Staying in the Closet: 10 Reasons Not to Admit to Being a Die-Hard Wrestling Fan
Your typical wrestling fan?
Hey guys, sorry it's been a while. Just starting my exams at the moment and it's been a busy time for me. Be that as it may, I'm back for this quick slideshow of ridiculous matches and moments in wrestling.
I love Wrestling! And I'm guessing most of you reading this article do too. But when it comes to admitting it in public, at least for me, I initially found it hard for one reason. I could deal with the common misconception that wrestling is "fake," meaning that no one gets hurt and it's not a real sport.
I could handle the common questions of "Are you mentally retarded?" or "Do you have the IQ of a five-year-old?". I usually reply: "Well, technically, yes, because I'm dyslexic, and no, because I am studying at one of the UK's top universities."
The problem, I think for many fans, perhaps in countries outside of North America where wrestling has not had the same pop culture effect, is that the bits everyone remembers from "wrestling" are the bits most wrestling fans want to forget.
The Internet has made it easier for wrestling fans to come together, share their thoughts and feelings about the sport they love, as well as upload their favourite wrestling moments on YouTube and even create a little community known as the IWC.
However, does that mean some fans have perhaps become less vocal about being wrestling fans in the playground or workplace? Maybe the Internet has made it easier to admit to being a wrestling fan.
Thanks to the invention of the user name and an avatar of your favourite wrestler, you can talk to other wrestling fans on everything from your favourite wrestlers to favourite matches.
But considering the average user name could range from a persona to something ridiculous like "HotandHeavy316," there is still a bit of a barrier there stopping some fans from admitting who they are.
The following is maybe a crazy theory that obviously doesn't apply to all wrestling fans. Yet, it may highlight the feelings some of us have had in publicly admitting our love of wrestling.
Over the last few decades, most of the world and its people have come to accept a group of people for who they are; mainly though people with sexual preferences for the same sex.
Both gay men and gay women have been able to step out of the closet and stand up and say they are proud to be who they are. More people are able to come out of the proverbial closet now than at any time ever before, yet what does this have to do with wrestling fans?
The numbers of people watching wrestling has shrunk since the 1980s—perhaps due to the death of the territories and the big companies like ECW and WCW, or the dominance of the cartoony WWE.
The years have not be kind to wrestling fans and with every stupid wrestling moment and match has come some form of public ridicule and laughter towards wrestling as a whole.
Wrestling, thanks to the WWE, and especially its new PG approach, has become everything which haters have described it as. Wrestling is again the butt of the joke.
Some fans may have become uncomfortable, but don't fear, there's a place to go now to hide your inner wrestling fan. It's nice, it's safe and it conveniently also has all your clothes in it. While gay people have become liberated and been able to leave the closet, wrestling fans are perhaps moving into it.
I'm not suggesting there's some kind of Glen Beck-style conspiracy going on with gay people purposely creating this vacuum to destroy wrestling.
I also don't think that wrestling and homosexuality are connected in this way (although I'm not Freud, but something about a sport where men wear less clothing than the girls may suggest something).
However, even for someone who likes to admit they're a wrestling fan, there are moments people bring up which have almost made me ashamed to be a wrestling fan and have almost sent me back to the closet.
10. Simple, Awful Matches: Wrestling Goes to the Super Bowl
After their "Match of the Year" at the Royal Rumble, Mick Foley took on The Rock for the WWE World title once again in the WWE's first Empty Arena match during the Super Bowl halftime show! How lucky were the fans?
Two great wrestlers who, during one of the best feuds of the Attitude Era, knew how to get the best out of each other. Both knew how to be entertaining, employ weapons and use their environment. Would it be a throwback to Lawler vs. Funk from the 1980s?
Well, if you've not seen it, have a look, but it's not really a good match. Actually, it's more a comedy slapstick fight with both men having a food fight halfway through the match. They also use really hardcore weapons like a bag of popcorn and cotton candy.
I would have liked to have known what Vince was thinking when the Super Bowl allowed the WWE to showcase their company on the biggest stage of another major sporting event. With a good enough match, imagine how many new fans they could have created.
Realize that wrestling is not a male soap opera; until of course halfway through this first part when the football commentators openly call it a soap opera for men. It just highlights why some people can't take wrestling seriously.
This match has nothing on the Lawler-Funk Empty Arena match from the 1980s. Instead, the results are a comedy match, which ends with a creative spot where Mankind pins the Rock under a forklift to score the pin.
It would make it hard to say to the person sitting next to you: "Yeah, this is what I watch every Monday night."
This match sort of shows how corny and how worked a wrestling match can be.
9. Dumb Characters and Gimmicks: Especially Those Who Like Humping Hulk Hogan
When you ask the average non-wrestling fan which wrestlers they remember, they may tell you Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, the Rock...or they may just remember the corny, crazy and silly characters and gimmicks that they saw in that brief moment of childhood when they were wrestling fans.
When it comes to bad gimmicks, although it was way before my time as a fan, the one that comes to mind first is the Yeti!
Why highlight the Yeti over guys like Mantaur or the Boogeyman? Well at least when WWE created those gimmicks, they at least gave the wrestler a decent and creative costume. Instead, they wrapped this guy in toilet tissue and made him walk and act like a mummy.
I'm not too sure about Tibetan mythology or whatever mythology the Yeti originates from, but I'm pretty sure Yetis are suppose to be covered in fur.
