No announcement yet.

The Main Event Vol. 165 - What Is Wrestling To You?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Main Event Vol. 165 - What Is Wrestling To You?

    What is wrestling to you?

    Is it but a past time; a hobby that can be utilized for a distraction? Or is it more than that?

    I always wonder how fandom is born. What is the connection that brews between yourself and an artist; whether that be your favorite actor, musician or, in this instance, wrestler. I don't even remember when exactly I started watching professional wrestling. As far as I can recall, I started watching WWF in 2oo1 as a ten year old. But yet I can't pinpoint why exactly I became such a huge fan.

    It's quite clear something drew me in and I ended up gravitating towards it. I stared at the television screen in bewilderment watching these larger than life characters stand toe-to-toe. I was hooked and I made sure that my friends were too. We set our whole playing schedule around RAW's timeslot. That's how important it was to us. And that's part of what wrestling was to me back then.

    But what is wrestling to you?

    Is it your solitude? A means to escape life?

    As we all know, wrestling fans are stereotyped as basement dwelling virgins. I can neither confirm nor deny that as my self and other wrestling fans I know are either almost or the exact opposite of that stereotype. However, with that being said, it'd be remiss for me not make mention of the fact that I've known no wrestling fan since I was like 16. I guess I just stuck to it like glue and never let it go.

    But that doesn't change the fact that most stereotypes do come from reality; and if you have nobody in this world then wrestling is the easiest route to escapism. Getting entrenched in a wonderful, wacky world consisting of characters of all varieties can definitely pull you from the depths of lonliness. And if that's what wrestling means to you, then appreciation must be shown to the artform.

    But that's not the case for everybody? What is wrestling to YOU?

    Is it catching up with your old buddies to watch Wrestlemania or any other big event once a year as means to enjoy what you once all had in common? Once again, I can't grasp that concept because I no longer have any friends that watch wrestling. However, I do know of those who enjoyed wrestling so much that they try to their best to watch at least one big wrestling show together a year as a group. Although, I sense that it could be more to do with lost brotherhood than actual wrestling.

    In that instance, wrestling may not mean as much. But what is wrestling to YOU?

    Is it a cherished memory from your childhood? We know that there are many of us who have grown from our wrestling fandom. But yet, if you were so passionate about the industry as a kid, surely a part of you will still love tuning in every so often just to "check in". I guess that's how casual fans are born. We've all been casual fans at some point, but the passion shone through and the art of half-naked men in baby oil play fighting just hooked us right back in. That was certainly the case for me at one point. It always has a way, doesn't it? That's why you'll see, for example, a columnist maybe posting like a column a year because the itch never truly goes away.

    And to expand on these cherished childhood memories of our wrestling experiences, could wrestling be, to you, trying to engage with your children about the business, try to get them to watch and try to get them to fall in love with a place you once called home? I for sure have tried that with my son, however, he never gave wrestling a look. He was never interested and never bothered to give it a chance. He did enjoy one of my other childhood loves, Pokemon, though. However, the little bastard prefers Naruto over Dragonball Z, but I digress. I guess our childhoods were just different.

    And that's okay, we can't force our kids to love the same things we do. So then, with the question still being asked; what is wrestling to YOU?

    Is it a bout of anxiety growing up as a kid because you don't want to be known as someone who watches and enjoys wrestling? Is it hiding your fandom so as not to be labelled a supposed basement dwelling virgin? This is something I can definitely agree to on a huge level, but we'll get to that in a second. Firstly, I have to point out that the bigger WWE got, the smaller the stigma got, too. Huge praise has to go to the likes of The Rock, John Cena and Batista for perhaps changing the opinions of non-fans. You can most certainly include Brock Lesnar in that conversation as well, what with his successful exploits in the world of MMA.

    However, in the late 2000s, growing up as a teenager, this was not the case. If you were known to watch wrestling you'd be made fun of and almost certainly be called a loser. I didn't want that for myself. I wanted friends and females. I managed to get both, all the while never speaking of wrestling, my fandom hiding in the shadows. Imagine having a wrestling conversation with people who just cared about females, parties, alcohol and B Class drugs. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'd get looked at funny. Besides, girls never liked wrestling and we all know how they react when you losing their interesting talking about something as taboo as wrestling. It's a bit disheartening when I look back at it now.

    That's what wrestling was to ME growing up. Nowadays I couldn't give a fuck less who looks down on me for watching wrestling. I don't look down on you for listening to BTS and watching The Kardishians, do I? So now, to those reading, there's but only one question that remains...

