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ST: Wrestling personalities and fan symbiosis



By: Saz
17 June 2004

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I finally got confirmation that my wrestling tights will be with me soon, the problem is that they may now be too big for me.

It’s a decider in the old “lose weight ya fat get” Goal I have set for myself if I fit into these spandex Kecks and find they are too big it will be a pleasant moment, which leads me neatly onto my topic, insults and depravity in the name of wrestling.

I’m sure everyone has heard about John Bradshaw Layfield’s indiscretion in Munich this month, he was doing this “for the character” and though admittedly he was a little over-eager to give Eddie support, he highlights a point worth talking about.

Every wrestler has at least two personalities; independent wrestlers have multiple personalities, each one separate to their own. Fans should not ever see the real person behind the wrestler, as this is their private life, it shouldn’t be touched. Whatever they do in this life, be it work a job, have sex with beautiful women or men, go to see a wrestling show or just plain sitting in front of the television watching their favourite soap, it should be completely separate from wrestling.

When a wrestler trains, they are usually their real self, but as soon as they step into the ring, don’t expect them to be the same guy you spoke to 5 minutes before. They will find odd things about you and they will exploit them for a cheap hit.

Funnily enough, I have lived with fat jokes at my expense from my teens upwards and I don’t think it was until my 20s that I really came to terms with it and who I was. However, nowadays I tend to look down on anyone who thinks that calling me a “fat child-of-an-unmarried-couple” are insulting me. In fact they are stating the truth, I am fat… duh… work that all out by yourself? Oh and my parents were married you childish fool! However I don’t have that reaction in the ring, as my opponent is saying it in character, to my character, so I have to decide whether it will upset my character or not.

It is just this immunity to insults between characters that can create problems between the wrestlers and the fans. Simply put, the fans do not know that this is not your real self talking to them, some may be clued up that it might just be your character, but it is one of the parts of wrestling that always puts people in doubt. In the olden days it used to be the granny who would whack the bad guy with her hand bag and give him a piece of her mind, now it is the moral minority smacking a wrestler with a gagging order.

It’s easy for the fan to insult a wrestler and most just take it as part of the job, the mistake a wrestler can make is presuming the fans take it as part of the job and push an insult a bit too far. The other is when a fan takes it too far and tries to assault the wrestler. Now this is something I hope never to have to face, which is a fan who so thoroughly believes that I am that bad that they need to swing a punch, spit or become generally past the point of taste with me. Wrestlers should never snap, only defend themselves, but when they are provoked beyond all reason then things get out of hand.

I am pointing this out because criticism of a wrestler is one sided, the fan is always right, they paid their money and if it entertains them to say you are the worst stinking wrestler on the face of the planet, then you accept it as a wrestler, even react to them to make them think that they have got to you. Whenever something goes wrong it is always the wrestler's fault and this is something a wrestler will always accept, well, after a while at least.

Now in the UK we don’t see too many clashes between the fans and the wrestlers, I think British audiences are more than aware that they are there to have fun and that they shouldn’t take too many things seriously. It is one of the things that the UK scene has over a lot of overseas companies, a symbiosis with the fans.

At KSW’s Broken Rules I entered this symbiosis, I walked out in character when my name was called and heard this faint ebb of “ooh”. That was a fun moment when I come to think of it after the match, as I couldn’t really think about anything else but what I was doing at the time, the crowd reacted to my character instantly, they were in the mood and prepared to get even the subtle nuances about my character.

As a wrestler, the onus is on you to provide the fun and to have fun, you have to be aware of the crowd’s mood and be sympathetic to their needs, which I regard as something JBL needs to think about.

But let it not be about JBL, let it be about the UK workers who have fun giving you fun, they live to entertain you, so go to a show if you haven’t been and see the fun for yourself.

I’m going to finish off this Tenet, by thanking everyone who commented on my Dead Wrestler’s Society tenet on the UKFF, as I am new to the UK online scene, it was pointed out to me. I would especially like to thank Parkamarka who pointed out quite reasonably that some people enjoy watching wrestling as a movie goer would become a movie critic, it’s a fair point to make.

Oh, and my tights came this morning…. I can pull them up to my nipples, but with the drawstrings they fit perfectly, I’ll be wearing them at the next KSW amateur show.

Saracen



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