I’ve noticed on the TWO forums lately, that the Internet fan base have taken offence that certain wrestlers have displayed their dismay at the insider information that Internet users have and the fact that they are using it to “spoil” the fun for the rest of us. Some wrestlers have even refused to speak to some fans when they used their terminology like “Babyface” and “Heel”. I am hopefully going to explain a few home truths about wrestling attitude which will, in the best case, help you understand why the fan will not receive a positive outcome when they use Wrestling terms.
I would like to say first off though that as the WWE go, they shouldn’t complain about the culture they created when they began the angle of sports entertainment. This opened up avenues for interested parties and allowed them to look further inside the industry. Also, how can a company who creates a reality show about the training of wrestlers expect people who saw it not to start using the terminology used in the show? And finally, before I took up wrestling, I had discovered the term Heel and Face from WWE’s own wrestling PS2 game.
As a British wrestler, I am very dismayed by the steps that WWE have taken in regards to opening the business up to the audience. Even though sports entertainment may be an accurate description of wrestling, it has forced everyone across the globe to change the way they promote themselves and most certainly has put UK wrestling on the back foot.
So can you blame wrestlers, when they have someone telling the world that wrestling is sports entertainment, closing their ranks and holding onto their secrets like a jealous lover?
Now, fortunately, we British wrestlers are a little more laid back in comparison to our American counterparts, but all the same, going up to a British wrestler and talking with their terminology is at best going to get you ignored.
If some fans wanted to start their own wrestling promotion, they would find it an exceptionally hard thing to do, as most people within the wrestling business know each other at some point. For example, Klondike Kate has recently started her own gym, which is fair enough, if she needs help then a lot of gyms will lend her gym a helping hand because she has done a lot for the UK wrestling scene and gained the respect of the wrestling community. Once I was found to be in the business I was nattering away with a ring provider like we’d been old friends for years. So this should tell you that if they don’t know you within the wrestling industry then you will get absolutely no help from anyone within it whatsoever, harsh, but that is wrestling tradition.
I think that wrestling tradition is the part of the industry that some people don’t get. It is old and in our modern times probably very outdated, but it is still there because that is all wrestlers have left to hold onto, it is what distinguishes a wrestler from the rest of the world. It is a kinsmanship that can’t be broken and very much an “us against them” mentality. You will find that two wrestlers could be at each other’s throats because they dislike each other personally, but if an outsider threatened either one of them the other would jump to their defence, though I don’t suggest you try that as an experiment.
There has to be a certain amount of conformity across the globe, so an American wrestler can come over to Britain and have a great match with a British wrestler. Therefore every wrestler needs to know universally how to fight, why they are fighting and the rules of engagement. These have been passed down through the years from trainer to student and some of these trainers have been the most respected people in the business. There is only one country that doesn’t conform to this traditional standard, and only wrestlers should know which country this is and why.
With rules comes attitude to maintain and respect them, as I said before, a lot of tradition is honouring the great wrestlers that have come before them, and this attitude is what a lot of Internet fans are coming up against and taking offence from. So I shall put it quite clearly, a Smart Mark never needs to trust a wrestler with his or her safety or vice versa, so to come up to a wrestler, talk the lingo, which, in effect, is pretending like you have, is wholly offensive to them.
You may know everything about Bushido, but that doesn’t make you a Samurai and in the days of old talking like you were would likely lead to your head being lopped off by a very sharp, curved sword.
Put in the simplest way. A wrestler’s attitude to outsiders is this: if you want to talk wrestler talk with a wrestler, join a gym, sweat tears, blood and guts like they have, have some 18 stone guy land on you badly then shake his hand afterwards, be prepared to work for someone else’s benefit and then you’ll get a response.
And as unfair and intolerant as it sounds, that is just the way it is.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the case with all fans, in fact quite the opposite, a wrestler is nothing without fans. They crave the fans’ attention and bask in the noise they make while they are in the ring and they love the attention out of the ring, or they wouldn’t have stuck to wrestling, but there is a line between wrestler and fan that should never be crossed. I remember my first royal rumble and I was asked by several kids for my autograph, a special moment I might add, they commented on what I had done and how good they thought I was. I thought to myself, If they knew some of the things I knew in that rumble, would they be asking me for my autograph right now? Or criticising me for making the 15 odd mistakes I made?
I’m not one to stop people trying though, but I will tell you this right now, If you find out about all of the secrets in wrestling, you’ll stop watching it for the entertainment and begin watching it with a technical mind. You’ll know how the wrestlers do it and if they’ve done it well, up to a point where you can predict what is about to happen next. In the end it becomes similar to cheating at a computer game, it becomes easier, there is no more challenge and you put the game on the shelf or swap it for some other game. And unless it is watching in such a way to improve your own game, you are ruining the fun for yourself.
Do you really want to do that?