    What is wrestling to YOU?​

  • #2
    It's funny, because I definitely recognise the 'loser' tag for being a wrestling fan, but at the same time there were so many more people around that you could talk to about it that you honestly didn't care. And that's even in 1995. By 1998, people would still call you a loser but it didn't carry the same weight when it felt like everyone was watching it. I hear a lot that there's more acceptance of it now, but could never help feeling that it got ever more lonely after about 2002. There's a part of me that wonders if the broader social acceptance it has goes hand in hand with.... irrelevance, for the lack of a better word.

    As to what wrestling is to me - the honest answer now is a tragedy. The most influential voices in wrestling today are those saying things that, even 25 years ago, only people that hated wrestling used to say. That's always been quite tough to reconcile. I don't think about it very much now, but when I do, I find it quite tragic.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."


    • #3
      What is wrestling to me? Bordering on an obsession I suppose, haha. I'm fortunate to have a close friend still deeply interested in wrestling as well. I think there are few other kinds of media where you can follow a character for years and even decades through all manner of exciting situations and battles, the sheer scope and variety of wrestling appeals to me so much. It's a deep and wide world, present and past, I feel like I'll be able to explore it my whole life long and never get tired of it. Close to 20 years of being a hardcore fan, so we'll see if it ever fades!

      The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!


      • #4
        The way in which you touched on all the different facets of being a longtime wrestling fan was great. Well done, homie. Compared to how many people are into pro sports and popular TV shows, it always felt like wrestling fans were very far and few between growing up. They seem even rarer to find as an adult because most of us are expected to grow out of such silliness with age; unless you have kids to use as an excuse for still following and watching wrestling. It's been a hobby of mine for almost 25 years now which is crazy. Even as I've slowly fallen out of love with it in recent years, I still find myself checking the news headlines on a daily basis.

        What is wrestling to me? It's been everything from a passion to an escape to a chore. Any time it started to feel like the latter, I would just give it a rest and wait for something to hook me back in. Wrestling is also a means to act out my other big passion: writing. It constantly gives me shit to critique or obsess about, as well as flex those creative muscles. Oh and I prefer to watch wrestling on my own, because one of my biggest pet peeves is people who sit there and pick apart the show while you're trying to enjoy it. Like don't make me rear back and kick you off the couch with both feet, bruh.


        • #5
          To me? It's entertainment. Even as a kid in the 80s when I started watching it, I watched because I found it entertaining. Yes, I had my favourites, I viewed it as a sport (until I didn't obviously), but it was still entertainment. One of my columns from many years ago questioned the phrase "sports entertainment" and noted that sport of any kind means nothing to a spectator if it wasn't entertaining - in fact it was only last year (when I stopped watching wrestling on a regular basis) that I restarted watching Formula 1, something I'd taken a few years away from as it's entertainment factor had reduced.

          As for the question of how wrestling is viewed by the general public... I think it says a lot that despite the steps wrestling has made to legitimise itself as a form of entertainment, the majority of non-wrestling fans I speak to still only know the letters "WWF" and are more likely to mention Hulk Hogan than Cena, Batista or Lesnar. And even though they probably know it's what The Rock used to do, it's not what they associate him with at all.
          New Column: Unfinished Business


          • #6
            Prime Time - Its a great point you're making regarding the broader acceptance in 2022. When something is irrevelant, nobody would really care to make any comment on the matter. I do suppose the loneliness of not having anyone to talk to wrestling about may cause disenchantment. Tragic is definitely the worst of what wrestling can be to you, but it's understandable as to why.

            @Mizzie - An obsession wouldn't be far odd for any of us considering how long we've watched. I myself am going for 20 years and doubt I'll ever stop watching. At least you still have a close friend to talk wrestling to!

            SkitZ - I like how you said that most of us were expected to grow out of it but I guess our inner child keeps us interested. I myself have been in and out of love with wrestling over the years and to some it can lean toward out of love. I haven't watched wrestling with anyone else in years so I wouldn't know! But yeah, wrestling to anybody would have been a rollercoaster considering how many years we've been watching.

            @Dyno - In recent years it hasn't been that entertaing although measures have been put in place lol. I suppose you could just look at it as any other show, the only difference is that it's been on forever. Yeah, the majority of wrestlers only know the big ones but I guess how it stays somewhat relevant. I will say that when I hear the words WWE, it's not spat out.

            Thanks all for the read and feed!​