professional wrestling.

That’s not to suggest I or indeed any other fan knows everything about the inner workings of the business but I do feel that the more you learn about the backstage side of things the more it clouds your views on what you see on the TV screen. Never was this more illustrated than in the past week when fans started turning on a product that had, recently, been unanimously praised. TNA’s tapings in Bethlehem and New York have received wide critical acclaim and yet when Vince Russo’s name was mentioned this past week in connection with TNA out came the negativity regarding the product.

Vince Russo TNA

See this is where fans stop themselves enjoying the product due to something they have heard/read about the backstage workings of TNA. Now stop and read that sentence again and just think about how ridiculous it is and yet it’s so true. There has been so much positiveness about TNA regarding the New York shows, I literally had not heard one bad word said about them. Yet within minutes of Vince Russo confirming his minor role as a consultant for the announce team Twitter blew up with comments about how poor TNA had been, etc. Now I appreciate Russo as a polarizing figure within wrestling but to slam a show just because he may have played a small part in helping is just plain stupid. Whether you’re a Vince Russo fan or not should have absolutely no bearing on what you thought/think of the current TNA product. This is a typical situation with fans more concerned with what is happening backstage as opposed to the actual wrestling show put on and make no mistake, as of late Impact has been excellent and is getting better.

The thing that so many fans seem to forget is that wrestling is suppose to be fun. It’s entertainment designed for escapism and suspension of disbelief. By letting yourself get caught up in whats happening backstage and disliking people due to something you may have read is stopping you from enjoying the product. Think back to your earliest memory of watching wrestling and for the next few years afterwards, how great was it to just enjoy the television show? There was no thought of politics or burying and that allowed you to 100% enjoy wrestling. Granted I appreciate that you can’t un-know things but surely by putting it to one side and just watching the show as a pure fan the experience will be better?

6 sided ring new york

More importantly is that TNA are listening to its fans and trying to deliver what we are asking for. Of course they won’t get everything right as no wrestling promotion ever does, but at least they are putting the effort in. I understand that what happens backstage in wrestling is fascinating but it should never over shadow the end product. If Michael Bay had an argument with an actor on set would you instantly dislike the film he was making? No so why should wrestling be so different.? Why are we spoiling the show for ourselves by worrying about things which not only may not be true but are also beyond our control.

Pro wrestling is one of the few forms of entertainment that can cover most ranges of emotions in that it can make you laugh, cheer, angry and cry all in one genre. That’s a lot of area coverage for one product and more importantly we watch it so that it reaches those emotions and makes us suspend our disbelief. However we can never achieve that suspension if we are concerning ourselves with details that are not necessarily related to what is actually happening on screen. So lets not get bogged down by the inner workings and enjoy what TNA are doing whoever they have working behind the scenes. Wrestling is suppose to be fun and TNA are getting too much right to be worried about consultants. Let’s appreciate the good shows and be the fans that TNA needs us to be and deep down we want to be. It’s more enjoyable to be a fan than a hater.

Whats your earliest memory as a pure fan?

Follow me on Twitter @mcnm1981

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  • victoria burt

    I think as a fan our judgement will always be clouded, if you emotionally connect to a superstar. If I remember rightly a certain group member turning his back on his brothers was devastating for a mixture of males and females. Maybe its a little bit unhealthy but its fans like me that keep the merchandise selling! Awesome article!

    • Mark M

      Thank you for reading and glad you enjoyed the article. I don’t think its unhealthy to feel an emotional connection to a particular superstar as that should be the goal of a wrestler in all circumstances. Hulk Hogan was the master of getting fans to feel emotion for him as was, albeit to a different degree, Stone Cold. Being emotionally invested in any wrestler or company is what keeps wrestling going. TNA rely on fans like yourself to help make the company better.

  • Aaron Scott Jockers

    I disagree, I feel the politics of pro wrestling make it more fascinating and utterly enjoyable. It also makes it easier to understand questionable booking decisions, like MVP’s rushed heel turn, Bobby Lashley becoming Champ, why AJ Styles had to lose. I knew Vince Russo was part of TNA and included him in my Politics column months ago. Because I’ve been a fan of his for years and can recognize his style no matter how many denials he had sent. Going forward, watching the end of Kurt Angle, the buildup of Sanada, looking forward to Impact’s new TV deal via UTA, these things make television matter more because we know what’s at stake.

    And yes, Michael Bay involved in anything means I will not be spending my money on his work.

    • Mark M

      Thank you for reading… point was when people let their knowledge of what happens backstage affect how they feel about the on screen product then it gets out of hand. Like i said about the Russo thing for example.