What Makes a “Wrestling Fan”

Mike Killam

This afternoon I watched a phenomenal discussion on IGN.com between Daemon Hatfield, Greg Miller, Justin Davis and Colin Mariarty – basically the Four Horseman of video game journalism - on what truly "defines" a gamer. There are so many different kinds of people out there: you've got Call of Duty players, Minecrafters, JRPG fans, League of Legends and/or MOBA players; the list could literally go on for years. What Daemon and the Game Scoop! crew discussed is how these days, it's more common for gamers to spend their time criticizing other gamers because of what games they do, or don't play, rather than actually enjoying the things that they have in common. The idea that somehow, if you just play Call of Duty on your XBox every day, your experience, and even you as a gamer, mean less to the community as a whole. 

And I thought, this argument applies really well to professional wresting fans. 

The "TNA Sucks" Argument

Impact WrestlingI got 27 angry Tweets, 4 emails and a bunch of comments about my TNA Bound for Glory review, specifically about how "I'm not a TNA fan" or "I'm just another stupid WWE mark; same old shit" because I gave the pay-per-view a negative review. That doesn't really bother me (well, the second part does, but I'll get into that in a minute). What bothers is me is that for every defensive Tweet from a disgruntled TNA fan, I got two or three from WWE fans bashing their product. Many of them have never, will never actually watch Impact Wrestling more than once or twice in their lifetime. 

It's the same tired argument: "TNA is terrible. Dixie Carter is hemorrhaging money out the window, and they'll be dead before the end of the year." 

First of all, as I said in my BFG review, I'm a TNA fan. I want to see them succeed. I don't like that Dixie Carter is involved in the main event story, but that doesn't mean I'm willing to make ignorant statements about her as a business woman, or take personal shots at a woman I will likely never have a conversation with. The truth is, literally every person I've talked to that knows Dixie, and has worked with her in the past, has nothing but wonderful things to say about her. BUT SHE'S THE WICKED QUEEN OF THE EVIL TNA!! Apparently there's no such thing as cheering for the underdog anymore. 

The "Anti-Indie" Argument

Wrestling fans are some of the pretentious, elitist people I have ever met. Which is hilarious to me, because everyone is all worked up about a pre-scripted industry of men in tights. And it's an industry I passionately love, don't get me wrong. But it's because I love it so much that I don't understand people's NEED to break others down just because of what they enjoy. 

People constantly hate on TNA because of Dixie Carter, because of "WWE rejects", because they heard about WCW one time, and even though they never watched an episode of Nitro in their lifetime, they think it's hilarious to compare the two as "sinking ships". 

If you mention you're a Ring of Honor fan, people on Twitter will rip you apart. "Oh, that crappy indie company with the broken iPPV service? I don't waste my time with 3rd rate rejects, sorry." If you bring up how Pro Wrestling Guerrilla is the single best, most entertaining wrestling promotion in the United States today, people look at you like you're an idiot. "They don't have CM Punk or Daniel Bryan, and they don't have four million fans, so how good can they really be?" 

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