I Am A Wrestling Fan…

pro-wrestling-nes I’ve been listening to the Steve Austin Show a lot lately, not just because Steve welcomes in some interesting people to chat with, not just because it’s a hell of a podcast, but mainly because I’m a wrestling fan. That seems like a pretty obvious statement, being that I watch wrestling and I write for a couple wrestling websites, but it’s something I feel needs stressing lately. You may be wondering exactly how I tie in my opening to the wrestling on television, well read on and it will become completely clear. If you’ve grown up watching the business then you likely love it and will continue to watch until the day one of you die, you or the business. The biggest problem I see lately though is that we have far too few REAL wrestling fans left in the world and way too many “fanboys” around these days. Believe me when I tell you there is a MASSIVE difference between the two descriptions.

The last couple weeks we’ve had promos from Daniel Bryan about the fact that he’s a WRESTLER, not an entertainer. This is very true, and his statement about Cena not being a wrestler but being an entertainer could very well be shown to be true as well, to an extent. The thing with this feud is it’s much deeper than just Daniel Bryan versus John Cena, if you’re willing to look beyond the surface. In Daniel Bryan we have the “wrestler,” the guy who will work ANYWHERE because this is a sport her loves, even if it’s just in front of 50 people in a gym. Cena represents the “entertainer,” the person who wants to be famous, and can’t imagine lowering themselves to the level of anything other than a massive area show. Some would compare this to the battle between TNA and WWE fans over who has the better show, I don’t quite see it that way but I can understand why some would.

Steve Austin has stated over and over on his show that he loves wrestling, plain and simple, it doesn’t matter what company it is, he just flat out loves wrestling. On a previous show he admitted to something very few wrestling fan would admit to, something I can proudly admit to as well, he loved wrestling so much that he actually loved watching G.L.O.W., the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling, back in the day. If you don’t remember this, no matter if it’s because of age or ignorance, you need to go back and watch some of the work. While it’s admittedly cheesy at times, it’s still WRESTLING. It had characters, something we are slowly starting to see return, and it had solid ring work. One of their stars, Tina Ferrari, became known to the WWE audience as Ivory, one of the most respected women in the business. If you love wrestling, you’ll watch it, no matter where you can get it; this has been my way of thinking as long as I can remember.

My biggest complaint about the typical “wrestling fan” these days is that they’re either casual fans or they’re a fanboy who only watches one company and talks trash about anything else out there. The reason the Monday Night Wars worked out so well is because true wrestling fans were watching, they watched WCW and WWE, not one or the other. I can’t count how many Monday nights were spent with my dad, my brother, or myself flipping between Raw and Nitro trying to make sure not to miss a moment of either, because we loved it that much. The reason this isn’t happening with TNA and WWE is simple, the “fans” want to pick sides before the battle is able to begin. People either watch TNA and talk trash about everything WWE, or watch WWE and trash everything TNA related. I will admit I’ve not watched TNA a lot, but I am trying to pick up on them finally. The reason being, I’m finally embracing that deep rooted wrestling fan inside me once again. The reason I don’t think you can compare this to Bryan versus Cena is because Daniel Bryan represents more than just “some other company,” he represents the business as a whole. Cena represents TNA as well as WWE as the top companies, and how people either love or hate them, because it’s “cool” to be on whichever side at that time.

The biggest credit for making me embrace the deep down wrestling fan, oddly enough, isn’t really Steve Austin, Daniel Bryan, or even TNA. My biggest addiction lately is actually the developmental territory for WWE, the NXT product is actually very entertaining and it mixes the old school “high school gym” feel with the top level talent and production. After going to my first ever NXT Live event I haven’t been able to stop talking about it, watching it, and I haven’t been able to stop watching wrestling anywhere I can find it on the television dial. I remember borrowing the King of the Deathmatch tape from my friend Rob Nickell back in high school because I wanted to see Mick Foley, I wanted to see Terry Funk, I wanted to see Dan Severn, I just wanted to see wrestling in any way possible. I remember ordering a Japanese wrestling promotions Pay Per View one time so that we could watch wrestling one night when it wasn’t on, my brother, my cousin, and I were so addicted we watched a PPV headlined by Dick Togo (of Kai En Tai fame), because we wanted to see a wrestling event on a Saturday night. I still remember sitting at the Chain of Lakes Complex for a local show headlined by one of my dad’s old friends, with all of 50 people, because I LOVED WRESTLING.

