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I want to propose a question:
If you were Vince McMahon, what percentage of your product would you book toward the casual fans compared to the “smart,” internet fans?
I’m aware that I’m writing this to an audience that will mostly fall into the latter category, but I’m wondering if you can look objectively at the subject. I’m going to try to do the same.
Let’s take a look at how “I” qualify the two groups:
Casual fans watch wrestling to be entertained while “smart” fans watch to analyze, review, and form an opinion based on their own ideas of “how it should be run”.
Casual fans actually support the WWE “financially” by purchasing pay per views, buying merchandise, etc. Smart marks do everything they can NOT to do those things. They feel above it. (“Cena Sucks” t-shirts aside).
Casual fans cheer and boo the wrestlers Vince McMahon wants to be cheered and booed, respectively. “Smarks” often do the opposite just because they can. They have a mind of their own, yet somehow, all of those individual minds typically react as one when it comes to what babyfaces they are going to boo, and vice versa.
Casual fans enjoy “shock and awe”, swerves, and surprises. Smart marks LONG for them. They need them. They thrive on it. Otherwise, the product gets boring and stale rather quickly to them.
Everything is a “shoot” to the casual fans; they can still “suspend disbelief”. Internet fans need blood the hard way, Matt Hardy/Edge, CM Punk referencing ROH, etc. to buy into what they’re watching/hearing as “real”.
Smart marks are selfish egomaniacs that think they know it all, are impossible to please, and each feel they have the answers to all of pro wrestling’s problems. Casual fans are not.
Okay, I understand that the last one is a bit harsh. It really only pertains to that small “rebel” group of internet fans that Eric Bischoff so accurately defines as “The Ten-Percenters”.
In all honesty, you could easily categorize wrestling fans into three groups: Casual fans, internet fans, and asshole fans -- number 6 on the list above being the primary difference between the last two groups.