This guy is also on the list because as you see in the video, he seems to get up close and personal with Hulk Hogan. Another face palm for modern wrestling fans. Wrestling history is full of so many great disasters that can be used against it.
8. WWE Tries to Be Mainstream: With Some Funky Singing and Dancing?
Maybe I'm being picky with this video. After all, this was from the 1980s. And it is WWE. But I still have had friends post this on my facebook wall as an example of how corny wrestling can be.
I'm not the biggest purist, but when I watch wrestling, I don't usually want to see my heroes doing the funky chicken. If I wanted to see a dance troupe, I could go see the ballet, but if I want to see WWE wrestlers wrestling, that should be what fans see most of the time, right?
You know what people say about history and those who are doomed to repeat it? Vince, please learn your lesson with this one—I don't think I could stand to see today's roster doing a similar thing.
If everyone from John Cena to Hornswoggle is caught on tape doing the mashed potato or whatever the current dance music of the time is now, then I may just stop watching your promotion altogether.
7. WWE Tries to Be Mainstream Part 2: The Now
I've got no problem with wrestlers in movies. In fact, I would encourage it. I think WWE were, to some degree, smart in opening their own studios and producing their own movies. Wrestlers can do well in films, I mean look at Roddy Piper in "They Live" or Raven in the horror films he has done.
Some wrestlers have the ability to act and why stop them? Perhaps it may show how some people think wrestlers are just actors anyway, but it could get recognition for wrestling promotions.
Although, maybe only if the film is good may it attract some fans and bring some mainstream interest to wrestling, which could allow for the wrestlers to then prove their critics wrong.
The problem? This is the WWE we are talking about, and good films are a problem for WWE Studios. Check out the trailer to the WWE's latest screw up, "The Chaperone."
You can see from the trailer how bad of a train-wreck this film is likely to be and how bad the script is. Another slap in the face for some die-hard fans.
6. Vince Russo
Need I say more?
5. Bad Gimmick Matches: Like the Dog Kennel from Hell Match
There have been some silly ideas for wrestling matches throughout history.
Whether it was WCW with War Games 2000, or WWE with matches like the Concrete Crypt match, or TNA today with matches like the Electrified Cage match or Last Rites match, these matches have always shown just how bad wrestling can be, especially when (like in the video) there's not that much wrestling involved in the match.
4. Celebrities in Wrestling: Winning Championships?
Nothing makes me frown more than when I think back to WCW and the first thing I think of is David Arquette winning the World Heavyweight championship! It's amazing how much prestige and how much history can be wiped away by one bad champion.
It's funny how now we sometimes complain about the WWE world titles meaning nothing today; however, although it gets passed to guys like Miz or Sheamus, at least WWE have been smart enough not to give the title to a celebrity.
WWE, of course, have had their fair share of celebrities in wrestling matches from Mr. T to Seth Green, but putting the title on one of them? Even Vince knows that's silly.
3. Vince Russo, Again!
You can never say enough bad things about Vince Russo. But I think I'll let Jim Cornette do that for me.
It seems a lot of the bad things in wrestling these days all stem from Vince Russo's mind. This can be seen in the vomit of the Attitude Era in the form of non-wrestling related skits, which have nothing to do with wrestling.
Or the more recent, to quote Kevin Nash, "turd in the punchbowl," the current state of TNA. I wish Russo could meet some of his admirers of the last few years just so they could tell him what they think of him and his flabby and half-dead body of work.
2. Storylines That Cross the Boundaries of Decency: Case Study in Katie Vick
'I just screwed your brains out'
This slide is dedicated to my loving girlfriend, whose opinions of wrestling are summed up in this very video.
When it comes to wrestling storylines, there are those that just don't make sense in terms of where they are going. Those that go on for so long that we forget how they even started. Those that involve plot points outside the realms of wrestling that some just don't want to see.
And then there are those like the infamous Katie Vick storyline that are disgusting and perhaps responsible for so many fans turning their back on the sport.
There is just something about this one that makes me personally both laugh and cry and wonder why the hell do I like wrestling so much?
At least none of the recent storylines of the WWE have hit such a moral low...for now.
1. Backstage Stuff Which Makes No Sense and Has Nothing to Do with Wrestling!
To this day, this is still the worse thing for me in the history of wrestling. When it comes to my most disgusting stuff in wrestling and things that put the sport to shame, this skit took the gold medal, broke the world record, married a former Miss World and gave birth to so many other bad skits and moments in wrestling that the comic value disappears.
That pun about "giving birth" also wasn't intentional.
This was a moment apparently used by Vince just to make Jerry Brisco throw up. So the loss of my childhood innocence came at the cost of a businessman using his national TV show to make his best friend vomit?
How many fans have been lost due to the ripple effect of this one skit? Unfortunately, I don't know, but I hope it was worth it, Vince.
Thanks for Reading!
Thanks for taking the time to read this article and watch these funny, yet sad videos of wrestling's most depressing moments. I'll leave you with a video of the best of the Attitude Era, which some call the best decade of wrestling in the modern period. Or like me, you may need a stiff drink to recover from the shock of so much cheese and Russo.
If you liked what I had to say, why not check out some of my other articles or even favourite me as a writer:
The Wannabe Booker: Rebooting the WCW Invasion Angle:
Wrestlemania 27: How the Show and Company Were Defined By Its Dark Match
Thought in Five Minutes: John Morrison, the IWC and Wrestler's Personal Lives:
What Makes A Successful Wrestling Stable
The Real IWC: The Ugly Side of Its Users and Its Opinions