It doesn’t matter where it comes from, it doesn’t matter who is in the ring, if there’s a match and you’re a fan you’re damn well going to watch that match. Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam represents all of us who would watch 8 people compete because the rest of the workers didn’t have approval by the State, and not complain one second about the situation. He’s representing those of us who would watch a cheap local promotion on public television late night on a Friday or Saturday night because it meant one more hour of pro wrestling that week. I support Daniel Bryan because I support the business of pro wrestling as a whole. I respect the hell out of John Cena, as he does bust his ass day in and day out, but he represents the big brand, especially with his promo stating that he would never work again if he weren’t a WWE Superstar. My call goes out tonight to all WRESTLING fans around the world, I don’t care if it’s TNA, I don’t care if it’s WWE, I don’t care if it’s ROH, I don’t care WHAT company you’re watching, just watch. Don’t talk shit about one company over the other, just watch the product, support the workers, and enjoy every second of every match as if it were the last you’ll get to watch. At the end of the day, no matter if it’s TNA, WWE, WCW, ECW, ROH, NXT, FIP, MLW, or anything else, watch it, because you’re either a WRESTLING fan, or you’re not.

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  • Mike

    I watched TNA up until about 3 months ago, when it hit me in the face and started wiggling that Dixie is killing the company. Now I watch WWE and ROH, and yes I do love one more than the other, but I still watch. I stayed with TNA for 6 years, and I was, still am and always will be a true fan.

  • Dare

    Nice article. Like u I can say am a wrestling fan. I used to watch all 3 major U.S brands but i stopped watching TNA recently. Unlike u guys in the United States,Nigerians don’t get to watch wrestling on free tv.Its a very expensive habbit(if I can call it that). I pay more for my subscription just to get raw and smackdown. I watch nxt online making my data plan more expensive and I buy ROH DVDs.I stopped paying extra for TNA becos their recent programming isn’t worth the extra bucks. Raw starts live @ 1a.m local time and runs till 4a.m. I have to be @ work by 8 so my tuesdays are basically tiring but I know it would be hard to sleep while raw is on live becos of my love for wrestling. On a side note I hope Dbry wins on sunday.

  • Connor

    Im only 13 but i feel like a real wrestling fan in england you only get tna and wwe but i use the Internet to watch njpw Roh Dragon gate Usa and Dragon gate

  • Blackjack Jones

    The first time ever watch wrestling was with my great grandma, when I was 5 years old. It was the American Wrestling Association in which she loved to watch every week it came on or when ever they was in town. My very first match I remember watching was Roddy Roddy Piper verses Playboy Buddy Rose in the dog collar match, where Rowdy Roddy Piper lost part of hearing in his right ear. Since then I’ve never stopped watching wrestling, I’m now 27 years old & I still proudly watch wrestling every Monday night

  • Blackjack Jones

    I have even help put the Rings together with my dad, when the wrestling companies would come to town & perform for the troops @ the Air Force base gym. Because, of that I’ve got to meet Rock n Roll Express, the Bushwackers, The L.O.D., Hardy Boys before they was signed to the WWF contract, The Original Doink The Clown, Terry Funk, Tatanka, Iron Sheik, The Boogie Man, Big Boss Man, Jimmy “Mouth of the south” Hart, Jim Cornette, Razor Ramone aka Scott Hall, Jerry “the King” Lawler, The Honky Tonk Man, Dan “the beast” Severn, Jim “the anvil” Neidhart & so many more. Now, I at 27 a father of a five year old boy will continue that tradition that my great grandmother and my dad started with me.

  • http://wwenews.net Chris

    Thank you, everyone who has read this article. It’s a great feeling to know people enjoy my work.

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