WWE used to stand for World Wrestling Entertainment. A wrestling promotion that focused on delivering a product known as "Sports Entertainment." The exact nature of which could be confusing for some but basically the term is a good way of saying they deliver a mix of theater with a wrestling backdrop. Sounds kind of cool, if you ask me.
However in recent years things have changed for WWE. Starting with the fact that the WWE no longer stands for World Wrestling Entertainment. In the eyes of many people the product has also had a shift in content with more emphasis being placed on the "Entertainment" side of sports entertainment than the "Sports" side.
It has also lead to an odd, and somewhat offensive trend I've seen on the IWC and that being the use of the term "wrestling fan" to differentiate a seemingly rebellious group of fans who, in my opinion, see themselves as something other than fans of the WWE and almost seeming as if they look down on the majority of the product except for a select few superstars.
That said, I have to wonder why these people feel the need to label themselves something we all are, simply because we may not enjoy the same superstars or the same aspects of the current product of the WWE.
Why is it that whenever we see someone who has a dissenting view of someone appreciated by the "wrestling fans" the usual comment is along the lines of "you must be a Cena fan." Is it because some of the people on this site are older and are still stuck on the stigma that John Cena only appeals to children? As a legal adult and Cena fan myself, I'm proof that that's not the case.
Why is it that if you don't enjoy CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan you're looked at as someone who doesn't appreciate talent or uneducated about "wrestling." What makes the fact that some people like guys like John Cena, Zack Ryder, and Santino Marella worse than people who like Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, and CM Punk?
Why can't I be a "wrestling fan?" Does it occur that people like more than just one superstar? Yeah, as mentioned before I'm a fan of Cena. Did I mention I'm also a fan of Cody Rhodes? Did I mention I'm a fan of Wade Barrett? Did I mention I'm a fan of A.J. Styles, Tyson Kidd, and several other superstars across several promotions? Don't just judge a person because of one superstar they like. I could make it an insult to call someone a CM Punk fan, but I don't use superstars as insults (on a regular basis) because I don't know what other superstars they may be a fan of.
I could have a disagreement with someone over the fact I think Dolph Ziggler is a midcarder for life, but be in total agreement with that same person if we both have a similar view on Cody Rhodes and his career.
So, that brings me back to a point I made somewhat earlier. Just because some people may prefer different aspects of the product, does that mean they can't be wrestling fans if they want a little more entertainment with their wrestling than most?
That would be like saying I'm not a fan of coffee because I add three packs of creamer and an eighth of a sugar container into it. (I'm not exactly a fan of coffee, but you get the point I make for those of you who do enjoy your coffee with a little something extra.)
What does it mean to be a wrestling fan really? Does it mean you would have enjoyed the original wrestling days where matches would last all day without clear-cut winners more than the current era of wrestling we live in? Admit it, you love the aspects of wrestling like mic skills and ring psychology. It's part of why you watch pro-wrestling.
Basically what I'm trying to say is, no matter what you enjoy about wrestling I think we can all be "wrestling fans." Admit it, as much as you don't like what's on in the WWE you do watch for a reason. For some, it's for John Cena, for others it's CM Punk, for some it's Cody Rhodes, for others it might be R-Truth. The point is, if you didn't like it you wouldn't watch it. So with that, I suppose I have to end with the age old question: "can't we all just get along?" But to that, I want to tweak that and ask something different. Can't we all just be wrestling fans?
Thank you for reading the article and I hope you enjoyed it. If you'd like to give a young, would-be author some support perhaps you could follow him on Twitter @AzureTVJ.