Spoiling the Soup
I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! – Peter Finch in the film, ‘Network’.
That seems to be a popular refrain when it comes to your average fan, and the one emotion that never seems to be missing from the wrestling business: anger.
I guess it makes sense, in a business built around overly-dramatic conflict, that it would eventually spill out to the fan base. But in a sad bit of irony, it’s actually the fans who have poisoned the product for themselves.
Look at it this way: Imagine any wrestling show like it’s a five-course meal- with meat, a little bit of greens and maybe even a few sweets for everyone. But, many of their patrons threaten to send the whole delicious dish back, just because the soup is cold.
Quite frankly, when it comes to this modern era, it appears there are far too many cooks in the kitchen. And, as a fan of professional wrestling, I’m having a hard time stomaching it.
Everyone seems quick to blame the internet. After all, anyone who reads up on the wrestling business gains a certain amount of knowledge. You can’t deny that. No matter how much the old wrestlers will tell you ‘you don’t know anything’, you’ve been let behind the curtain now more than ever.
Having said that, what you’ve gained is an outlying understanding of what goes on during a show. By no means are you, the fan, an expert. But you seem to think you are. And, therein lies the problem.
Fans don’t like to hear when they are ruining the show by overthinking it. They want to believe that unraveling the mystery of wrestling’s herbs and spices somehow makes them a kayfabe-breaking connoisseur.
More SERIOUS critics may even scoff at the notion they aren’t as informed as they think they are. They might say something like, “I’ve never been in the ring. But I’ve also never been a chef, and I still know what a good steak tastes like”.
That may be true, but I’ll bet you never entered the kitchen halfway while the meal was being prepared and told the chef how to season it. That would be ridiculous. But, it’s what we, as fans, do all the time to our favorite federations.
We don’t stop there, though. It has now become our duty as consumers to get online and tell everyone how terrible our dinner was. However, about a week later, we inexplicably return to the same restaurant and repeat a similar, stomach-churning process.
Fans continue this same fast food cycle, ordering up a heaping helping of grappling only to never seem satisfied. It’s like we asked for a turkey sandwich, only to get The Gobbledy Gooker Special, instead.
But rather than push back from the table, we still order seconds. It’s not always appetizing, but we end up somehow hungry for more.
Maybe that’s the biggest difference between myself and all those other picky eaters. After 35 years of being a loyal fan, I KNOW that I’m not going anywhere.
I’m okay with getting my wrestling a little ‘under-cooked’ once in a while. I also know that I might not always get big enough portions. And, even if the dish is served a little bit dry, I’ll admit- I’m probably going to eat it and smile.
After all, I’ve been dining at this same place for a while now, so I guess I’m just used to the taste.
Oh yeah… That reminds me. Somebody pass the Pepto.
Ryan K. Boman is the Editor-in-Chief of TheGorillaPosition, as well as a syndicated writer whose work has appeared in The Miami Herald, SB Nation, and 1wrestling.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org