This is a word that we see and use so often, yet we don’t even realize it. We constantly hear about rebels in the news. Whether they are insurgents in foreign countries, rebel rousers at the office who speak against management, or even rebels we see in the movies, they are everywhere. The interesting thing is that they always seem like they are far off. We always feel we don’t know any rebels that well, and we never stop to think of ourselves as rebels that often either.
Yet, believe it or not, we are rebels more than we think. The fact that we are wrestling fans makes this all the more apparent.
Subconsciously, wrestling fans are no different then a bunch of rebels. Why else do we indulge ourselves in an alternate form of entertainment so looked down upon by society? Simply because we are rebels at heart. We aren’t just the casual fans who tune in if we don’t already have previous plans. Our plans ARE wrestling, and as rebels, our cause is wrestling, and this must be held up. Throughout history, all rebels that had a cause dedicated their life to it. In 1776, Thomas Jefferson, as a rebel for America against Great Britain, devoted months of his life to write the Declaration of Independence, and years later became president of the rebel American country. In 1917, Lenin led the Bolsheviks against Czarist Russia as a rebel, and spent years plotting such a move before he became the dictator of his beliefs until his death.
If you really think about it, we really aren’t much different than these two famous revolutionaries. To many of us wrestling fans, wrestling is our life. Therefore, as rebels, wrestling is our cause. We tune in to the shows constantly, and on top of that, we go online to download more! Then we log onto our instant messengers, forums, and news sites, just to talk it all up. Is there anything wrong with that? Not at all, because in the end it is our cause and something we live by. However, there is always a feeling of social stigma most of us get from this passion of wrestling.
Now am I saying wrestling isn’t good enough for everyone else, and that our passion for it should be a well kept secret? Not necessarily, but ask yourselves the following questions: Are you in any way ashamed of being a wrestling fan? For instance, would you ever openly tell your friends you can’t go out because SmackDown is on? Would you tell your parents you’re on your computer talking wrestling with people you’ve never met? Finally, would you actually brag about being a wrestling fan?
To many of us, the answer to those questions is a resounding “no.” While I’m sure there are some of us don’t mind flaunting our wrestling love, this type of behavior tends to brand someone of that nature as a social outcast. I love wrestling just as much as the next guy, but the fact is that even the most diehard fan will at one time or another feel as he if is looked down upon for something he loves. He can parade around with all the nWo shirts he wants, but he will eventually sit down and realize he doesn’t quite fit in. Right there, you can see how the secrecy of the wrestling fan rebellion is critical for the survival of its cause.
Can you think of the last time you saw someone openly parading around in public with a championship belt replica and John Cena hat? It’s just not seen. This keeps with the rebel theme. The wrestling rebellion can’t carry on in the open. Just like during the Vietnam War, when the Viet Cong walked around as villagers by day, only to turn into lethal guerrillas by night. We see the same thing now, as most wrestling activity has to be done in secrecy, with people gathering at “undisclosed locations” to watch pay-per-views, or by ordering wrestling merchandise through shady internet sites.
So even though many wrestling fans have to remain rebels and hide their love for wrestling, who says they have to sit around and feel sorry for themselves? Perhaps we enjoy this status, and this brings me back to the first point. Those who are rebels, love being rebels. Wrestling fans love being rebels, that’s why they are fans in the first place! Don’t believe me? Well, read on.
What happened when wrestling became immensely popular in the late nineties? The most hardcore of fans couldn’t stand the fact that wrestling was in the mainstream. It went against their rebel cause. So what did they do? They turned to the indies, to find that one promotion they could love like a rebel. We all know what they found: Extreme Championship Wrestling. The rebel wresting fans were able to confide in a promotion that has gone down in history as the embodiment of anti-establishment and counter culture. While being rebels in the first place, they now rebelled against main-stream wrestling by following ECW.
And so now the whole rebel theory has come full circle. We now see wrestling fans not only rebelling against society, but also other wrestling fans. ECW fans constantly rebelled against WWE fans, and still do to an extent. Hell, even entire promotions have and are rebelling against one another. Look at the “WWF sucks” chants back in the old ECW, and the constant pot shots TNA takes at WWE on a regular basis. In the end, wrestling comes down to being a bunch of rebels, and nothing more, even when it comes to the actual promotions.
So the next time you sit down to watch wrestling, play a SmackDown video game, wear a Stone Cold t-shirt, or attend a live event, remember the cause that you are subconsciously supporting. You are a wrestling fan, and with that, a rebel against society. Don’t feel ashamed, and instead, revel in the glory of your passion. Remember that you support a rebellion, and you will lead it to victory!
Until next time this has been From the Eye of the Dragon…