Monday, May 04, 2015

Ramblings on Wrestling Fandom

It's been a while since I wrote an article and for that I apologize. Other commitments have kept me distracted recently, but I'm back now. One of the benefits of my time away has been time to think about the nature of wrestling fans. I have had the time to talk to wrestling fans at my local Preston City Wrestling and meet some really talented Indy wrestlers such as Noam Dar and The Kingdom, along with some bigger names such as Mr. Anderson and Jeff Jarrett. I would recommend checking out your local wrestling promotion if you have one, as having the opportunity to watch some great wrestling and interact with some of the wrestlers outside the ring is an experience that I doubt can be replicated in the larger promotions such as TNA and WWE.

However, my appreciation for Indy wrestling can wait another day. Having the opportunity to talk to many types of wrestling fans – from the pro TNA/WWE fans convinced that only their promotion is worth anything, to those hardcore fans who think all of the big promotions can't hold a candle to the talent displayed at the local shows – gave me a lot to think about. As a fan who is usually associated with the pro TNA fans, it also provided me the chance to reflect upon my own views.

The recent(ish) story of Samoa Joe leaving TNA and looking NXT bound was the catalyst for a lot of debate. Had Joe chosen to go to WWE only to become a watered down character destined to be a lower mid-card talent? This was the conclusion I had come to and I believed Joe had made the wrong decision. Quite a few WWE fans I talked to about the subject thought that Joe was rubbish in TNA, but believed that he would be amazing in WWE – ala his original ROH run.

The main thing I noticed was that most people had not considered that the man behind Samoa Joe would have his own personal reasons for his decision. TNA basically asked Joe to take a pay cut, and as a working man I know what impact that would have on my life. Joe has a responsibility to his family to keep the same money coming into the household and therefore he took a job that can guarantee his earnings. It's a decision that most of us would make if we ever found ourselves in the same position.

This realization brought me to a conclusion regarding what I thought being a true wrestling fan meant. If you are a fan of Samoa Joe, should it really be an issue where Joe works? Shouldn't we just be happy that he is still getting to do what he loves and support his family? Sometimes I think us fans become so involved in this assumed position of being either a TNA, WWE or Indy wrestling fan that we forget that what we really are, is a fan of professional wrestling and we should enjoy it in all of its forms.

We all know how dire our world can be when there is only one option. I have seen some amazing performers who are just on the cusp of making it big on the international stage and I would like to think that wherever their career takes them, I will still be a fan of their work. Wrestlers are still people trying to make a living doing something they love. I think we can all agree that if we can make our living doing what we love, we would be there in an instant.

So maybe it's time to truly #StandUp for wrestling in all of its forms. The more places wrestlers have to perform, the better the entire industry can get. I truly believe that we could be on the edge of another boom period for wrestling with all of the talent that is starting to emerge. As a wrestling fan, that's a pretty awesome prospect.

But this is just my opinion of what a true wrestling fan should be. Let me know if you have another vision of a true wrestling fan. Also, if you have a topic for me to ramble about, let me know and I might go ahead and do it.