For a long time I've read about wrestling from the perspective of an outsider looking in. Now I'm one of the lucky ones who get to sit behind the keyboard and write about the sport they love. However, I am still an outsider looking in and proud of it. Hey, I'm James and I'm a proud card carrying member of the Internet Wrestling Community.
Already I bet some of you who have read the statement above and doubt that I could say anything about the IWC, which hasn't already been said, right?
We all know what the IWC is, right?
It's a group of angry and disgruntled 'wrasslin' fans who think they know everything and believe they can run WWE or TNA better than MacMahon or Carter?
They are 'smarks' who have a fake sense of power over other wrestling fan, right?
A good metaphor for this idea of the IWC is perhaps of some big cave dwelling dragon that breaths hate, feeds on dirtsheets and shoot interviews and craps on Cena and other “bad” wrestlers.
Yet, you might not have any of these ideas about the IWC, but you still don't like them or the label of being in the IWC. But if you perhaps look down on the idea of the IWC, or have in some way criticized it.
The IWC is of course full of idiots and morons. We live in a world where stereotypes are all true, right? It's no different to high school where you are either a cool kid, a sports player, a geek, a goth or emo, right?
And people do it all the time. Whether it's expecting someone to like rap music because of the colour of the skin, expecting someone who works as a bin man to have an IQ of 10, or expecting someone to be a thug because of their mannerisms and dress.
Yet the problem isn't just in this stereotype of the internet wrestling fan.
It seems to some degree, there is a trend of writers on this site, (like wrestling forums and internet videos on other sites), attacking the IWC. It may develop into a rite of passage for fans to try to slay the evil dragon of the IWC.
They do not consider themselves members of the IWC. It seems in some ways their words are to purposely distancing themselves from the concept which they attack. Because that's all it is after all. Just a vague concept.
I'm a believer in the concept of "unspeak". The word, coined by Steven Poole, an English journalist whose book, also titled Unspeak which I am currently reading. It details the underlying political terms in this world used not by exclusively by politicians, but by almost everyone.
One idea in particular got me thinking about wrestling on the internet today. The idea of the community. Because after all, what does community mean?
The idea of a community can perhaps be a physical one. Like the area where you live. Or it could be a community as in, say the gay community or black community or working class community.
But when you think about it in those terms, where does the community end if it's a physical district?
Do people in said community want to be a part of it? Does one need to admit they are part of said community to be a part of it?
Do they all have to share the same ideas and have a uniform attitude towards this and that?
Personally this is why I don't belief in this idea of a community because it is limiting and used as an easy way to group people.
To describe the IWC metaphorically like a dragon is only partly right. I can't deny that some stereotype of the internet fans are true and there are people in the IWC who do live up to thinking themselves as superior to other wrestling fan and think they honestly can run WWE better than Vince, but they are perhaps few and far between.
And even when fans do agree that yeah, maybe Cena isn't the best wrestling today, there are those who still acknowledge he sells tickets, while others just discredit him as a disgrace to wrestling.
The IWC is in a sense of forum which is a mix and match of opinions and is more of a hydra, than a dragon.
It’s a creature with many, many heads and views. While some of those heads think perhaps Flair is disgracing his legacy by wrestling for TNA, there may be others who believed he should and quit in the 1990s.
Yet, the IWC isn't necessarily a monster, as the picture of the Disney picture demonstrates. You also can't forget the odd troll who likes to make an appearance in the cave of the IWC too.
Also, in a world where wrestling exists either in the form of "sports entertainment", or Dixie Carter's "WCW: Take Two", what is the problem in letting people talk about what they are passionate about? Some of that passion may be slightly ignorant or biased, but we live in a world where we know very little about anything and what we know isn't always true.
Plus we are all outsiders looking in.
You may be wondering however why I still use the phrase IWC even though I say I don't believe in the idea of communities.
For me it's an 'Internet Wrestling Collective' because, whether you belief it or not, if you comment or discuss wrestling over the internet, your contributing to the collective and helping to create a world of ideas.